peteg's blog

Salman Rushdie: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights.

/noise/books | Link

Kindle. Continuing my recent digging through Rushdie's oeuvre, I thought I'd try his latest novel. Unfortunately this one is even worse than his immediately previous effort, which at least had the benefit of some kind of historicity. This outing is something of a retread of his biggest success, Midnight's Children, but ruined with a comic book (or comic-book movie) structure: too many characters too shallowly drawn, so many useless; a trivialization of the universe of morality; thinly-masked lifting of current-day events and culture; ultimately too repetitious and just not funny. He paints New York City in grand Tom Wolfe style. Again he fails to rise to his own standards by not increasing the scope of the imagined world.

Some minor observations: Zabardast, while being an "awesome" sorcerer, is not Slartibartfast: even the iPhone knows the latter. Dunia sometimes appears as Christ in her indiscriminate affection for (some) humans. It is unclear why she is deemed "good" (apart from fighting for humans) or that she is a reliable vehicle for the side of "reason" as Rushdie presents it. No-one, apart from the gardener Geronimo, creates much of anything. Sex strikes are certainly in fashion.

Marcel Theroux.