The iconic masterpiece of India that introduced the world to “a glittering novelist—one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling” (The New Yorker)
WINNER OF THE BEST OF THE BOOKERS • SOON TO BE A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time • The fortieth anniversary edition, featuring a new introduction by the author
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Forty years after its publication, Midnight’s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
Saleem Sinai, born at the exact moment of India's independence from Britian in 1947, finds himself forever tied, geminate, with his native land. What follows is a dizzying array of characters and events. True to his Magic Realist tendencies, Rushdie is facile with reality, bending it to suit his purposes.
Be warned, Rushdie polarizes his readers. Most either love or hate his work, with little feeling in the middle. And this effect is not limited to the political turmoil forever surrounding him. He is one of our most successful, unapologetically cinematic writers — which is why those turning up their nose usually do so with the complaint that the writing is 'too visual'.
While "The Satanic Verses" made Rushdie infamous, it was "Midnight's Children" which first made him famous. This is Rushdie's best book, with the very different "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" running a respectable second place.
Expect a brocade of Indian culture, high and low. A Dickensian cast. Long dense passages filled with some of the most arresting prose in modern times. Also expect the experience to be funny. And if not funny, then at least very, very fun. This story is a beautiful dream. Don't bother too much with the details, at least not on the first read. It's not a hard book. Reader's of Pynchon will find this easy-going. Garcia-Marquez is perhaps the closest in voice to Rushdie.