Amazon Best of the Month, June 2008
: Trying to describe a Salman Rushdie novel is like trying to describe music to someone who has never heard it--you can fumble with a plot summary but you won't be able to convey the wonder of his dazzling prose or the imaginative complexity of his vision. At its heart, The Enchantress of Florence
is about the power of story--whether it is the imagined life of a Mughal queen, or the devastating secret held by a silver-tongued Florentine. Make no mistake, it is Rushdie who is the true "enchanter" of this story, conjuring readers into his gilded fairy tale from the very first sentence: "In the day's last light the glowing lake below the palace-city looked like a sea of molten gold." At once bawdy, gorgeous, gory, and hilarious, The Enchantress of Florence
is a study in contradiction, highlighted in its barbarian philosopher-king who detests his bloodthirsty heritage even while he carries it out. Full of rich sentences running nearly the length of a page, Rushdie's 10th novel blends fact and fable into a challenging but satisfying read. --Daphne Durham
From Publishers Weekly
Listeners who can make sense out of this clear but unengaging readingshould win an award. Firdous Bamji employs the same technique throughout (pushing out chosen words in each phrase for emphasis), and the sentences begin to sound alike and the listening mind begins to wanders. It's hard to distinguish or care about the many characters, and Bamji doesn't help determine time or place as the book hops around in different eras and locations with abandon. But poor Bamji had a terrible task before him: the muddle of history, mystery, fact, fiction and fairytale in Rushdie's new novel would confound any narrator. A Random House hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 24). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.