The Satanic Verses: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


In 1989 Salman Rushdie wrote a novel that captured worldwide attention and sent the author into hiding.  Rushdie’s life was changed by the publication of The Satanic Verses, no longer would he, or his family be safe.  Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling the faithful to the task of murdering Rushdie.  It was not an idle threat.  Book stores in London and New York were bombed for carrying the book.  Rushdie’s Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was murdered, and his Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo was attacked.  People died for this book, including a man bent on carrying out the Ayatollah’s fatwa who instead of murdering Rushdie inadvertently blew himself to kingdom come.  Rushdie’s books are brilliantly written, often showing the author’s mischievous, wit, and are meant to challenge their reader, to both entertain and make us think.  The Satanic Verses opens with the destruction of a jet, the passengers falling from the London sky in a rain of debris.  Two men, both actors, will defy the normal order of things and survive.  One will develop hooves and horns, the other a halo.   The story is set in London and Bombay where the men wrestle with their faith and many strange things occur.  Ironically, one of the story’s main themes is the rigidity of thought control in religion and the benefits of freeing people to think, to question, to decide. 

— Deon Stonehouse

Description


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “[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.”—Newsday

Winner of the Whitbread Prize

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.

Praise for The Satanic Verses

“Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air.”The New York Times Book Review

“Exhilarating, populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary . . . a roller-coaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination.”The Guardian (London)

“A novel of metamorphoses, hauntings, memories, hallucinations, revelations, advertising jingles, and jokes. Rushdie has the power of description, and we succumb.”The Times (London)

About the Author


Salman Rushdie is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Quichotte, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; a collection of stories, East, West; a memoir, Joseph Anton; a work of reportage, The Jaguar Smile; and three collections of essays, most recently Languages of Truth. His many awards include the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, which he won twice; the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award; the National Arts Award; the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature; the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature; and the Italian Premio Grinzane Cavour. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. He is a former president of PEN America. His books have been translated into over forty languages.

Praise For…


“[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.”—Newsday

“Rushdie is a storyteller of prodigious powers, able to conjure up whole geographies, causalities, climates, creatures, customs, out of thin air.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Exhilarating, populous, loquacious, sometimes hilarious, extraordinary . . . a roller-coaster ride over a vast landscape of the imagination.”—The Guardian (London)

“A novel of metamorphoses, hauntings, memories, hallucinations, revelations, advertising jingles, and jokes. Rushdie has the power of description, and we succumb.”—The Times (London)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780812976717
ISBN-10: 0812976711
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 11th, 2008
Pages: 576
Language: English