Michael's Reviews > Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
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it was amazing
bookshelves: unreliable-narrator

Fantastic, intelligent, hilarious, profound, and historically illuminating. And the narrator is deliciously unreliable too! Need I say more? I will. His sentences are the kind of energetic super-charged masterpieces that I could quote endlessly. Here's one plucked utterly at random:

"Into this bog of muteness there came, one evening, a short man whose head was as flat as the cap upon it; whose legs were as bowed as reeds in the wind; whose nose nearly touched his up-curving chin; and whose voice, as a result, was thin and sharp--it had to be, to squeeze through the narrow gap between his breathing apparatus and his jaw...a man whose short sight obliged him to take life one step at a time, which gained him a reputation for thoroughness and dullness, and endeared him to his superiors by enabling them to feel well-served without feeling threatened; a man whose starched, pressed uniform reeked of Blanco and rectitude, and about whom, despite his appearance of a character out of a puppet-show, there hung the unmistakable scent of success: Major Zulfikar, a man with a future, came to call, as he had promised, to tie up a few loose ends."
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 21, 2017 – Shelved
August 21, 2017 – Shelved as: unreliable-narrator

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

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Lisa I love it too! It is just a bit more than anything else I've ever read...


Michael That's exactly how I feel about it too, Lisa--it's just...more. Of everything!


Czarny Pies I like the fact that Parvati converted to Islam. It was a nice touch.


message 4: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie One day soon! Thanks for the extra motivation.


Michael Czarny wrote: "I like the fact that Parvati converted to Islam. It was a nice touch."

Yes, so many deft little touches throughout this book.


Michael Julie wrote: "One day soon! Thanks for the extra motivation."

Thanks, Julie! It's an amazing book. My first Rushdie, and certainly not my last.


message 7: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Great review, Michael!


Michael Thanks, Jaline! I appreciate the kind words.


Samra Yusuf thank you so much Michael,for restoring my faith in Rushdie with your 5 stars,and a simply splendid review!
I couldn't cross first 100 pages without feeling a mental dullness,now I must continue....:)


Michael Thank you, Samra! I do think it's worth continuing, and I'm also always conscious of the fact that certain books have right times and wrong times for reading them. Many times I've started a book and it just hasn't "clicked," but then I picked it up again later and suddenly everything made perfect, wonderful sense.


message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen You sold me with that sentence, Michael--thanks! I love long sentences full of details like that. I haven't read Rushdie yet, but now I realize I should hurry ...


Michael Thanks, Kathleen! I too love long engrossing sentences full of details, sentences you can get lost in but that never lose you, sentences that somehow maintain their energy through all that glorious unspooling of words and that press up against the ineffable even as they illuminate the mundane.... Enough! I could go on and on, but you know what I mean. :)


message 13: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Michael wrote: "Thanks, Kathleen! I too love long engrossing sentences full of details, sentences you can get lost in but that never lose you, sentences that somehow maintain their energy through all that glorious..."

Nice one--I love it! :-)


Haroon This is undeniably Rushdie's finest work...still one of my fave authors but think he has somehow lost his way after 'Ground beneath her feet'. His words are magical,indeed and his sentences carry one to a far off land that somehow feels like home and resonates to the core of one's being. Please read the next two in the so-called trilogy 'Shame' and 'Satanic' verses followed by the incredible 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' which is the quintessential anti-censorship novel and personal response to the Ayatollah's fatwa against him...


message 15: by Betsy (new) - added it

Betsy Robinson Darn, you've added another book to my TBR list, Michael!


message 16: by Ellie (last edited Aug 22, 2017 07:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ellie Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read The Satanic Verses although the thought of that one does intimidate me!


Haroon Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read The Satanic Verses although the..."

Satanic Verses is incredible - it is just - if not more than Midnight's - magnificent. it can be read alone....but do recommend reading 'Shame' as well as it follows on from Midnight's Children looking at the other sibling - Pakistan.


Michael Haroon wrote: "This is undeniably Rushdie's finest work...still one of my fave authors but think he has somehow lost his way after 'Ground beneath her feet'. His words are magical,indeed and his sentences carry o..."

Thanks you, Haroon! I too have wondered whether Rushdie is still producing great work, but I've got both Shame and The Satanic Verses on my bookshelf, and I appreciate your endorsement. I'll also have to pick up Haroun and the Sea of Stories, too! I appreciate the recommendation!


Michael Betsy wrote: "Darn, you've added another book to my TBR list, Michael!"

Betsy--I know, this is the blessed curse of Goodreads!


Michael Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read The Satanic Verses although the..."

Thank you, Ellie! I too want to finally read The Satanic Verses. Maybe we can read it together someday and it will be less intimidating that way!


Michael Haroon wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read [book:The Satanic Verses|12781..."

Thanks, Haroon. I do enjoy reading a number of books by the same author, especially if there are thematic connections between them, as it sounds like there are here.


Haroon Michael wrote: "Haroon wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read [book:The Satan..."

great stuff Michael..don't forget 'East West' his collection of short stories....together they capture life in South Asia as well as the diaspora that has come with what Louis Bennett i think it is calls 'colonization in reverse' - fantastic poem btw....let me look for it...

Original: Colonization in Reverse
By: Louise Bennett

Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie,
I feel like me heart gwine burs'
Jamaica people colonizin
Englan in reverse.

By de hundred, by de t'ousan
From country and from town,
By de ship load, by de plane-load
Jamaica is Englan boun.

Dem a-pour out o'Jamaica,
Everybody future plan
Is fe get a big-time job
An settle in de mother lan.

What a islan! What a people!
Man an woman, old and young
Jusa pack dem bag an baggage
An tun history upside dung!

Some people don't like travel,
But fe show dem loyalty
Dem all a-open up cheap-fare-
To-England agency.

An week by week dem shipping off
Dem countryman like fire,
Fe immigrate an populate
De seat o' de Empire.

Oonoo see how life is funny
Oonoo see de tunabout,
Jamaica live fi box bread
Outa English people mout'.

For wen dem catch a Englan,
An start play dem different role,
Some will settle down to work
An some will settle fe de dole.

Jane say de dole is not too bad
Bacause dey payin she
Two pounds a week fe seek a job
Dat suit her dignity.

Me say Jane will never find work
At the rate how she dah look,
For all day she stay pon Aunt Fan couch
And read love-story book.

Wat a devilment a Englan!
Dem face war an brave de worse,
But I'm wonderin how dem gwine stan
Colonizin in reverse.


message 23: by Ben (new) - added it

Ben Nice review! I do enjoy a good unreliable narrator. I've been meaning to read some Rushdie at some point, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I figure that it is best to start either with this one or "The Satanic Verses."


Michael Haroon wrote: "Michael wrote: "Haroon wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read..."

Thank you, Haroon, for those wonderful recommendations and this fantastic poem! I will definitely have to check out East West. The idea of "colonization in reverse" is a fascinating one, as it captures not just the notion of diaspora (the leaving from a place) but also the idea of destination (the coming to a place) and why that particular one.


Michael Ben wrote: "Nice review! I do enjoy a good unreliable narrator. I've been meaning to read some Rushdie at some point, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I figure that it is best to start either with this one..."

Ben--Midnight's Children was my first Rushdie, so I'm a little biased in thinking it's a great place to start. I'm glad you share my enjoyment of unreliable narrators! They're so wonderfully dodgy.


Haroon Michael wrote: "Haroon wrote: "Michael wrote: "Haroon wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want ..."

pleasure Michael....glad you enjoyed the poem and pretty sure you'll enjoy East-West too (",)


Ellie Michael wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read [book:The Satanic Verses|12781..."

It's a deal!


Michael Ellie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Ellie wrote: "Excellent review Michael. Loved the quote. This one is a favorite of mine: not as difficult as I feared and amazingly funny. Next I want to finally read [book:The Sata..."

Wonderful!


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

"Deliciously unreliable" :)


Michael T for Tongue-tied wrote: ""Deliciously unreliable" :)"

Ah, that's just how I like 'em!


Jason I am in enthusiastic, full-throated agreement with you on this one. I keep wondering what took me so long in plucking this pickle-nosed gem off the over-loaded bookshelf.


Michael I'm glad you agree, Jason, enthusiastically and full-throatedly! I wonder that myself, with so many books: what took me so long to encounter this? What pile of sand have I been hiding my head in?


Kevin Ansbro One of my favourite books, Michael. Sublimity in every paragraph.
So pleased that you enjoy Rushdie's delightfully overblown descriptive imagery (many people don't: it's the left-side/right-side of the brain bias).
Fab review!


Michael Thanks, Kevin! Yes, I do enjoy his rollicking prose--you've nailed it exactly when you call it "delightfully overblown." As an author you've got to have perfect pitch to pull it off, and Rushdie does.


Czarny Pies The Booker Foundation selected this novel as the best of its first forty winners. It is a major work.


Michael Thanks, Czarny, I had heard that. It's a well-deserved honor. As you say, this is a major work.


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