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Midnight's Children Hardcover – Import, 1994

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First Edition edition (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022401823X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224018234
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,643,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Salman Rushdie is the author of many novels including Grimus, Midnight's Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor's Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown and The Enchantress of Florence. He has also published works of non-fiction including, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz and, as co-editor, The Vintage Book of Short Stories.

He has received many awards for his writing including the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Customer Reviews

Much has been written about the unique writing style of Salman Rushdie and Midnight's Children.
I won't go into plot details too much because they've been repeated many times over and I doubt I'll have something to add that hasn't already been said.
Rahul Oak
I imagine this is a book that you could read over and over and still find something new each time.
Avid reader,

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader, on June 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is, in every way, a perfect novel. Both humorous and heartbreaking. I found myself deeply moved and very suprised that I enjoyed this novel as much as I did. I have never been very interested in Indian history, and knew close to nothing about it. But upon reading this novel, I found myself drawn into the rich fictional history of the Aziz family, as well as the equally rich history of India. Rushdie may have ruined reading for me, as every book I read will now have much higher standards! Not for light reading, though. I imagine this is a book that you could read over and over and still find something new each time. This is a tough novel, and it takes a lot of work to truly "get it". The only reason I stuck with it is because I had to for class. But it was very rewarding in the end. The novel reveals itself in layers, with recurring themes and motifs that grow in extremely deep and powerful meanings. The character of Saleem, self-described savior of India, is one of the most memorable characters to have graced the pages of a novel. I have heard some people say that this book is a let down in the end, as though it never comes to a full climax. In answer to that: I felt that was the whole point. Saleems dreams are always dreams, they are never completely realized. The language is beautiful and lyrical, and the plot is highly detailed, as though each sentence was carefully planned. Rushdie may be the ultimate architect of this century when it comes to plot building. As a writer myself, I was both green with envy and speechless with awe over this novel. I have never read anything else by Rushdie, but now I definitly plan to!

A couple of tips:

1. There are many different characters, so you may want to make a family tree to keep track.

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145 of 158 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on April 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Towards the beginning of this book, there is a minor character who is an artist whose paintings have grown huge because he keeps trying to fit life into them. He mourns because he'd wanted to be a miniaturist, but instead has elephantiasis. Even though the character never recurs, I thought about him through the huge landscape of this book.
Rushdie has the eye for detail of a miniaturist, but writes in epic sweeps, fitting in countless lives and actions. If done badly, this would have been nearly impossible to read, but the execution is brilliant and instead gives the impression of a huge rich tapestry running by like film.
The book is about the Midnight's Children (children born in the first hour after the birth of India as a nation) and their erstwhile leader Saleem Sinai. It traces him (and them) through childhood, the creation of Pakistan, and beyond. Even though the events are crucial, to have an understanding of the plot won't give you any help with the book.
My advice to people attempting Midnight's Children is to not worry too much about catching and understanding every detail. Yes, knowing more about Indian history will make certain things clear (although it may obscure others), but there's so much here that it isn't really necessary. I already know that this is a book I'm going to re-read, and that will be the chance to pick up missing pieces.
One of the highest of recommends.
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149 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Damian Kelleher on April 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Midnight's Children is considered to be Rushdie's masterpiece; it won the Booker Prize, and then, in 1993, it won the 'Booker of Bookers', ie the best book to have won the Booker Prize in the first 25 years of the award. In addition to this, Rushdie's reputation is not built upon his literary merits so much as the surrounding controversy of another book, The Satanic Verses, which all but condemned him to years of hiding and constant moving about in an effort to escape fundamentalist Muslim assassination-attempts.
The premise for this novel is amazing. At the stroke of midnight on August 15th, 1947, India achieved independence and became a valid country, free from the shackles of Britain. One thousand and one children were born in the hour from midnight to 1am, one thousand and one children with magical powers, the potency of which increases the closer the child was born to midnight.
The narrator, Saleem Sinai, was one of two children born on the exact stroke of midnight, and throughout the novel various allusions to yin and yang, good and evil, up and down, et cetera are made between Saleem and Shiva, the other child, but unfortunately nothing really comes from this. Although mentioned often and with great vehemence on the part of the narrator, Shiva never really came across as a 'bad guy', or even someone that should be worried about at all.
The story meanders through thirty odd years of life before Saleem's birth, detailing the lives and idiosyncracies of his parent's and grandparent's adventures, which, admittedly, are described with great sweeping motions and tantalizing literary strokes. Sentences marvel, paragraphs sing with wit or beauty, but...what was the point?
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kimmich Mathias on April 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Midnight's Children" is the first Rushdie book I've read, and only the second one by an 'exile Indian'. I'd heard so much about Rushdie's literary talent that I went off and bought it.
At first I was a little disappointed, I must say. Rushdie's prose at the beginning of the book is clever, intelligent, witty - but it didn't touch me emotionally. I very much enjoyed reading it, but I wasn't too interested in what was going on.
Then, before I'd noticed it, I was hooked. From the moment the narrator actually became a protagonist, I was involved in the plot. Driven on by the dozens of hints and foreshadowings, I simply had to know what would happen, and I began to care about most of the characters.
More than that, Rushdie's novel is a rich tapestry of politics, magic, metaphor; there's so much imagination in this book, but it doesn't become overladen as other novels sometimes do. The author juggles his multiple plot lines, characters and his version of history and India deftly, and for me reading this novel was a real joy.
P.S.: Some readers - and critics - have complained that Rushdie's India is not really India. So what? I believe that "Midnight's Children" can be enjoyed tremendously as an imaginative, clever, involving and intelligent novel. Why look for the 'truth' in it? While some readers with a limited knowledge of the country might take this novel's geography and history as 'the real thing', I don't think you should judge literature by its readers.
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