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East, West

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  6,286 ratings  ·  430 reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

A rickshaw driver dreams of being a Bombay movie star; Indian diplomats, who as childhood friends hatched Star Trek fantasies, must boldly go into a hidden universe of conspiracy and violence; and Hamlet's jester is caught up in murderous intrigues. In Rushdie's hybrid world, an Indian guru can be a redheaded Welshman, while C
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1998 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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Stelleri I don't find it in online dictionaries, so it may well be one of Rushdie's neologisms, which are abundant in the story. …moreI don't find it in online dictionaries, so it may well be one of Rushdie's neologisms, which are abundant in the story. (less)
Mystic Milk Just my idea, but it's kind of a hilarious story that reads like an old-school fairy tale because the holy hair clearly has a mind of its own! The mon…moreJust my idea, but it's kind of a hilarious story that reads like an old-school fairy tale because the holy hair clearly has a mind of its own! The moneylender/father is not a nice dude and takes the hair for himself despite knowing that it was stolen from the temple. The hair, which is pretty terrifying, then sets about making right of things (by getting rid of all the bad guys basically, and performing various miracles of healing on others). But this is interpreted/experienced as traumatic by people involved because their twisted perspectives don't allow them to discern good/bad appropriately for the most part.(less)

Community Reviews

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Lisa
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my husband in a hosptial in India, after he had an attack from his leukemia. I read this series of short stories to him as he lay in his hospital bed. He was very ill in a foreign country, and despite these very frigthening circumstances, we laughed till we cried, convinced that this book could speak to no one else in the world more directly than to us.
Edita
‘Home’ has become such a scattered, damaged, various concept in our present travails. There is so much to yearn for. There are so few rainbows any more. How hard can we expect even a pair of magic shoes to work? They promised to take us home, but are metaphors of homeliness comprehensible to them, are abstractions permissible? Are they literalists, or will they permit us to redefine the blessed word? Are we asking, hoping for, too much? As our numberless needs emerge from their redoubts and pres ...more
Velvetink
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read, india
Enjoyed the Indian "East" short stories tremendously. Somehow did not relate much (actually not at all) to the "West" stories - somehow in those, felt he was trying too hard to impress when simple is what he does best - although since I've not read Rushdie before have no clue what he does best but that was my impression - that he was trying to capture an audience not familiar with him... Maybe I failed to see the message of the collection?. "Yorrick" just didn't seem to fit in with the other the ...more
Smriti
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I kind of breezed through this one.

East, West is a compilation of short stories written by renowned author - Salman Rushdie. This is my first book by him. I know - it's a travesty, blah blah blah. But I got my chance this time and I went with it.

Honestly I was a little nervous about how I would take to Salman Rushdie's writing style. I had heard much about it and didn't want him to disappoint me.

I wasn't.

The book divided into three parts - East, West and East, West were absolutely delightful
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Luís
These novels are very varied. There are some very short and relatively long; in some, we find the usual writing of Salman Rushdie and the pleasure of reading it, as in others we are dealing with a kind of oriental tale, as is the case with "The hair of the prophet". ...more
Tanya Lohia
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read 'The Prophet’s Hair' by Salman Rushdie from this book, and it has a good theme, but a very dark meaning. The story is written in Magic Realism like many other works by Rushdie. The story line and the way Rushdie is portrayed it is extremely negative. It shines a dark shadow on any form of religion, specifically orthodox Islam. Although I support freedom of expression, it is unjustified when what someone expresses explicitly attacks a particular set of people or beliefs and that is exactly ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yash Ghei
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Salman Rushdie uses a vast array of sophisticated narrative techniques to clarify his views about religion and its apparent stronghold on an individual’s life. The Prophet’s Hair has an almost satirical theme, often mocking individuals who absorb themselves into the world of religion. While some might perceive this as offensive and demeaning, the point of the story remains valid. Through the short story, the reader is shown a glimpse into a man whose world is run by religion, and it tries not to ...more
Esther | lifebyesther
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: asian-authors
GENERAL:
- short story collection
- enjoyable but not the most amazing
- some stories were more engaging than others
- common theme: the desire for transcendence

LIKES:
- pacing of each story, as well as the overall collection, was great.
- Rushdie displayed an impressively wide range of writing styles.
- each story had amazing endings that were punchy and left me awed.
- "Harmony of the Spheres" was one that moved the best. Captivating beginning. Plot that moves forward (but doesn't rush). Strong ending
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Mobyskine
My first of Salman Rushdie and I'm quite nervous about it. Heard a lot about this author and been thinking to try out reading a book or two by him but haven't had a chance, yet. But luckily I got this short stories book from the Big Bad Wolf so I guess it will do as my first reading from Salman Rushdie.

The book separated to three part-- East, West and East, West. I really love the East part, enjoyed reading all of the 3 stories-- narratives were gripping, took me into a journey of cultural and t
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Yeshi Dolma
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good collection of short stories, couple of which bordered into fantasy - which to my greater delight and surprise - I enjoyed! This book has three parts - East, West, East-West, with very different writing styles. East was a collection of stories which very much reminded me of someone like Manto - the writing style of his translated work. The themes/stories not as evocative for me. 3/5. Though the story 'the prophet's hair' in East collection was a giant ball of absurdity which I enj ...more
Tzurky
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has three parts with 3 stories each. Thankfully, I have pretty similar feelings about the stories in each part so I won’t have to do a review of each story.

I loved the stories in the “East” part (5 stars) because they were very atmospheric, at the same time grounded in the not always rosy reality and somewhat distant, blurry, archetypal. I don’t want to use the term magical realism because it wouldn’t fit, but I had much the same feeling, that the stories were not about real persons bu
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Sam! at the bookstore
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for a way to dive into Indian-British writing with some short stories
Rating: 4.5 stars

Okay. Rushdie is just a master.

These short stories had so much depth to them, and I loved that they were still enjoyable to read. You think you're getting these fun stories about fantasy and reality, but in fact each one had its own unique message. My favorites are The Courter and At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers, though each story had its own merits.

An enjoyable read overall! I will note that I am glad I was able to talk about most of the stories in class, because otherwise
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Blake Roche
Mar 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Umm...no. I'm not really a fan of writing just for the sake of writing, and this really is a great example of that. These short stories have no purpose - filled with bland characters and high-writing just for the sake of having something down on paper. I thought the East stories were annoying, but the West stories were even worse - confusing and pseudo-high-minded and heavily worded. Not worth the read (I actually couldn't even finish it - had to skip the last fifty pages or so...on with life.) ...more
Chris
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
"East, West, home's best." -- 19th-century proverb *

If one has a foot in two regions where then is home? In these nine short stories -- three published for the first time in this collection -- Salman Rushdie explores the disorientation that some experience when cultures collide.

These aren't polemical essays, however, but character studies, thumbnail sketches which allow us insights into individual lives with all their comforts and dilemmas, and as such are a joy to read. They include vignettes,
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Chaitra
An early collection of geographically separated stories by Salman Rushdie. Comprising of three stories each for the segments East, West and East and West, it's an easy read, but not exactly satisfying. I would have rated it lower had it not been for the final story, The Courter. The story of a hall porter and "courter" of the narrator's ayah Mary, it is borrowed from Rushdie's own complicated life. It has shades of Midnight's Children and some of its poignancy. As such, it is the only one that r ...more
James
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some duds ("Yorick," "Columbus,") but most of these stories show that Rushdie could have a solid career as a short-story writer if he wants to give up the novels. As the stories stretch out, they do get better; "Chekov and Zulu" is quietly tragic and the line in "The Courter" about his mother and grandmother getting robbed by the Beatles is loudly funny. Overall the "East, West" stories are the best, the "West" stories aren't generally as good, and the "East" stories fall somewhere in the middle ...more
Susmita Kundu
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a collection of 9 short stories divided into 3 sections East, West and East, West. The stories in the first two sections are uniquely Eastern and Western respectively, meaning that their settings, characters and contexts uniquely belong to the life and lifestyles of the Eastern and Western hemispheres. In the last section East, West, the characters get pulled in both directions (most of them having migrated from the East to the West) and they have to choose, with a somewhat heavy heart, ...more
Sarah
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rushdie is such a beautiful writer. I normally don't read short stories, as I can't help but feel that something is missing, but these stories were full, meaningful, and blended together so well to create a larger understanding of the book's themes of location, home, immigration, culture, and belonging. ...more
Shameema
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
East, West is an interesting and thought-provoking anthology of short stories by Salman Rushdie. I am unsure if this is unprecedented having stories collated under cultural tags, namely East, West and East-West. While the tactic is crude perhaps there is a message in that too.

Like many I preferred the East stories better than the West and thought the the East-West ones to be the finest of the lot. Locations range from scenes at a UK embassy in India to the heavenly gardens of Shalimar in urban
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Ishaan Pathak
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sohila Samuel
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
The excerpt 'The Prophet's Hair' from East, West by Salman Rushdie, looks at the theme of religion and how its over-influence can prove to be harmful to one self. Salman Rushdie, though he was Muslim, was against religion and uses this story to get his point across. He makes the story interesting with a gripping plot line and the conflict of getting rid of the 'prophet's hair'.

Through this short story, Rushdie explores the theme of religion through the metaphor of the 'prophet's hair'. In this s
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Jeongukim
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review is about "The Prophet's hair", one of the chapters in the book "East, West"
Briefly, the story involves a relic that is Muhammad's hair. This was stolen from Hazratbal mosque in Kashmir, and following tragedies from one's greed. I've never read or heard of Salman-bhai before. However, as I began to read this book in class, I've gained more interest in reading his writing. I'd like to give some opinions about this chapter.
Salman-bhai's style of writing is very descriptive but also meta
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Deea
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This is an average book: some of the stories are boring, but to the subject, others are written in an interesting way, but they lack something...I couldn't put my finger on this "something" and identify it. I expected this volume to be something else, but it wasn't. In fact, I think that the intention of the author was to create 3 kinds of stories: the ones specific to the East, the ones specific to the West and the ones specific to the Indians that are living abroad, but miss their customs and ...more
Aasem Bakhshi
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
He is not at his best here, though he tried real hard; my personal parameter of Rushdie's best is Midnight's Children on the scale of his usual classical narrative and craft, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories on the scale of sheer storytelling. Perhaps some of the stories, especially two really odd ones in the 'West' failed to hit the cord because he tried too hard to carry a craft he is not good at; consequently, the narrative comes out as a fragmented assortment, which is neither imagination n ...more
ReadingThroughtheLists
This was my first time to read Salman Rushdie and I was thoroughly impressed. His command of language is masterful and extensive. The 'East' stories were probably my favorite as they had the most traditional format. In 'West', Rushdie began playing with language and setting a little more, and some of them were difficult for me to understand. 'East, West' stories were good, but depressing. But that I think, is just my fault, because I like happy endings.
Favorite stories: 'Yorick', 'Auction of the
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Patty
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A book of short stories, three focusing on the "East", three focusing on the "West", and three mixed between the two. I think I prefer Rushdie in the short story format; at least, I liked this book much better than the novels of his I've read. I found the three "West" stories particularly interesting. Each one focused on an aspect of what you might call modern Western mythology (Shakespeare and Hamlet, The Wizard of Oz, Christopher Columbus), but twisted and turned around, and retold in his usua ...more
Meghan
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little book provided a special experience. The first four stories were definitely my favorites, so after those I couldn't help but find that the remaining jewels in the collection less lustrous. But they were jewels nonetheless.

From my experience, I'd say Rushdie's short stories are more accessible than his long fiction. But whatever you chose to read of his, it's worth it. So just go at it.
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GONZA
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc, mooc
Very good short stories about the east, the west and all the people in the middle. Just to show that even if the context are different, people are all the same.

Brevi storie sull'est, sull'ovest e tutte le persone che si trovano in mezzo. Il modo giusto per mostrare che, anche se il contesto é differente, le persone sono sempre le stesse.
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Roxana
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Rushdie book ever read, and all I can say is that i am very happy for choosing this lecture on a calm Friday afternoon.

The stories are well-written (I have mosly enjoyed the first part - The East, but overall the book is great anyway) and Rushdie knows how to combine words in an excellent mix of a true born story-teller and an exotic thinker.

5/5 stars!
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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
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