Shahine Ardeshir's Reviews > Joseph Anton: A Memoir

Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
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's review
Oct 08, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 22 to October 08, 2012

Contrary to most of the publicity around this book, it is not only about the fatwa. It is anchored for the most part around the time the fatwa was imposed, yes - but it is also about person, his family, his career and his thoughts. This makes it far more multi-dimensional than I expected when I first picked it up.

Rushdie's skill remains, even when he moves out of the usual fiction into a real-world description. There's still thought, nuance and imagination in his descriptions and that makes for an easy read. Sure, the plot becomes somewhat repetitive in the mid sections of the book, but then, life under virtual house arrest IS repetitive. Overall, the book keeps moving, and by the last pages I was sad it was finally over.

You may not - as I didn't - agree with a lot of the views expressed or actions described in this book. But it has to win brownie points for sheer honesty: It is one of the most open, honest memoirs I have read in a long time. Not honest in the 'I don't care, let's lay everything on the table and complain about everything' kind of way (like say, a Whoopi Golberg autobiography read). Rather, honest in the authentic sense: Honest about what happened, about the person who made these things happen, how that person has since changed (or remained the same), and what that person defends, regrets and values. As a Rushdie fan, I wasn't disappointed, nor should you be.
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