This book was absolutely incredible. I’m not really even sure what to say. It consistently blew me away, and Rushdie’s writing is some of the best I’ve ever read.
First off, so much happens in these 450 pages that it feels at least twice as long as it actually is (and in this case, that is not a bad thing). Over the course of this book, you witness the history of an entire family tree over half a century, with the history of an entire subcontinent as the backdrop. It’s definitely a lot to swallow, but that’s probably the book’s strongest point. More than any other book I’ve ever read (possibly even more than the Lord of the Rings), when you read this book, you are truly immersed in the story’s world. A huge list of characters, a ton of detail, historical context… All of these work together to create a novel that truly sucks you in and completely wraps you up in the story.
Rushdie’s writing is great as well. His prose is the kind that’s enjoyable to read but incredibly intelligent at the same time. You can tell how smart he is just by reading a paragraph of his writing. And while there are some things that take getting used to, such as his tendency to omit commas when listing things and his frequent overuse of ellipsis, his prose is outstanding nonetheless.
Overall, I was very, very impressed by this book. Salman Rushdie is a true genius and one of the greatest writers of the last century. If you’re even slightly interested, I would absolutely recommend this book.
Next Up: Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry