NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An epic Don Quixote for the modern age, “a brilliant, funny, world-encompassing wonder” (Time) from internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • “Lovely, unsentimental, heart-affirming . . . a remembrance of what holds our human lives in some equilibrium—a way of feeling and a way of telling. Love and language.”—Jeanette Winterson, The New York Times Book Review
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND NPR
Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile, his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.
Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.
Praise for Quichotte
“Brilliant . . . a perfect fit for a moment of transcontinental derangement.”—Financial Times
“Quichotte is one of the cleverest, most enjoyable metafictional capers this side of postmodernism. . . . The narration is fleet of foot, always one step ahead of the reader—somewhere between a pinball machine and a three-dimensional game of snakes and ladders. . . . This novel can fly, it can float, it’s anecdotal, effervescent, charming, and a jolly good story to boot.”—The Sunday Times
“Quichotte [is] an updating of Cervantes’s story that proves to be an equally complicated literary encounter, jumbling together a chivalric quest, a satire on Trump’s America and a whole lot of postmodern playfulness in a novel that is as sharp as a flick-knife and as clever as a barrel of monkeys. . . . This is a novel that feeds the heart while it fills the mind.”—The Times (UK)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Salman Rushdie’s masterful piece of metafiction played with our imaginations on multiple levels. It tells the story of Indian American author Sam DuChamp, whose aged salesman character, Quichotte, becomes a funhouse mirror image of his creator. Rushdie nails a satirical style that’s light-fingered and lacerating at the same time, managing to lampoon just about everything that’s wrong with the world today and be charmingly witty about it. At the same time, he maintains a level of emotional complexity that drew us in and made us care about the flawed men at the center of his story.
Rushdie's rambunctious latest (following The Golden House) hurtles through surreal time and space with the author's retooled Don Quixote on a quest for love and redemption in an unloving and irredeemable U.S.A. In this story within a story, Sam DuChamp, author of spy thrillers and father of a missing son, creates Quichotte, an elegant but deluded, TV-obsessed pharma salesman who strikes out cross-country with the son he's dreamed into existence, to kneel at the feet of an actress by the name of Miss Salma R. Quichotte and son Sancho brave Rushdie's tragicomic, terrifying version of America, a Trumpland full of bigots, opioids, and violence. They experience weird, end-of-time events people turn into mastodons, rips appear in the atmosphere but also talking crickets and blue fairies offering something like hope. Allowing the wild adventure to overwhelm oneself is half the fun. Rushdie's extravagant fiction is the lie that tells the truth, and, hilariously, it's not lost on the reader that he shares this Falstaffian and duplicitous notion with none other than Trump (who is never named). Rushdie's uproarious comedy, which talks to itself while packing a good deal of historical and political freight, is a brilliant rendition of the cheesy, sleazy, scary pandemonium of life in modern times.