- Series: Bestselling Backlist
- Paperback: 561 pages
- Publisher: Picador; 1st Picador USA Ed edition (December 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312270828
- ISBN-13: 978-0312270827
- Package Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 460 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Satanic Verses: A Novel (Bestselling Backlist) Paperback – December 1, 2000
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"A staggering achievement, brilliantly enjoyable."--Nadine Gordimer
"[A] torrent of endlessly inventive prose, by turns comic and enraged, embracing life in all its contradictions. In this spectacular novel, verbal pyrotechnics barely outshine its psychological truths."--Dan Cryer, Newsday
"Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Voltaire's Candide, Sterne's Tristram Shandy . . . Salman Rushdie, it seems to me, is very much a latter-day member of their company."--The New York Times Book Review
"An exhilarating, populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary novel. A rollercoaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination."--Angela Carter, The Guardian
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For the average person who can get hold of this forbidden book, the surrealism, cultural, historical, religious context and vocabulary present a challenging read. I can see why devout muslims would take offence to the contents because a huge premise was based on the life of Prophet Mohammed, the interpretation of the Koran and the unquestioning attitude of the believers. For me this was such a riotous fun read with many many gems on life's observations. The million dollar question as I approached the end of the book was what was the final outcome of the fates of the two protagonists. The arch angel Gibreel and the horned devil Saladin.
Actually, there are two possible themes that are coming to mind. First is the pain of not belonging which is shown clearly by the lives of South Asian and black immigrants in London; and very poignantly by a character in India who earns his living as a clown. He was born a lower caste Hindu and to escape the pain of it converted to Islam, but he isn't even accepted in that world either. His only true companion is his pet bull who he dresses up and uses in his clown acts. The other possible theme could be the paradox of good and evil existing side by side. Gibreel Farishta's lover's father, a Holocaust survivor, says, "'...the most dangerous of all the lies we are fed in our lives,' which was in his opinion, the idea of the continuum. 'Anybody ever tries to tell you how this most beautiful and most evil of planets is somehow homogenous, composed only of reconcilable elements, that it all adds up, you get on the phone to the straightjacket tailor...'"
Yes, there is a destructive Mahound and imam who either themselves or whose helpers torture and gorge on innocent people, but that is a fact of life. I read several reviews in which the writers were claiming that Rushdie was being spiteful in writing this book, but even though I believe he knew exactly what were going to be the results of publishing it, I doubt he meant spite. An artist reacts intellectually and emotionally to the world around them, gets ideas, thoughts, tastes, and a writer is compelled to write them. However, I am waiting for someone to write a novel about a writer with only one successful book behind him, whose sales are diminishing, who makes an arrangement with a notorious religious despot that he will write a disparaging expose and the despot will put a fatwa on his head, thereby ensuring fame and fortune for them both by the sheer magnitude of the ensuring notoriety.