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The Moor's Last Sigh Paperback – January 14, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
A powerful mixture of tragedy and comedy.
The Moor, the one from the title, seems to be the only character with perhaps a different idea of life. But as he tells the story of his life he never does much rather than navigate the waves created by those around him. His world is a duplicitous one in which those who love you hurt you the most; your biggest weight is your liberator; in which your lover might be your murderer and your best friend eventually your enslaver.
This is one of the most magical novels I've read in a while. I like that about it, a lot. In many instances Rushdie creates his own words as he creates his own worlds. The story has great moments; sort of like movies have great scenes... so many memorable lines that offer up that perspective on life.. the one practiced by many of those that surround the Last Moor throughout his life. I'll use those to wrap this up. I think it gives a good idea of the mood of the book (which I think is the point of the book... the actual story is too intertwined and loosely held together to explain).
"Abraham Zoigby was assaulted by fear... a sudden terrible apprehension that the ugliness of life might defeat its beauty; that love did not make lovers invulnerable".....
"Rejoice in what gives you grief. That which you would flee, turn and run towards it with all your heart. Only by becoming your misfortune will you harness it."......Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“The Moor’s Last Sigh” tells the tale of three generations of an Indian family that built its fortune in the spice trade. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bernie Gourley
Salman Rushdie does not need a positive review from another enthusiastic reader, but I want to go on record to say this is a remarkable book, weaving multiple stories in multiple... Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Warren
On of Rushdie's best, get out your dictionary even if you are a logophile.
I learned a lot about the history of Goa, India.
A typical Salman Rushdie constant change of time, dramatic personae and geographical location. One has to have a good memory
and a long time span in order to follow the... Read more
I have slowly been working my way through Rushdie novels and the book provided an interesting, though rather strange story. Read morePublished 8 months ago by James C. Casterline
I love Salman. <i> The Moor's Last Sigh </i> is a sweeping, time-tripping postcolonial epic about the dark and twisty history of the da Gama-Zogoiby clan that is Joycean in... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Christin M. Mulligan