Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi Hardcover – February 18, 2010
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Celebrated Turkish novelist Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul) serves up a curious blend of mediocre hen lit and epic historical to underwhelming results. In present-day Boston, dull suburban mother and cheated-on wife Ella Rubinstein takes a job as a reader for a literary agent and becomes entranced by Aziz Zahara, the author of a manuscript about the relationship between 13th-century poet Rumi and Sufi mystic Shams that, for better or for worse, becomes a story-within-a-story. Aziz and Ella strike up an e-mail relationship, largely made up of Ella's midlife crisis and Aziz's philosophical replies. Meanwhile, Aziz's novel, Sweet Blasphemy, is occasionally interesting but mostly dull, weighed down by Rufi's and Shams's theological musings. Its better moments concern tangential characters; Rumi's son, Aladdin, who is resentful of his father's closeness to the mystic, and Rumi's adopted daughter, Kimya, whose doomed marriage to Shams is touching in a way Ella's failed relationship with her husband never manages. The rumblings against Shams reach a peak, and Ella and Aziz finally meet, tying the story lines together into a readable, if not enthralling, tale. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* As in her previous book, The Bastard of Istanbul (2007), Shafak, a courageous, best-selling Turkish writer, boldly links East and West in converging narratives. In present-day Massachusetts, Ella, an unhappy housewife on the cusp of 40, begins reading manuscripts for a literary agency, and soon finds herself exchanging personal e-mails with Aziz Zahara, a wandering Sufi photographer and the author of Ella’s first assignment, an enthralling novel titled Sweet Blasphemy. It fictionalizes the true story of the esteemed thirteenth-century Muslim teacher Rumi, who undergoes a profound transformation when the wandering dervish Shams of Tabriz, a renegade of strange and unnerving powers, comes to town. The two become inseparable, and as Shams shares the liberating “forty rules of love,” Rumi becomes a rebel mystic, the inventor of the “ecstatic dance” of the whirling dervishes, and a fervent and cherished poet. Under Aziz’s influence, Ella also breaks free of convention and opens herself to cosmic forces. Infused with Sufi mysticism and Rumi’s incomparable lyrics, and sweetly human in its embrace of our flaws and failings, Shafak’s seductive, shrewd, and affecting novel brilliantly revives the revelations of Shams and Rumi, and daringly illuminates the differences between religion and spirituality, censure and compassion, fear and love of life in our own violent world. --Donna Seaman
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Both of the parallel stories in this book were fascinating: the modern American woman grappling with a loveless marriage, and the spiritual bromance between Rumi and Shams in Turkey in the 1200's. I loved how the author braided them together.
Just as Hesse's "Siddhartha" is a mystical introduction to Buddhism, so is this novel a view into Sufi mysticism. And just as I felt emotionally transported by Hesse's masterpiece, so did I during The Forty Rules of Love. This is a rare accomplishment. I am very grateful to Elif Shafak for this gorgeous tale, so elegantly and masterfully told. It made me want to do further research into Rumi's poetry and Sufi thought in general.
I would like to tell Ms.Shafak what I liked about the book (in addition to an excellent story, useful quotes, an educational experience, and a few tears): I could hear each character telling their story in Their particular voice, allowing me to appreciate their point of view, without judgement. Which is a lesson from the book, and in human relationships.
“It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects.” ― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love
The tragic nature of both ancient and modern tales serves to highlight the joy of the Sufi message; all of us have divinity within and only need to search for it. The backdrop of life can be immensely distracting or just the right experience to follow this quest. It only depends on your point of view, some discipline and you can grasp hold of that lasting joy.
Shams, the iconoclast, who consistently destroys the empty notions which litter his faith, is a familiar figure to this Zen Buddhist reader. 'If you see the Buddha, kill him.' There is no general notion of Buddha that is of any use because we need to experience what he means at first hand. Only then can we understand his teachings fully. But that journey is entirely personal. Sufism puts across the same message and I find this very comforting.
Being a complete newcomer to Sufism, I have learned a great amount here and want to know more. Any book that has this kind of effect on me ranks very highly in my estimation.