Thursday, September 11, 2008

Long-overdue Review

I have finally finished reading the 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel by Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children. In the time I've read this novel, I've read at least five others. That's not to say that this isn't a good book, it's just that I constantly got sidetracked. I have previously read Rushdie's Fury, which was also enjoyable.

The novel is a narrative memoir of Saleem Sinai, a child born on the stroke of midnight at the time of India's independence from England--an event that binds him to history and to the other children born during that same midnight hour. The event of his birth not only binds Saleem to the history of India in a magical sense, but it also provides him with powers to pursue what he claims is his destiny.

The novel begins in a conversational tone, with Saleem almost unwilling to reveal the truth of his existence. He continues into the past generations of his family in Kashmir that affected his life's course prior to birth. He progresses into tales of childhood, including the discovery of midnight's power and the other children to whom Saleem is connected.

Rushdie writes a terrific novel that is culturally enlightening and entertaining. He incorporates a bit of dark humor to lighten the serious tone of much of the narrative.

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