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The Moor's Last Sigh Paperback – January 14, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679744665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679744665
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In The Moor's Last Sigh Salman Rushdie revisits some of the same ground he covered in his greatest novel, Midnight's Children. This book is narrated by Moraes Zogoiby, aka Moor, who speaks to us from a gravestone in Spain. Like Moor, Rushdie knows about a life spent in banishment from normal society--Rushdie because of the death sentence that followed The Satanic Verses, Moor because he ages at twice the rate of normal humans. Yet Moor's story of travail is bigger than Rushdie's; it encompasses a grand struggle between good and evil while Moor himself stands as allegory for Rushdie's home country of India. Filled with wordplay and ripe with humor, it is an epic work, and Rushdie has the tools to pull it off. He earned a 1995 Whitbread Prize for his efforts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This saga of a family whose history is interwoven with that of modern India, Rushdie's first adult novel in seven years, won England's 1995 Whitbread award.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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

Rushdie's novels are a great example.
TheEngineer
I sighed when it ended and opened it again to the first page and began reading anew.
Jody Kuchar
This book is quite simply one of the best I have ever read.
onlyone@data-design.co.at

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
In a careful and calculated manner, The Moor's Last Sigh leaps across four generations of a rich and demented Indian family, weaving an exquisitely-crafted tapestry of murder and suicide, atheism and asceticism, affection and adultery.
The first person narrator of this cynical yet mischievous book is Moraes Zogoiby, aka "Moor," who, seemingly unaffected by his asthma, spins his tale sitting atop a tombstone within sight of the Alhambra in Spain and pursued by a policeman named--like the holy city of Islam--Medina.
The centerpiece of this captivating and gorgeous novel is Moor's highly dysfunctional family, a Grand Guignol of good and evil, the deformations of the spirit wrought by love withered or love withheld and the beauty and violence of art, all representative of the tortured history of twentieth century India.
Moor, himself, is the champion of miscegenation and cultural melange, bastards and cross-breeds. Standing six and one-half feet tall, Moor has a withered right hand and, like India, he grows too fast, twice the rate of a normal human being. A thirty-six year old elderly man, still in love with a deceitful (and deceased) woman, Moor exhibits the body of a none-too-healthy seventy-two year old. His bloodline, too, is as crowded and diverse as India, herself.
Moor is the son of Abraham Zogoiby, a South Indian Jew who is probably the illegitimate descendant of Boabdil, the last Muslim Sultan of Granada and the celebrated artist, Aurora da Gama, a Christian claiming descent from the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama.
Abraham and Aurora's love first carries them to the dizzying, hyperbolic heights of fame and power, then plunges them into depths reminiscent of Lucifer's expulsion from Paradise.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Roger Brunyate TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
The prologue to this brilliant book opens "in this dark wood . . . in what ought to be the middle pathway of my life." The reference to Dante is but one of a number of literary allusions crammed into almost every densely-textured page, but it turns out to provide a key to the curious structure of this ambitious work, which is basically a violent family saga with the even more violent birth-pangs of modern India as its background.

Rather than starting in the Inferno, the book quickly rises to a sort of Paradise, and holds the reader there, enthralled, for the first two-thirds its length. Rushdie's fictional Gama-Zogoiby family mingles ancient bloodlines--Portugese, Moorish, Jewish, Hindu--and they come together in a sort of nuclear fusion. He writes in language at once false and true, brighter than Technicolor, spiced with pepper and coriander, erotic, witty, wildly inventive, and rich with more references than this reader can count.

In its last third, however, the book somewhat loses its élan. First, it plunges its eponymous hero into the Bombay underworld as a kind of living Hell. Then, in the deceptively simple writing of its final section, it uproots him from India and wafts him to a surreal vision of an Andalusian village overrun by expatriates, to end in a stateless Purgatory. It is an unusual journey for this modern Dante, but (as others have commented) it may reflect the author's own life since his exile. One feels his grief for India, his lost Eden.

Rushdie's title, besides being a multilingual pun (dernier soupir / last supper), is the name of a painting by the hero's mother, a famous artist.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Emilia Palaveeva on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
After the Midnight Children, I was a little reluctant to buy another Rushie book, fearing I will be disappointed. However, The Moor's Last Sigh is as magical as the first one I read. Rushdie once again takes the point of view of an extraordinary individual, from an extraordinary family to look at the world, India and the small circle of the narrator's family and freinds. This unusual perspective, however, instead of alianating the reader, brings him/her closer and provdes us with a clearer understanding of the grand, as well as the ordinary.
A powerful mixture of tragedy and comedy.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "stangenlord" on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
"The Moor's Last Sigh" begins promisingly set in the rich cultural melting pot, that was Portugese India. Rushdie has made it a habit to analyse India in bits and pieces, one at a time with each novel. It is now the turn of the Malabar and one of the earliest roots of colonial India, that has come to deserve his attention. The focal point of the story is Moraes Zogoiby, the nodal leaf of the da Gama-Zogoiby family tree, with enough colours in his blood to make a rainbow pale in contrast. It seems to be a faithful allusion to India's "royal family apparent" - the Nehru-Gandhi clan, members of whom are frequently and rather brusquely alluded to. Getting through the first 150 pages is a joy ride. For those who perceive the intricacies of Indian history, the allusions are stark and vivid.
As any experienced reader might expect, Rushdie chips in with his now-branded magic realism with references to the supernatural, the unknown, the ambiguous, the pathetic fallacies, and the coincidences with his bewitching word play.The story meanders, twists, turns and sometimes cascades in typical Rushdie style, as the scene cuts to Cochin, then to Bombay (Rushdie's Oedipus Complex??) and finally to Andalusia. You meet more startling characters, expose more personalities, descend to the dark dungeons of humanity, and gain an insight into the secretive, alternative world that deceives and betrays the posh, exterior facade. Again, characteristic to Rushdie is the hapless narrator, the insecure, victimised, ugly, yet omniscient incarnate who speaks to you in the first person.
Rarely, would you feel a Rushdian character very simple to comprehend.
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