Beth F.'s Reviews > The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
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's review
Oct 31, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: banned-books, 1001-books, magical-realism, infidelity, pea-soup, 2008, eastern-hemisphere
Read in December, 2008

Salman Rushdie is a weird man. Sometimes he would write things like, “…Chamcha was going down head first, in the recommended position for babies entering the birth canal…” and “…Saladin, like a bloody lettuce, I ask you…” and he used a lot of big words I’ve never seen like “orotund” and “obsolescent” and the whole time, I kept thinking, ‘wow, Salman Rushdie made a cameo appearance in the Bridget Jones’s Diary movie and he has funny eyebrows like Jack Nicholson.’

Um. Right. This book was not an enjoyable read for me. It was dense and too long. I had to force myself to read a little bit every day because I kept picking up other books to read instead of this one. Once I made it past the first 100 pages, it became more interesting but it was still a dredge to read. I thought most of the scenes are way too drawn out. I’d have appreciated this book a whole lot more if the parts that involved Saladin and Chamcha were thinned down by a third and the parts that involved Mahound and his band of merry men and gals was beefier.

So anyway, unless you are a brainiac (and you’re probably not so quit giving yourself airs) and/or are comfortable with several facets of Indian culture and also have a comfortable working knowledge of Islam, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you decide to just sit down and noncommittally read The Satanic Verses. I don’t think that’s possible. I came close to quitting several times but didn’t, thanks largely in part to this:

The document is almost 100 pages long but the way I see it, if you’re actually going to put forth the commitment to read this dang book with the intention of understanding what the hell is going on, what’s an extra 100 pages? Especially if they’ll actually help you capture and understand some of the non-transparent characters and events that fill this book. It is divided up by chapters. I read the notes before starting each new chapter and referred back as necessary.

Obviously scanning this document while I was reading the book added to the length of time it took to work my way through this book. However, I feel no shame whatsoever in admitting that this book would have been so far beyond my level of comprehension if I hadn’t had the help that I don’t even care.

I'm relieved to be done with this book.
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Reading Progress

11/20/2008 page 23
4.2% "Going from Stephenie Meyer to Rushdie is jarring. Aside from the fact that they both write in English, they have nothing in common."
11/24/2008 page 101
18.46% "20 pages a day keeps the "no progress" doctor away..."
12/01/2008 page 155
28.34% "S-l-o-w-l-y working my way through this. It is my goal to finish this by the end of the year. I will succeed!"
12/04/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-5)

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message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I heard recently that one of his other books was a better first read. I don't really trust the source though.
Any idea if normal people can get into hedge funds? Or when knitting started? *snickers*

Beth F. Uhhhh, creepy guy at the cute coffee shop = one star, one jacked up single star that's been run over by a Chevy, pissed on by somebody's dog and left out to rust.

message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Makes me wish for negative stars when I think about him. He was definetly a star minus.

Beth F. Normally I wouldn't think of myself as someone prone to theatrics or throwing histrionic fits, but if creepy guys start infringing on knit night, I might have to shoot myself in the foot.

message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer We can shoot each other in the foot and then it will look like it's not our faults! ;)

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