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The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

 
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The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 29/8/2006 12:32:00 PM   
Twinkle


Posts: 1327
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Planet Telex
Firstly, my apologies if there's already a thread on this; the pc I am on is incredibly slow and it would have taken me an age to search.

I loved this book, Rushdie is an incredible writer.  That said, I am (I'm afraid) almost completely ignorant about Islam, so I missed out on quite a lot.  Even so, I could see that the book is contentious and would likely upset Muslims.  To be honest, what I enjoyed most about the book was Rushdie's gifted writing and his incredible descriptive passages, rather than the plot, which was perplexing to me at times.  But I think that to fully understand this book you need, at the very least, a rudimentary understanding of the faith.  It made me horribly aware of my own ignorance, and more interested in finding out about Islam.

Has anoyone else read this?  What is the consensus on Rushdie as a writer? 

I've also bought Midnight's Children but am yet to read it.



< Message edited by Twinkle -- 29/8/2006 12:40:59 PM >


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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 29/8/2006 12:57:27 PM   
Krazy_Beyootiful

 

Posts: 2877
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Around Lil and Cray's ankles
I haven't read The Satanic Verses but I have read Midnight's Children and I'd agree that Rushdie is an incredible writer. He has a very compelling and, as you say, beautifully descriptive, writing style.

I had a similar problem to yours Twink, in that I don't know anything really about Indian history so I think some of the political implications in Midnight's Children were a little lost on me. It's a very clever book though, and so wonderfully written that even if every political reference goes sailing three feet above your head (I got parts of it but again like Twink I felt my ignorance being highlighted with uncomfortable frequency) you can sit back and enjoy the magical fairy tale aspect of the plot.

I'd like to read The Satanic Verses, but I think I'd like to have a better understanding of Islam from a less contentious point of view first.

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 29/8/2006 1:57:14 PM   
Woger


Posts: 3815
Joined: 30/9/2005
Haven't read any of his stuff but there was one of those DaVinci code shows on a while back and they looked at the idea of females in the church, they looked at Islam and mentioned the Satanic Verses, from my understanding the Satanic Verses relate to a supposed change or edit in the Koran in the very early stages of Islam, obviously a contentious issue, it may also have something to do with female roles, can't remember.

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 30/8/2006 11:48:29 AM   
Twinkle


Posts: 1327
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Planet Telex
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Woger ('Welease Bawabas!'), you are quite right; The Satanic Verses concerns a purported edit to the original Qu'oran, apparently made by Mohammed himself.

KB (), I certainly see your point about learning the fundaments of Islam from a more reliable source.  One of the problems I had when reading this novel was that I wasn't always aware which sections were in accordance with Islam and which were fabrication or conjecture.  I'd certainly advise researching the tenets of the faith beforehand, as it would undoubtedly enrich your enjoyment of what is a truly towering work.  But, as you said, Rushdie's prose and storytelling skills are exemplary and the novel is certainly worth reading, if just to appreciate the poetry and profundity of his writing.  He is one of the most talented writers that I have ever come across, and with a literary establishment that includes the likes of Dickens and Nabokov, that is a weighty accolade indeed.

Does Midnight's Children concern one particular period of history that I could perhaps research prior to reading? 

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 30/8/2006 12:14:41 PM   
Krazy_Beyootiful

 

Posts: 2877
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Around Lil and Cray's ankles
Hello, Twink

It references India's history throughout the 20th Century, so anything concerning that time really. The title refers to those children born on the midnight hour of India's independence, which came in 1947 (I've forgotten the exact date). You might find that a lack of knowledge is less of a problem than with The Satanic Verses though, because as far as I'm aware the actual historical facts are accurate and there's therefore no confusion along the lines of which sections are fabricated. I did feel a little lost as to some of the history, because my knowledge of it is limited to this book, but it is relatively easy to pick up on the facts as you go along. In that sense it is almost educational in itself, although I'd be wary of Rushdie's political slantings if treating it as such. 

I wouldn't think you need to do much in depth research to be able to read and appreciate it, but certainly you might find it helpful to have at least an idea of the major historical events in India between around 1900 and 1980. I think I would have. I'll certainly now try and research some of the major tenets of Islam before getting round to reading The Satanic Verses.

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 30/8/2006 12:53:10 PM   
punchdrunk


Posts: 7817
Joined: 14/12/2005
Maybe you guys should read it, its a great book full of lots of ideas, surreal imagery, i was really baffled why the small islamic group placed a Jihad on Rasdie for writing the book as it holds little insulting just discussions maybe they should of read the book objectively instead of jumping to confusions.   

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 7/9/2006 3:54:25 PM   
Twinkle


Posts: 1327
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Planet Telex
Thankyou for the advice KB, I will do.  And thanks to you and whoever it was that sorted the glitch in my account so that I can post again.

Punchdrunk, I have read the book. 

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RE: The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - 12/10/2006 12:45:38 AM   
vic_vega


Posts: 118
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: No Rear Entry - Exit Only
quote:

ORIGINAL: punchdrunk

Maybe you guys should read it, its a great book full of lots of ideas, surreal imagery, i was really baffled why the small islamic group placed a Jihad on Rasdie for writing the book as it holds little insulting just discussions maybe they should of read the book objectively instead of jumping to confusions.   

The Islamic decree is known as a fatwa was issued by the Ayatollah Khomeni who was the leader of Iran at the time - probably the most influential Islamic nation at the time. It can only be renounced by Allah - so basically Rushdie is still a wanted man.


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