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Haroun and the Sea of Stories Paperback – November 1, 1991
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So Iff the water genie told Haroun about the Ocean of the Stream of Stories, and even though he was full of a sense of hopelessness and failure the magic of the Ocean began to have an effect on Haroun. He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale. Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead, but alive.
"And if you are very, very careful, or very, very highly skilled, you can dip a cup into the Ocean," Iff told Haroun, "like so," and here he produced a little golden cup from another of his waistcoat pockets, "and you can fill it with water from a single, pure Stream of Story, like so," as he did precisely that.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Regarded by readers and critics alike as one of the master storytellers of the present day literary world, it is not surprising that Mr.Rushdie has conjured up a fantasy based on the world or rather the ocean of stories, named after the ancient Indian treatise Kathasaritsagar.
The protagonist Haroun Khalifa is a young boy who leads a happy middle class life distinct from the rich, poor, `super-rich' and `super-poor' people inhabiting a nameless sad city.
Haroun's father Rashid Khalifa is a famous story teller - the Shah of Blah with fabled oceans of notions, who often refers to the streams of story water he drinks to keep up the supply of wondrous tales that pour forth from within him. Haroun takes this as an eccentric statement by his father, and soon discovers that the ocean of stories indeed exists, and that only he could save it from total annihilation.
Haroun's world is suddenly taken apart when his mother elopes with their neighbour Mr.Sengupta, a mean clerk who had forever questioned the significance of Rashid's tales ('What's the use of stories that are not even true?') and Rashid loses his gift to spin wondrous yarns.Read more ›
The words flow and flow, lyrical and rhythmic, while spinning this beautiful fantasy. After reading the book, I find myself talking like the characters, chuckling to myself on the subway suddenly reminded of something in the book.
In fact, when I was reading this book on the way to work, I had people come up to me and ask "How is that?" (Which is unheard of, especially for New York Commuters!). All I can say is, "Just Delightful. Highly Recommend you read it."
I bought "Haroun" after a review (in the WSJ maybe?) and read it myself first, which made me rush through the book we had, just to start it. Their response, however, was unprecedented. They were _very_ moved by what I had thought was a really good book, but which they immediately took to like no other story ever.
I'm sure reviews of the other edition tell enough of the plot that I need not repeat anything here. (I don't know what, if anything, is different in the other; I recommend this one because I know it.) I hope it suffices to say that Rushdie's effort to write a good story for his own son has changed my kids' worlds. This is now the novel to which they compare all others they read or heard.
They were transfixed by Haroun's every move and they loved the fantastic characters ("But but but!"). They appreciated the wordplay, "P2C2E", and the arc of Haroun's journey especially. Their sentimental dad was moved by the ending and by the experience of reading it to his kids.
"Haroun" excited them like no story before or since.
Thank you, Mr. Rushdie.
Both my South Asian and western students feel like this story speaks to them with its singsong English idiom, likable young hero, easily accessible symbolism, strong elements of fantasy, and numerous allusions to everything from the Beatles to the 1001 Arabian Nights. I highly recommend this to anyone -- adult or adolescent -- searching for an engaging read that crosses cultural and genre boundaries.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's very good, and the plot twist at the end is very surprising. Also, it takes place in a very real world and teaches about life.Published 1 day ago by ANTOINE CYRUS
Awesome. This book was really good. Loved it so much. I suggest that you read this book because it was so good.Published 1 month ago
My daughter and I read this together. She loved it! (9 years old)Published 2 months ago by amazonjunkie1224
A good children's story. This is the first book I've read by this author. I'm not sure it's an accurate representative of his other works, but it was fun read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Happy customer
This is surprisingly good as a read-at-bedtime story for kids. My young son loved it, and almost a year after we read through it once we still talk about the characters and events... Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Snider
You want to read this book - it's so beautiful and imaginative - to me, this is perhaps the best example of Rushdie's literary genius.Published 3 months ago by Vampir