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The Satanic Verses: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Salman Rushdie
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.59
You Save: $7.41 (46%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta ("for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies") and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie's powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.

From Publishers Weekly

Banned in India before publication, this immense novel by Booker Prize-winner Rushdie ( Midnight's Children ) pits Good against Evil in a whimsical and fantastic tale. Two actors from India, "prancing" Gibreel Farishta and "buttony, pursed" Saladin Chamcha, are flying across the English Channel when the first of many implausible events occurs: the jet explodes. As the two men plummet to the earth, "like titbits of tobacco from a broken old cigar," they argue, sing and are transformed. When they are found on an English beach, the only survivors of the blast, Gibreel has sprouted a halo while Saladin has developed hooves, hairy legs and the beginnings of what seem like horns. What follows is a series of allegorical tales that challenges assumptions about both human and divine nature. Rushdie's fanciful language is as concentrated and overwhelming as a paisley pattern. Angels are demonic and demons are angelic as we are propelled through one illuminating episode after another. The narrative is somewhat burdened by self-consciousness that borders on preciosity, but for Rushdie fans this is a splendid feast. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; first serial to Harper's; BOMC alternate; QPBC alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 954 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 067697063X
  • Publisher: Random House; Reprint edition (February 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KABDMA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,523 of 1,569 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Being a Moslem, and having recently returned from an extended stay in India, I read The Satanic Verses with keen interest and found that both of these experiences contributed immensely to my enjoyment of this complex work. It was a clever showcase of Rushdie's typically brilliant prose, and a thoroughly compelling read. But be warned: many of the jokes and references probably would escape the average Western reader (by average, I mean one not familiar with Islam or Indian culture).
That being said, I noticed that many reviewers here say they do not find the book offensive to Moslems, while simultaneously admitting their own lack of knowledge regarding Islam. As a fairly well-versed Moslem, I can impartially state that Rushdie repeatedly criticizes, and even ridicules, the Islamic faith, in ways both subtle and overt, throughout this entire book.
Did Rushie's criticism bother me? Not at all. Did it justify a Fatwa by the Ayatollah? Of course not. But can the book be reasonably interpreted as being offensive to some Moslems? Those who know the Islamic faith would be hard-pressed to argue otherwise.
Nevertheless, realizing that this is just a work of fiction by a gifted novelist, I enjoyed reading the book and recommend it to all my friends.
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242 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure magic February 10, 2000
Format:Paperback
The Satanic Verses has been dubbed (amongst many other things!) `the most famous book most people will never read'. If true it's is a real shame, because at the centre of all the extreme opinion that surrounds the book, the condemnation, acclaim and analysis, is an incredible and accessible novel far greater than the sum of its few controversial parts. Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha `crash land' together in England from India and are both profoundly transformed by the experience. Farishta begins to develop an angelic halo, while Chamcha metamorphoses into a cloven-hoofed devil complete with horns and bad breath. Both men suffer, in different ways, the brutality and indignity of their transformations in Rushdie's evocation of a tense and brooding London. Ultimately it is the `demonic' Chamcha who finds fulfilment by returning to India, the `angelic' Farishta is not so fortunate. Merging fantasy and reality, Rushdie uses the subversive excesses of `magical realism' to explore the demands of migration and how those demands can destroy the fragile assurances of identity and belonging most of us take for granted. Farishta is haunted by the nightmares of his lost Muslim faith, Chamcha by the impossible dream of reinventing himself as an Englishman. Through these and the experiences of other often outrageously conceived characters, Rushdie reflects on how people suffer, and are made to suffer, for the sake of a little certainty. If it all sounds a little heavy, don't be put off. Above all this is a great piece of story-telling, funny, extraordinary and completely absorbing. Rushdie works his usual narrative magic, writing on a grand exuberant scale that takes in everything from sex and death to flying carpets and hot wax, but also the delicate intimacies of desire and despair. Poignant and staggeringly imaginative, The Satanic Verses explores continuing cultural obsessions with purity and stability in a world increasingly lacking in either.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yaar, what happens when you win? October 10, 2007
By Nawfal
Format:Paperback
I am of the belief that Ruhullah Khomeini made his infamous fatwa against Rushdie (and this novel) based on one line in the book: "when the aga khan drinks wine, it turns to water in his mouth." This is a direct mocking of Ruhullah Khomeini and probably was the real reason for the fatwa. Khomeini fiercely wanted to be the grand marja' of every shia; he worked to gain supreme power in the form of a theocratic revolutionary. I believe Rushdie's comment was probably more stinging to his assumed authority than anything else in the novel. Picking on Islam would have united people under Khomeini (uniting against a common enemy), but attacking Khomeini would usurp his power and divide his support base.

This is not to say that the book does not have plenty of subtle and intertwined criticisms and twists on the Islamic faith. To understand these moments in the book the reader does need a fairly large knowledge of Islam. There aren't direct and pointed attacks, they are more so the settings of scenes, the ruminations of characters (particularly Salman the Persian). Many of these episodes which display twists on early Islamic history are presented as in a dream by a crazed Indian actor, Gibreel Farishta. So Rushdie never goes so far as to suggest that any of these sequences is even possibly true.

But to balance the above, are moments where faith and willing suspension of disbelief courageously overcome and succeed. Magical experiences which suggest that those who mock religion are actually the fools.

Rushdie's writing style can be a bit difficult, but once you get used to it, its very melodic and rich. The reader gets the feeling that Rushdie never rushes (!) his prose; there is never a hurried sense to his narrative. Aside from religious content, sex and violence are topics that are, if not explicitly detailed out, present continually through the book. The book isn't for easily disturbed readers.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, lyrical, creative December 1, 2000
Format:Paperback
An incredibly original and creative novel.
Many readers have been drawn to this novel by the provocative controversy which surrounds it. If you're reading Satanic Verses looking for a shocking denouncement you will likely be disappointed. Unless you're a scholar of the Islamic faith you likely won't understand what all the fuss is about.
I read this novel over ten years ago and have re-read it in bits and pieces many times since. Aside from the imaginative interwoven plot the most compelling feature of Verses is Rushdie's amazing lyrical writing style. Love him or hate him Rushdie is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant authors writing in the English language, and practically every section of prose could be enjoyed on it's own independent of the story. There is more word-play and double meanings is Verses than you could find in a dozen readings; every time you read a chapter you'll find something new.
Aside from a general interest in the various religions of the world I profess no great knowledge of the Koran, therefore undoubtedly there is symbolism in Verses that I missed/didn't understand. Some elements of this book that won't be accessible for the lay reader. But based purely on its creativity and masterful prose this book is a worthwhile, entertaining, and challenging read.
(A background note: Satanic Verses was the first Rushdie novel I read, and I promptly fell in love with his work. I subsequently read The Moor's Last Sigh and East West, and promptly feel right back out of love. Satanic Verses was the novel that Rushdie was born to write; in his lyrical prose, humor, and surrealistic mix of realism with the fantastic he creates an amazing work of art. Nothing he has written comes close. Unless you're a die-hard Rushdie fan, a scholar of Indian society and the interrelation between East and West simply read this novel and skip the rest.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars To really understand this book, one must read the ...
To really understand this book, one must read the entire Qu'ran. Only then can one have any hope of understanding the mind of Mohammed and the importance of the "satanic... Read more
Published 2 days ago by gary smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Hard to follow
Published 3 days ago by kathryn Ortlip-Bitner
1.0 out of 5 stars Rambling nonsense purposefully written to be controversial to increase...
Do not waste your time! The author attempts to interweave different story lines and fails miserably. Read more
Published 15 days ago by TT
4.0 out of 5 stars I am not sure why it became so hated by so many Islamic States
The book takes a moment to grasp Rushdie's complex storyline and sort through the British and Indian slang, but the effort is worth the time to both expand one's vocabulary and see... Read more
Published 23 days ago by fjness
1.0 out of 5 stars This Man is a FOOL
This guy just had no business writing this crap where he lived; in my opinion he was desperately looking for attention. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Ruminder Kalkat
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
It's impossible to have a favourite book, but if I had to pick, this would be it! The style is exciting and he treats the English language like some sort of malleable artistic... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Keroshin
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy to Read
Same opinion as I had on Midnight's Children...WONDERFUL book! I can't put enough words together to explain how much I enjoyed reading the brilliant Salman Rushdie books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beth L. Roe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read especially now with the difficulties in the Middle East.
Published 1 month ago by Robert C. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
best satirical writer alive...
Published 1 month ago by Clifford G.
4.0 out of 5 stars exceptionally well written novel
Some books become famous because they are controversial. This book may fit into that category, but it is also exceptionally written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by David W Wheeler
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