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The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie



Posted August 31, 2016 by

The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie – 1988


Reviewed by: Gerrit        Date: 3 January 2002

The Satanic Verses is a real soul-searcher. The author seems to set his mind totally free at times and thereby produces a book with tremendous impact. It seems that Rushdie was well aware of this when he wrote it, as the character of the writer Baäl who seems to be linked to the author himself is put to death by the character of Mahoen the profet.

the_satanic_versesThroughout the book it seems that Rushdie examines the unwieldy landscape which lies between dedication and fanatism, repeatedly letting his characters answer a question for themselves whether their actions are true to themselves, as he clearly feels a writer should do. And he also continues to ask what happens to the half-hearted if the question has been answered.

In its dedication to its goal lies the terrible beauty of this book. The powerful responses that it provoked show that not everyone likes to be asked.

Intermingled with its central theme is the challenge that people from India face when they are living in another country with a different climate and different culture, a challenge that is as much a challenge for the people whose climate and culture they meet. Especially in descriptions of racism I feel that the author sometimes is straining to keep an open view, as he gets very sarcastic.

Within this book Rushdie cites a lot of other writing especially in the religious department. The book is quite voluminous but it doesn’t seem to carry too much weight around, everything needs to be there right to the end. There are some very potent metaphores lying around in this book, like the Imam who needs to stop Time and people driving around like tuna on wheels, their papers full of blood.

A book of exceptional quality in my opinion.

ReadLit Team


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