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Showing 1-10 of 193 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 446 reviews
on June 1, 2013
Having red the "Satanic Verses" a few years ago I definitely waited too long to pick up "The Midnigt's Children". For anybody who can appreciate the literature and prefers a gourmet meal to chicken fried steak- stop reading reviews and start this book right now- it is a masterpiece.

BTW - to those who give it three stars or fewer- I can only hope that they write something better and show us what a good novel should be- forgive my sarcasm.

Initially the book may not be the easiest too read, as although the story is told mostly in chronological manner, it is interwoven with obscure at the time glimpses of the future. In Rushdie's world everything is connected, no thing is too small or inconsequential. Ideas, objects and small events initially loosely connected shape Saleem's life. As the story develops everything starts coming together, making sense, no longer obscure. Therefore the book becomes easier and easier to read and even more engaging the further you get into it.

The reality and fantasy are tied together in this novel- typically for this author, fantasy serves to highlight and magnify the reality.

The life of the protagonist, Saleem Sinai is magically tied to the life of the nation as he is born in the exact moment when India is born as a nation independent from the British rule. In the same hour 1000 of other children possessing supernatural abilities are born in India.

Some say that the idea of magical children is not fully utilized by the author or perhaps even unnecessary, as the reality of the times is captivating enough. This is debatable, but in any case don't expect the magical children fighting villains, this is not Avengers or Fantastic 4. The extraordinary abilities of the children are more a curse and a source of misfortunes than they are a blessing as the world is not ready for them.

Superstition, backwardness of the adults, causes them to pass the suffering on the children. The adults "make children the vessels into which they pour their poisons" of unhappiness, prejudice and intolerance.
As the protagonist grows up, the insults from surrounding him adults and his own peers are replaced by much worse mayhem unleashed on him and the whole nation by the politicians and tyrants.

As such the broken life and body of the midnight's child becomes a mirror of what happens to the fractured nation, divided by languages, religions and political ambitions. In this aspect the novel is a powerful accusation and the author takes no prisoners, historical figures even the reverend ones come under the fire of his literary weapons.
Even though the optimism of the people is shown as a disease and completely unjustified the author leaves room for a sliver of hope- symbolized by the little Aadam.

The use of visions, prophecies, colors, objects loaded with meanings, historical events and psychological insights along with rich and almost poetic prose create a book that is full of impact and should not be passed.
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on February 27, 2015
At first I had a bit of trouble with his cadence... a few false starts with re-reads. When I relaxed and went with his stream of consciousness I could not stop reading. He repeats aspects but with each repetition he brings more clarity and color. It is helpful, I believe, to have a decent knowledge of recent Indian political history. He gave a soul to the body of what I know of 20th century Indian history.
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on July 3, 2017
A rich narrative that does not tax your memory. The story unfolds in your mind like a blossoming flower. The style is sophisticated but not pretentious. You feel your reading skills improving as you journey through this book.
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on September 14, 2014
A roller coaster ride of the ups and downs of Indian history with a deep unflinching gaze into the depths of Indian culture, this book is magical realism at its finest. Crafted skillfully by this masterful storyteller, the life story of the protagonist parallels that of a post British India. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the political and cultural history of India. Rushdie writes. Don't skip the introduction where he gives the details of his experience writing this book. I initially read it for a Modern British Literature class, then reread it for a book group. Enjoyed it as much the second time around and recommend a second reading to assimilate more of the detail of this fantastic, horrifying, delicious, hilarious, philosophical, deeply cultural tome..
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on July 13, 2014
I could not get through this book! It came highly recommended, I really wanted to love this book, and did enjoy 1st chapters.
Then I bogged down, and down. The writing became turgid, the tale endless. One of my favorite books " A Suitable Boy ", deals with the same period , at much the same length; the difference for me was I cared deeply for the characters in Boy, had no connection to the Children. Will go back and give another try, at some point, if I live long enough.
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on March 19, 2015
Confusing because of character having 2 or 3 names for the same person. Puts characters in without any background until much later in the story. His style is like "stream of consciousness" writing and I did not care for it.
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on May 11, 2014
This is the second time I have read "Midnight's Children" and this time I understood more but feel I have only begun the journey. I wish I knew more about the history of India and will try to do so in the near future. I love magic realism which Rushdie handles well. Many will have troubles with the multitudinous number of characters and their many new names so I recommend a quick check by using the internet. I blush to recommend this strategy but it helped me enormously! The text has some amazing sentences about memory and truth which I copied into my reading diary and there are a number of characters and incidents which are still wandering around in my mind ... which is a good sign.
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on May 21, 2014
I was lucky enough to travel to India last year, and in preparation I read as many novels from India as I could. This is a great story, well told, full of history, and at times very funny. It is a great history lesson and appealed to me also because I share the same birth year. Laughter and tears - the story of life. It contains elements of Magical Realism, which I loved in my all-time favorite book, One Hundred Years of Solitude. This was the first book I had read by Rushdie, there will be more in my future.
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on June 24, 2014
Be prepared for a wild ride. You must have a tolerance for suspending your short-term critical powers and a willingness to surrender to the author's imaginative ruminations and memory as he takes you through the 20th century history of India and Pakistan and his bizarre family story. Is it worth it? Yes. You will not ever forget many scenes, and you gain a deep appreciation for the culture of India and Pakistan (pretty relevant today!). Dopes it require tough reading skills and patience? Yes. You'll earn a "Croix de Guerre" for completing it. Breathless and bespattered, you'll emerge from the trench enriched. Go for it.
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on December 23, 2012
This is not your traditional book. The story is linear, but the author is not and thats what makes the book brilliant.
The story would be ultra bland were it not for Salman Rushdie's sheer brilliance & imaginative narration. There are many detailed reviews here.
If you've seen Quentin Tarantino's movies, you know to expect the outrageous being paraded nonchalantly. Thats what reading this book is like. Its like watching a Tarantino movie only that the subject is drama!
This book will test your patience with its size, but you wont forget it either.
The book is dripping with awesome prose, satire and drama.
Rushdie adds life to his characters in an amazing and ultra realistic way, each with their own flaws, idiosyncracies, way of speaking & thinking! This book is a must read for all book lovers.
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