Koen Crolla's Reviews > Fury

Fury by Salman Rushdie
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction

The characterisation of Fury as Rushdie's American novel is exactly right, though while it is an above-average American Novel, it's below-average Rushdie.

At this point I guess I've called most of Rushdie's novels below-average, so maybe I should pin down what I don't like about them. To call Fury self-indulgent may be meaningless (it is, of course, but so were Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses, both of which I'd rank among the five best novels of the 20th century), and to call it shallow and boring probably isn't very informative in its own right. Maybe my problem with it is that, like in Shalimar the Clown, he's trying to write from an insider's perspective of a world to which he himself is very much an outsider — in Shalimar that was war-time and post-war Europe, here it is New York. Or it may be his abandoning of (explicit) magical realism in favour of tedious, modernist realism.
I don't even know if it's just specific novels of his I have issues with or if it's some fundamental aspect of his evolution as a writer after The Satanic Verses (hundreds millions of petty bullies wanting you dead can't be good for a person's mental balance). Maybe I should read Grimus and/or Shame.

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