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Showing 1-10 of 186 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 434 reviews
on May 11, 2015
The Satanic Verses is arguably Rushdie's most famous book, perhaps because it was the one that landed a fatwa on his head, but this one is my favorite. Every, single, word, is delicious. As a warning, my mother, who is my best reader friend, found his style too florid. I, however, could soak in it until my fingers get pruny, and never get tired. If you like sagas, sarcasm, fated coincidences, and utterly beautiful, imaginative, lustrous writing, read this right away in case you get hit by a bus tomorrow. One of my top favorite books of all time.
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on March 13, 2016
Brillantly concieved and masterfully written, Midnight's Children is one of the great novels of the Twentieth Century. Written in the magical realism genre, the novel tells a mythic tale of the struggle for the soul of modern India. Set across the years 1916-1978, the story spans 31 years before and after the narrator's birth at midnight on 15 August 1947, Indian Independence Day. The narrator is one of five hundred and eighty one children born in the country at that day and hour. Each of these children is the personification of a mythic, religious, cultural, economic, or social aspect of India at that moment. Each is imbued with a magical gift. The narrator's gift is the ability to telepathically communicate with all the others. He founds the Midnight's Children Conference and...

Explictly, the story is about the narrator's life and those of his family and friends. Set against the backdrop of the history of the Indian Subcontenent in years mentioned above, the story employs historical events as well as the rich details and diversity of Indian culture to shape a fascinating story.

A novel to be savored. Highly recommended as is the excellent Audible Audiobook.
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on March 19, 2016
I found the descriptions of India and Pakistan colorful and rich in texture but the story was too disjointed and fantastical for me to truly enjoy. I found that I didn't really care for or about any of the characters.
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on June 9, 2013
Looking for a way to ease the monotony of the daily commute, I thumbed through the audiobooks on my iPod and settled on Midnight's Children. In about 90 seconds, Salman Rushdie made me feel more stupid than a season of Are You Smarter than 5th Grader? First, he says his favorite Indian authors are Charles Dickens and Jane Austin and he loved the Bombay description Charles Dickens gives. Dickens? In India? Then he says the birth of Midnight's Children started the year Indira Gandhi was indicted for election fraud and then activated emergency powers and began her series of crimes. Indira Gandhi was a dictator? And during that year, so-and-so, the founder of Bangladesh was murdered. The founder of Bangladesh was who? Was assassinated? Maybe I don't read enough.

This novel is amazing. It simultaneously transports me to a world so completely foreign I might as well be on Mars and prominently reminds me of the pains of poverty and petty politics in Cairo. Funny and disparaging, absurd and painfully real, I love it.
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on September 27, 2016
A beautiful book. Perhaps one of the most beautiful of all times. Its language gives me the chills; it's like a slow-paced water that makes its way through every crevice of my brain. I am not a native English speaker, but I'm so glad I learned this language to read Midnight's Children! I don't think its suave beauty and deep meanings can ever be fully translated!
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on January 10, 2012
Throughout Rushdie's novel the plot is complex and the character's conflicts rapidly producing. Rushdie displays an amazing talent for writing in this way. The numerous subplots told by Saleem Sinai, the narrator, form an overall character that is relatable with the reader. At times it even seems as if the narrator is speaking directly to the reader by describing his own life and mistakes as simply as if in a one on one conversation. It takes a true master to write this way without producing the impression that the narrator is pointing a finger in the readers face, accusingly or all-knowingly. Rushdie's style of writing is what, personally, kept me reading. Although the beginning of the book more of resembles a family tree and history book, the information is needed in the long run. After reading through "Book One" of Rushdie's novel, the book became immensely more interesting. The plot thickened. Tragedy started to befall the world once filled with magical realism. The wonderful Midnight Child blessing of powers is shown in a new light. The reader in "Book Two" and "Book Three" starts to feel the pressure that Saleem feels, as well as even some of the pain. (If the reader decides to commit to the book completely.) All in all, I loved the book. The writing style was fantastic, the characters were relatable, and the plot was complex enough to challenge my own skills. Yes, the book is difficult, but the effort put into reading it is worth every page. However, for any future readers I have some advice: 1) Keep a family tree of the character's relations to each other during "Book One". The tree would help when Saleem makes allusions to his past to explain a certain point or his own personal reaction to an event. 2) Brush up on the Indian Independence and the British-Colonial Rule. Islam and Hinduism knowledge would aid the reader too, but isn't as in demand as the ruling classes and how they stand in the terms of control over their freedom and way of life. Finally--3) Read the book while sitting in a favorite spot. The book's plot is too complex for reading on the bus or a few pages every few days. The reader needs to be totally invested in the book and be willing to put in the time.
For all of Rushdie's future readers, enjoy the novel!
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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 September 2, 2015
Rushdie's books are always a challenge and this one was the hardest one that I have read. That being said, he gives excellent views on the Asian world from a personal standpoint. His narrative about the birth of Indian and Pakistan were very vivid and revealing to someone who has just read a few lines in a history book about these major events. He had covered living in every place from a well-to-do home to a slum shack. He makes allusions back and forth in time that can be confusing. Despite it being a labor to get through it, after I finished this book, I appreciated it for being an amazing narrative.
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on April 22, 2016
I love Rushdie and was looking particularly forward to this, the “Booker of Bookers.” And it was good, don’t get me wrong, but I did feel let down by how it all flowed together by the end. Part of the issue is the tremendous amount of foreshadowing Rushdie indulges in. If the plot eventually lived up to all the foreshadowing, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but it felt as if he almost threw in the towel towards the end of the book. The characters were fascinating, Rushdie’s language was hypnotic. But the ending (and the resolutions for multiple characters) left me wanting more, it was so unsatisfactory.

It’s sweeping, it’s beautiful, but each chapter seems to promise something that never comes to pass.
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on February 13, 2013
Despite its rave reviews, the author's Wwiting style or "voice" in which every sentence contains a multiplicity of parenthetical ,sometimes extraneous, statements forced me to abandon the novel as slogging through the maze was just too tiring to be enjoyable.
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