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Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  11,725 ratings  ·  1,800 reviews
From one of the greatest writers of our time: the most spellbinding, entertaining, wildly imaginative novel of his great career, which blends history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth. A masterful, mesmerizing modern tale about worlds dangerously colliding, the monsters that are unleashed when reason recedes, and a beautiful testament to the power of love and hu ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Random House
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David Rathod I'm on page 155. I've read every one of Rushdie's novels and can say he's lost the ability to tell a story. His wordplay is impressive, but the layer …moreI'm on page 155. I've read every one of Rushdie's novels and can say he's lost the ability to tell a story. His wordplay is impressive, but the layer below--depth, truth, narrative--it's gone, or dormant. I'll continue to read all his fiction, but can't recommend him. Sadly.(less)
Cassie Personally, I loved the whirling aspect of this book, and it added to the feeling of magical realism to have them switch off. (That's why it feels lik…morePersonally, I loved the whirling aspect of this book, and it added to the feeling of magical realism to have them switch off. (That's why it feels like it moves between fairy tale and realism - this genre purposely blends the two). (less)

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Emily May
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, magic-realism, 2015
This is my first Rushdie book and I do intend to check out his more famous and controversial works - The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children - but I have a lot of mixed feelings about my first venture into his world.

As far as I know, Mr Rushdie writes in English, correct? But even though there are some instances of beautiful writing, much of this story feels like a clunky translation. The third person "history of the jinn" that we get is, for the most part, coldly distant and reads like a tex
Kevin Ansbro
I would like to preface my review of this sprawling, multi-layered, fantastical novel by reiterating my deep admiration for Sir Salman Rushdie and his writing. The man is a literary deity touched by genius; he bites his thumb at social and religious taboos and laughs in the face of literary propriety.
Perhaps idealistically I approach each of his novels with the high expectation that he might one day recoup the enchantment of Midnight’s Children (his crowning glory). Sadly, this never happens.
May 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
You Ain't Ever Had a Friend, Never Had a Friend, Like Me
Rushdie's OutRaged Roaring: All Religions are Mere Fairy Tales, Believed Only by Dupes

I looked forward to enjoying a fantastic novel, with a premise full of promise. As it turned out though, I was repulsed by Rushdie's attempt to aim "brilliant" fire at all religions and their "wholly ignorant" followers. He misfired with what turns out, ironically, a preachy "fauxfun" in an allegorical tale a la Ali Baba. This tale (or, should I say, platf
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015

Everything is relative, one man’s absolute belief is another man’s fairy tale.

Our lives are stories encased in a giant Matryoshka doll. An endless saga of happenings that jumps narration from one brand of mystery to the next bland stamp in the potpourri of the decaying universe. Our timelines cross each other’s endlessly entwining with the myriad strangenesses that are our stories: our individual stories, the stories of the street we grew up on, our family stories, and so on. Human beings ar

Elyse  Walters
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Jinn's live in their own world. They are creatures of smokeless fire. They are separated from
our human world.

Jinnia, is a Princess that falls in love and marries a 'human'....
a philosopher named Ibn Rushd......They have many children with human power-
characteristics and Jinn powers, (fly, or slithering descendants - good- bad- and
uninterested in morality).
Jinnia, herself, has a special heart for humans, ...with a wise understanding between the differences that divide both worlds. She reaches
"All our stories contain the stories of others and are themselves contained within larger, grander narratives."

As a first draft, this playful adult fairytale of high jinx and low jinn promises much.
As a finished novel, it’s as capricious and shape-shifting as the jinn therein.
Enjoyable at first, but progressively less so.
I was glad when I closed the pages for the last time, with the hopeful finality of stuffing a jinn in a tightly sealed bottle.

The subject kept changing, and how could anyone
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2016
This book is magical in more ways than one, at times reminiscent of Saramago's modern parables or Bulgakov's the Master and Margarita, and very different to any of Rushdie's earlier novels. Having read it in an intense two days, it is probably too soon for me to assess it objectively.

At face value it is not the kind of story I would normally read - an apocalyptic fantasy in which the human world becomes a battlefield for competing jinns. The main reason it works (or at least held my attention)
Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
"In the end, rage, no matter how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged. Just as we are created anew by what we love, so we are reduced and unmade by what we hate."
- Salman Rushdie, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.


"This is a story from our past, from a time so remote we argue, sometimes, about wither we should call it history or mythology. Some of us call it a fairy tale. But on this we agree: that to tell a story about the past is to tell a story about the present. To recount
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Deliberately fantastical novel, consciously based around the power of storytelling and the mixing of human and spirit worlds in “1001 and 1 Nights”.

The story is actually narrated 1000 years in the future focusing on a period of 1001 days (shortly after the present day) when the jinn world suddenly breaks through into the human world causing chaos.

The book also goes back to the 12th Century and a dispute between two real-life Islamic philosophers: the pious theologian Ghazali of Iran (Renewer of
Althea Ann
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A dizzying, imaginative, philosophical mosaic of a novel. Of course, the title is a reference to "1,001 Nights" and, like that work, a major element featured here is stories - the stories that come down to us from history, and the stories that we tell ourselves.

Although the content is quite different, the 'feel' of this book reminded me quite a bit of Umberto Eco's 'Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.'

Narrated from an opaque utopia, 1000 years in the future, we are told of the great war that change
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
It's really intimidating to put up the first review on a Rushdie I'm just going to sit on this for a week or two until I have properly put my words and thoughts together.

I think the main thing we can take away from this is that jinni love sex.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Magical Realism? I would have guessed fantasy. This book really crosses the line from magical realism into fantasy. I love fantasy, but some people will care that this book is about imaginary creatures (jinnis) set in an imaginary world (a world with a veil between it and another world where magic and magical creatures can cross through from one to the other) which is the definition of fantasy fiction.

I have read books by Rushdie before and I was floored by the beauty of the language and his u
Ron Charles
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
According to Salman Rushdie’s new novel, most of what we know about genies is wrong, which makes me worry that I may have spent too much time watching Barbara Eden. The harem pants, the wish-granting, that eager “master” talk — turns out, it’s all pure fantasy. “It was extremely unwise to believe that such potent, slippery beings could have masters,” Rushdie writes. And we’re not even using the right term. “The name of the immense force that had entered the world was jinn.”

Those fiery, smokeless
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Gotta admit, Salman Rushdie's brand of self-indulgent fanciful fiction will probably never win 'Best of' awards from me (in fact, the only reason I bothered reading this was my recent obsession with his ex-wife, "Top Chef"'s host Padma Lakshmi, to try to {however vicariously} live through him). There was enough here to appreciate his Pynchon-esque intellect, but this modern day update of the timeless "1001 Arabian Nights" fell somewhat flat for me. The whole time I was reading this I was constan ...more
Nita Kohli
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
*I got an advance copy of this book from the publisher in return of an honest review

Finally done with this book!! I would have completed it way back had I not been super-busy and tired. So, it took me a lot more days than I usually require to finish a books of this size.

Coming back to the book, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is the latest book from the renowned author Salman Rushdie. His book Midnight's Children is the only book that has received more than one Booker Prize. This
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This is a hard one to write a review for. I think this is going to be yet another one where I sort out my thoughts as I'm writing.

At first, this was a four star book. The premise is interesting, the idea of using jinn is interesting since I've never read a book with them in it and know very little of the lore, the character Dunia is another interesting one. There were so many interesting tid-bits in the first story/chapter that I was really looking forward to reading this, even disappointed when
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This is the story of a jinnia, a great princess of the jinn, known as the Lightning Princess on account of her mastery over the thunderbolt, who loved a mortal man long ago, in the twelfth century, as we would say, and of her many descendants, and of her return to the world, after a long absence, to fall in love again, at least for a moment, and then to go to war. It is also the tale of many other jinn, male and female, flying and slithering, good, bad, and uninterested in morality; and of th
There is no other writer like Rushdie out there. He has a perfect combination between the understanding of Oriental and Western philosophy, myth and modern developments. This allows him to web together stories that include Facebook, but also jinni spirits from the olden days. You get the feeling that his worlds are, in fact, so fantastic, that they are too fantastic. But this is what I love about his writing, and I'm sure a lot of people do: he does not get stuck in one single register. He doesn ...more
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
how were such things to be understood? it was easier to believe that Chance, always the hidden principle of the universe, was joining forces with allegory, symbolism, surrealism and chaos, and taking charge of human affairs, than it was to accept the truth, namely the growing interference of the jinn in the daily life of the world.
like an apologal avengers/peter pan mash-up with scheherazade as the origin story, salman rushdie's latest novel, two years eight months and twenty-eight nights is
Allen Adams
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

It’s no secret that the line between genre fiction and literary fiction has become blurry in recent years. The tropes of fantasy and science fiction have been embraced by many writers operating outside the confines implied by genre, leading to a richer and more meaningful experience on both signs of that increasingly-hard-to-see line.

Salman Rushdie has never been afraid to incorporate genre conventions into his own work. The author’s latest is “Two Years E
Paul Gleason
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Rushdie's novel is a headache-inducing regurgitation of his major themes, which were fresh in the late-1980s, but are now out of date. Metamorphoses abound, as does the blurring of fact and fiction. The worlds of fact and fiction blend, the wall that separates pop culture and high culture disintegrates. The dark world of faith-based fascistic religion battles the light of open-mindedness, art, storytelling.

Characters emerge with the frequency of a Dickens' novel, but they neither posses agency
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rich, thoughtful, fantastical, beautifully and masterfully written. A fable of a war between the earth and Fairyland, between humans and jinni, that is also a meditation on philosophy, religion, love, fear. Wonderful. Loved it.
Arun Divakar
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it
There was a literal flood of Russian publications in India during the 1980’s and 90’s. While this was a reflection of India’s leftist leanings, it later came to light that there was a ploy by Russian intelligence to sway young minds very early into the socialist/communist mind-set. Be that as it may, they were a big part of growing up in the 80’s and amidst the shining pages of a children’s book I had come across the picture of a matryoshka doll which still remains as a faded image within my min ...more
Ravi Gangwani
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic, children-books
When Micheal Jackson was dead on June 25, 2009. I closed my room, locked the internal sockets and wept because with for his death, a dream was closed. A dream to meet him, to tell him, to let him know that he was the first person who injected inside me the first germ of any form of art.

And now the second dream is lying ahead, shaping its face from hideouts into the locales of clouds - a dream to meet Sir Salman Rushdie and JM Coetzee.

If Sir Coetzee is my torchlight in finding the path to wisdom.
this book is one of those where you either love it or hate it, as rushdie in his latest book has turned to a story about good and evil through magical and supernatural and also the book feels a different telling of the arabian nights and the eastern stories we learnt as children but more adult version.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Salman Rushdie is hip. Somehow I always felt his books would be boring. Although I sympathized with the guy, and I admired his fighting spirit, I never read one of his books. He seemed sort of s Saint of literature. Well I was wrong again. This book is lively, often funny and beautifully written, its deep wisdom is woven into the story with expert grace.
Rushdie does not shy away from the fact that everyone knows his history and instead uses that to create another level on which this great novel
Lauren Stoolfire
Jun 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This is my first Salman Rushdie novel. I only listened to approximately 25% of the audiobook, before I realized I wasn't interested or invested in the characters or what was happening. It's quite dry and I was struggling to focus on it, which usually isn't a problem for me when it comes to audiobooks. Maybe someday I will try again in print. ...more
Paul Fulcher
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"This is what stories are, experience retold by many tongues to which, sometimes, we give a single name, Homer, Valmiki, Vyasa, Scheherazade. We, for our own part, simply call ourselves 'we'. 'We' are the creature that tells itself stories to understand what sort of creature it is. As they pass down to us the stories lift themselves away from time and place, losing the specificity of their beginnings, but gaining the purity of essences, of being simply themselves. And by extension, or by the sam ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2015
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

My interest in this author has been piqued by such an intricate and layered story. If I could sum it up with one mental image it would be with Russian nesting dolls. As I read it felt like each turn of the page brought on another layer of A story or THE story, because at any given moment there were multiple little wisps of stories circling around the main story. These little offshoots led me on a lot of ‘book closing it’s time to th
Once upon a time, in our own time...

Back in the 12th century, disgraced philosopher Ibn Rushd has a love affair with Dunia, who he thinks is a young woman of Jewish descent, but is actually a princess of the jinn. In these far-off days there are slits between the world of the jinn and our own world, and the jinn sometimes interfere with humanity, often wickedly, but Dunia is unusual in that she falls in love with a human and has children with him – many children, sometimes twelve or more at a ti
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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun

Articles featuring this book

His Favorite Books About Mythological Creatures: The magic realism master picks his top five in honor of Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight...
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“In the end, rage, no matter how profoundly justified, destroys the enraged. Just as we are created anew by what we love, so we are reduced and unmade by what we hate.” 32 likes
“At the beginning of all love there is a private treaty each of the lovers make with himself or herself, an agreement to set aside what is wrong with the other for the sake of what is right. Love is spring after winter. It comes to heal life's wounds, inflicted by the unloving cold. When that warmth is born in the heart the imperfections of the beloved are as nothing, less than nothing, and the secret treaty with oneself is easy to sign. The voice of doubt is stilled. Later, when love fades, the secret treaty looks like folly, but if so, it's a necessary folly, born of lovers' belief in beauty, which is to say, in the possibility of the impossible thing, true love.” 30 likes
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