tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

India Book Review: Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie

If my memory is to be trusted I don't recall ever in my near-thirty-four years of life in the fortunate company of some of the best people in the world any one them uttering hinting gesturing that Salman Rushdie is his-or-her favourite most-loved best writer.

Having reread what is unswervingly credited as his best novel, Midnight's Children, here in India after first pre-dieting on other, mostly non-fiction books of subcontinental history, I can without hesitation or surprise express an reborn affinity for the book and its (after considering all possible adjectives, I'll go with 'infectious') prose.

Even in spite (or because?) of Rushdie's grotesque disfigurement of international conventions on the use of the semi-colon; I willingly endured what I had previously admonished discarded vomited as knickknack illusionist storytelling combined with an ineluctable rhapsodical unquenchable urge to build my vocabulary. (I'm looking at you, The Moor's Last Sigh; Shame, you're forgiven because your imagery of Pakistani coup culture was enticingly tabloid-esque.)

What can I tell you? This time round his alluring chutnification of fictionalized autobiography with the history and wars and rulers of India really snorted me up and away into the nasal passages of the life times adventures of Saleem Sinai. No, next time you see me I won't be telling you that Rushdieji is my new bestest prose-wallah; only that the experience of reading his masterpiece while ensconced in India is unlike any other encounter with the author.

Deservingly the novel is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century; if you're spending a bunch of time (especially down-time) in India, add it to your reading list.

Midnight's Children
by Salman Rushdie
Vintage Paperback, 1995
463 pages


ashramblings said...

Ages since I read Rushdie although I have brought some of his with me to read.

A couple of fiction recommendations Kiran Desai's
The Inheritance of Loss and forget the movie (Slum dog Millionairre, read the book
Q&A by Vikas Swarup, much better

Rahul said...

The Magical Realism does not sit well within the framework in which Deepa Mehta tries to fit it into.The movie is good in parts but its sum total is half baked.Strictly for the hard core fans of Deepa and Salman!