#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“[A] torrent of endlessly inventive prose, by turns comic and enraged, embracing life in all its contradictions. In this spectacular novel, verbal pyrotechnics barely outshine its psychological truths.”—Newsday
Rushdie's fifth and best-known novel, as relevant as ever—the metamorphoses, dreams, and revelations of two men after their plane explodes in a hijacking over the English Channel.
One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.
Praise for The Satanic Verses
“Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Exhilarating, populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary . . . a roller-coaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination.” —The Guardian
"Fuelled by the author's roaring prose and negotiated via his own culturally divided self, the novel is a comedic wonder, at once silly and serious, generous and provocative. . . . One of the essential novels of the last century." —The Globe and Mail
Banned in India before publication, this immense novel by Booker Prize-winner Rushdie ( Midnight's Children ) pits Good against Evil in a whimsical and fantastic tale. Two actors from India, ``prancing'' Gibreel Farishta and ``buttony, pursed'' Saladin Chamcha, are flying across the English Channel when the first of many implausible events occurs: the jet explodes. As the two men plummet to the earth, ``like titbits of tobacco from a broken old cigar,'' they argue, sing and are transformed. When they are found on an English beach, the only survivors of the blast, Gibreel has sprouted a halo while Saladin has developed hooves, hairy legs and the beginnings of what seem like horns. What follows is a series of allegorical tales that challenges assumptions about both human and divine nature. Rushdie's fanciful language is as concentrated and overwhelming as a paisley pattern. Angels are demonic and demons are angelic as we are propelled through one illuminating episode after another. The narrative is somewhat burdened by self-consciousness that borders on preciosity, but for Rushdie fans this is a splendid feast. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; first serial to Harper's; BOMC alternate; QPBC alternate; author tour.
I found this book to be very deep, and I had to be aware of the characters who appeared in different times under different monikers. Often it was hard to recall characters who were introduced several hundred pages before, that popped back into the story. Rushdie is obviously a foreigner, who really comes from another world, really, compared to me. He uses so many Indian, Hindu, and Muslim phrases throughout that I was very glad to have the dictionary on my I-pad to help me out. His mention of stewardesses "with Canadian accents", made me shake my head. What in the world could he have been thinking when he wrote that? I am quite sure that no linguist in the World could present a "Canadian" accent.
All in all it was a pretty decent science-fiction work, and after reading it, I certainly don't understand what all the fuss and hoopla was about among the Muslim, Hindu, Islamic and other non-tolerant religious zealots. Those that got worked up about a little book like this take themselves way, way too seriously!