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The Satanic Verses

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Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams, and revelations.

From the back cover.

561 pages, Paperback

First published September 26, 1988

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About the author

Salman Rushdie

130 books11k followers
The Satanic Verses (1988), novel of Indian-born British writer Salman Rushdie led Ruholla Khomeini, the ayatollah of Iran, to demand his execution and then forced him into hiding; his other works include Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker prize, and The Moor's Last Sigh (1995).

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, a novelist and essayist, set much of his early fiction at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel led to some violent protests from Muslims in several countries. Faced with death threats and a fatwa (religious edict) issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Supreme Leader of Iran, which called for him to be killed, he spent nearly a decade largely underground, appearing in public only sporadically. In June 2007, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor for "services to literature", which "thrilled and humbled" him. In 2007, he began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University.

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Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
656 reviews7,103 followers
January 9, 2015

Satanic Verses: A Composition

He had just finished his thirty-fourth reading of the play. The unsaid hate, the unseen events, the half-imagined wrongs; they tormented him. What could cause such evil to manifest, he just could not figure. He loved him too much to believe the simple explanation.

And then the idea starts growing on him - to explore the growth of evil just as Shakespeare showed, explored the tragic culmination of it. And because you show the growth, it can no longer be a tragedy, no, no it has to be a comedy. A tragicomedy. Yes. And he set to it. He painted Othello as an Indian actor, worshiped and adored and off on a mad canter to get his Ice Queen, his Desdemona. On his way he meets him - the poor man trying to forget his own roots and desperately reinventing himself, his Iago.

Yes Iago too was once a man. What twists of fate made him evil incarnate? He sets out his prime motif: The question that’s asked here remains as large as ever it was: which is, the nature of evil, how it’s born, why it grows, how it takes unilateral possession of a many-sided human soul.

Wait a minute, he blinks at his notes, if Iago is evil incarnate, does that not also mean that he is Satan incarnate? Chamcha then is Satan incarnate? Then Othello has to be God? A little bit more corruptible maybe? Let us make him the angel Gibreel, he decided. As an aside, as the angel, he can slip into that reality in his dreams and reenact the story (history?) of Prophet Mohammad in inflammatory fashion, maybe talk about the 'Satanic Verses' since his Satan can't help but gloat over his little jokes. Why not call the novel so too, except that it would mean something else - the verses that the real Satan of the story, Iago, sings in Othello's ear. He knows that this might be cause for misunderstanding, might ruffle a few feathers, but it is just a digression, the real story is beyond that - it is not the Event Horizon. But he can't help himself. He never could keep a story simple.

Ah, now something beyond mere Othello is taking shape is it not? If Iago is Satan, then surely it is in character to enjoy with consummate pleasure the sight of his own jealousy consuming himself - the green-eyed monster that feeds on itself. So Satan decides to narrate the story of one of his incarnations? Or rather, possessions? The questions that are to run his plot are flowing freely now. How an ordinary man when in contact with an angel inevitably had to transform into Lucifer himself. How can one exist without the other. They meet and the spiral ensues and Iago mutates and agitates and like a cancerous growth his strange fate builds until he turns his wrath square on his angel, his Othello. And how can he then not try to destroy what he is not, what he can not be. There is the moment before evil, then the moment of, then the time after; and each subsequent stride becomes progressively easier. But what about before and after the madness? It surely must be an ordinary life, with ordinary joys and pains. It is a cosmic drama, he concludes.

In the process, every insinuated implication in the play is to be played out in this story - Cassio does sleep with Iago's wife, Iago is madly lustful of Desdemona, Othello is a deserving victim of directed revenge for very real ills and Iago needs no invented or unbelievable reasons for his actions. He is justified. It was inevitable.

Salman Rushdie sets down his pen.

He has vindicated Iago, many a literature lover's favorite character.

And for that, I am eternally thankful.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,634 followers
February 21, 2017
Unfortunately, most people know this book from the scandal and fatwa it generated around the personage of its prolific and outspoken author Salman Rushdie rather than the book itself. The thing that enraged some Muslims (and the Ayatollah of Iran most of all) was Rushdie's hypothesis that Mohammed, being completely illiterate and having the Qu'ran being narrated to him by Archangel Gabriel could have dozed off at one point and that Satan could have impersonated Gabriel without Mohammed noticing causing some verses of the Holy Book to be written by him. That's it. Just a theory. No more than when Kazantzakis imagines Jesus fantasising about accepting Mary Magdalene's sexual advances. In Rushdie's book, this is not even the main story, just an internal narrative in a dream of a character that falls out of an airplane of all things. The book is highly imaginative and although I preferred Midnight's Children and The Moor's Last Sigh, remains for me one of his best works. So read it if for any other reason as to oppose censorship and support artistic freedom and artistic license. Especially in these days of religious fanaticism, books like Satanic Verses which challenge the status quo and force us to re-evaluate our values and idées reçu are incredibly important.
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
May 6, 2015
I never got past page 60 in this book. I read and forgot and reread and forgot again up unto about the fifth reading when I thought to myself that I might rate Midnight's Children as one of the greatest books I've read, enjoyed the depiction of Benazir Bhutto as the Virgin Ironpants in Shame a great deal, but I also couldn't read Shalimar the Clown and thought that Grimus was excreble (not even Rushie rated this first offering of his oeuvre). So what was I doing trying so hard with the Satanic Verses? I felt that for a book to engender such a farrago of praise, death and destruction I must read it for myself and see what it was all about. But I couldn't. It bored me rigid.

However from the synopsis and reviews I have read of the book, I think it might translate into an excellent film, I just don't think there is a director alive courageous enough to make it, nor a cast who would act in it, and I don't blame any of them. But I do hate that the fundamentalists have got even that much of a victory.

Death to all those that oppose *freedom! Well not death, nah, not that, just shut up already and go and moan to your friends and family like everyone else would.

Also see Joseph Anton for what I thought of Rushdie writing the Satanic Verses.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 12, 2018
The Satanic Verses is vastly imaginative and creative; it is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world providing you can actually get through it. And there’s the rub because The Satanic Verses is quite possibly the single most confusing piece of fiction I have ever read.

I’m just not sure what happened. And after 500+ pages I feel like a book should leave me with a little more than an overbearing sense of bewilderment. Perhaps if I was more widely read I would have appreciated it more. That being said, I don’t think any reader should even attempt this book unless they have a strong grasp on Islamic theology and the Quran. Otherwise most of the allusions will be wasted on you like they were me.

It’s just so difficult to read without that knowledge base. It drew upon such a huge wealth of myths, religion and stories that it became so hard to follow. Multiple names are used to refer to the same characters and they frequently shifted in and out of the narrative making it hard to focus on the story and discern what the actual story was at any given point. So much of the novel went over my head that by around the half way point I’d lost the thread completely and was just reading a series of seemingly unconnected chapters.

What didn’t help is the fact that I’m also reading Joseph Anton, Rushdie’s biography. The personal relationship between him and his farther is detailed quite extensively throughout and much of Rushdie’s emotions regarding the matter are paralleled here in different forms. I became confused with events that had happened in Rushdie’s life and those that had happened in the fictional account here because they are so strikingly similar. This meant that a confusing novel became even more confusing.

I find the history of the novel, the events that led Rushdie to go into hiding as he feared for his own life, far more interesting than the actual work itself perhaps because I can actually comprehend the facts as they are not veiled in a web of incomprehensible allegory. One day I will come back to this book, not anytime soon; it will be a day when I am more familiar with the texts it discusses and engages with. At least then, I may be able to read it and form a solid opinion of it.

For now though, I’ve come to a simple conclusion: this book really isn’t for me, at least, not yet.
Profile Image for Taylor.
291 reviews219 followers
April 21, 2023
NOTE: I was literally in college when I read this book and wrote this review. I've been on this site for decades now, and you can see the date on a review when you read it, so maybe keep that in mind before leaving me a snarky comment. Eventually I will reread this and write a different (better) review, but until then...

Here's the thing about this book that you will immediately grasp from what everyone says: it's a beast. I do not mean this in a bad sense. I mean this in the sense that it's overwhelming. It's long, complex (storylines that involve overlapping characters and storylines that don't overlap in time or space at all), dense and occasionally slow. It is not for the reader with ADD. No matter how quickly you think you might read, reading this book will slow you down. No matter how determined you are to catch every single detail and nuance of this book and what it means, you will not.

I can generally blaze through a book in a matter of days. It took me an entire year to read this book, and was almost certainly my longest read. I often had to go back and refer to other parts of the book to keep names and events straight. but you know what? it was worth every minute.

Rushdie is a master writer, and I can't tell you how much I took away from this book. I would have liked to taken a class on it while reading it so that I could have understood more of it, but even without one, I enjoyed every second of it. reading it is a labor of love, but it's a highly rewarding one.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
July 16, 2015
From the archives: September 27 1988

The Satanic Verses, the controversial first draft of the Quran recently discovered after spending 1379 years in a safe deposit box, finally appeared yesterday to a mixed reception.

"Wheeeeee! I'm so excited!!" said one fan who had spent all night lining up outside her local Barnes & Noble. "A new book by Allah! Can you believe it?!"

Other readers are however less enthusiastic about the novel, and take exception to its portrayal of the much-loved character Mohammad as a lecherous smalltime crook. Influential blogger AyatollahK has been particularly outspoken. "Allah never intended this book to be published," he said yesterday in a tersely worded post. "Salman Rushdie and HarperCollins are agents of Shaitan and will be hunted down like dogs."
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 49 books51.7k followers
December 15, 2022
I'd never had any interest in reading this book.

But I have now bought a copy.

It's back at the top of the best seller lists. Murderous thugs who try to supress books, get exactly the opposite of what they want.

AND VERY nearly 3 months after starting ... I have finished! This is a long book, but more importantly it's a very complicated, densely written book, one that meanders through many different tales and points of view and places and two rather distinct main time periods, along with the backstories of many of the characters who get wrapped up in the story of the two main protagonists.

This is an example of the sort of dense literary prose we see page after page:

"It all boiled down to love, reflected Saladin Chamcha in his den: love, the refractory bird of Meilhac and Halévy's libretto for Carmen -- one of the prize specimens, this, in the Allegorical Aviary he'd assembled in lighter days, and which included among its winged metaphors the Sweet (of youth), the Yellow (more lucky than me), Khayyám-- FitzGerald's adjectiveless Bird of Time (which has but a little way to fly, and lo! is on the Wing), and the Obscene; this last from a letter written by Henry James, Sr, to his sons. . . "Every man who has reached even his intellectual teens begins to suspect that life is no farce; that it is not genteel comedy even; that it flowers and fructifies on the contrary out of the profoundest tragic depths of the essential dearth in which its subject's roots are plunged. The natural inheritance of everyone who is capable of spiritual life is an unsubdued forest where the wolf howls and the obscene bird of night chatters."

And this, some of the quality of observation - here a character contemplates a topic that many authors have had a crack at, the "we are legion" concept:

“O, the dissociations of which the human mind is capable, marvelled Saladin gloomily. O, the conflicting selves jostling and joggling within these bags of skin. No wonder we are unable to remain focused on anything for very long; no wonder we invent remote-control channel-hopping devices. If we turned these instruments upon ourselves we’d discover more channels than a cable or satellite mogul ever dreamed of.”

So, in this rambling exploration that maintains from the start a significant element of the absurdist/surreal whilst offering very real looks at a wide variety of lives, Rushdie continually blurs the lines between dreams, delusions, and reality. It's never clear what can be believed - we know the whole thing is fiction, but the fictions within that framework are shifting and won't be pinned down.

The author covers a great many themes that are all woven together into a loose garment that will probably fit any theory you happen to have. We're presented with issues of religion (mainly Hindu and Muslim) of identity (mainly Indian and British) of diasporas, integration, intolerance, tolerance, faith, friendship, relationships, family... it goes on.

The book is of course famous for the wrath it provoked among some muslims. Certainly the narrative is uncompromising, sometimes mocking, sometimes vicious, mercilessly following any seam of weakness. I'm not sufficiently educated in the history of the muslim faith to comment with even a crumb of authority. But certainly the christian faith emerged from a muddy historical process with inconveniences pared away to present a cleaner more organised statement to the future. Rushdie implies something similar for the muslim faith. I can see why it could be painful reading for the devout.

This of course, does not justify a violent response.

I can't summarise the book well. It's too large and sprawling for that.

It starts with two men falling from an exploding aircraft and improbably (impossibly) surviving. We follow the pair on their journey from there, with flashbacks, dreams, histories, as their new lives spiral around each other, some how opposites, somehow each a mirror of the other.

What is the book ABOUT? What was the main message the author tried to impart? I don't know.

For most of the book I was engaged almost entirely through intellectual curiosity and morbid fascination. I didn't particularly like the characters, I wasn't emotionally bound to them. It's not that kind of book.

But towards the end the reunion of one character with a dying parent did hit me hard, and proved that if Rushdie wants to pull on your emotional strings, he knows how to do it.

I'm glad I read the book. I won't be plunging into another of Rushdie's works any time soon. I just don't have the reading time/energy - my next read will be an SFF romp of some kind where my brain can relax and I can be entertained.

Give the book a shot. I hope the renewed interest is some comfort to Mr Rushdie as he recovers from the recent terrorist attack on him.

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Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
813 reviews3,487 followers
September 22, 2023
من أسوأ الكتب اللي قريتها في حياتي فأكيد مفيش تقييم..!
ومع ذلك ححاول أحط مشاعري السلبية علي جنب و أكتب مراجعة موضوعية بقدر الإمكان!

سلمان رشدي هو كاتب بريطاني من أصل هندي له الكثير من الأعمال..فاز بالبوكر عام ١٩٨١ عن روايته أطفال منتصف الليل ..
رواية آيات شيطانية هي روايته الرابعة وتعتبر من أكثر الكتب إثارة للجدل في تاريخ الأدب الحديث وقامت بسببها الكثير من المظاهرات والإحتجاجات من المسلمين في عدة بلدان..كما أصدر آيه الله الخميني في إيران فتوي بهدر دمه و وجوب قتله بعد هذه الرواية!

الكتاب كعمل أدبي مكانه الحقيقي هو سلة المهملات ولكنه أثار الجدل عشان الكاتب ذكر قصة الغرانيق وهي قصة ضعيفة السند،لا داعي لذكر تفاصيلها هنا كما إنه يوجد في الكتاب إهانة مباشرة و بطريقة فجة لزوجات الرسول..!

أفكار الكتاب كلها سطحية وملهاش معني..إسلوب الكاتب ممل بطريقة غير عادية كما إن الحوارات طويلة جداً وحتحس في أوقات كتير إنك مش فاهم هو عاوز يقول ايه ولا أظن إن الكاتب نفسه كان فاهم..!
طول ما إنت بتقرأ حتلاقي نفسك بتقول كلمة واحدة بس..
"ما هذا الهراء"!!! أو بطريقة تانية..ايه كمية القرف دي!!

أؤمن بحرية التعبير والكتابة في كل حاجة و أي حاجة ومش بحب كلمة خطوط حمراء ولكن حرية التعبير لازم يكون وراها فكرة أو هدف أو علي الأقل تكون مكتوبة بإسلوب أدبي ممتع..
ولكن في هذا الشئ ومع هذا الكاتب حتحس إنه مش بس تجاوز بطريقة غير مقبولة ومنفرة و مستفزة و مقززة ولكن حتحس إن مفيش حاجة عاوز يقولها أصلاً وإنه مجرد عاوز يعمل له نفسه شهرة أو منظر أو بمبدأ أنا أعترض إذن أنا موجود..!

الصراحة الكتاب ميستاهلش الورق اللي إتكتب عليه و في رأيي كون آية الله الخميني طلع فتوي بقتل هذا الرجل فهو أداله مكانة وشهرة وقيمة و هو أصلاً ميستاهلهاش!

كتاب سئ..بل الأسوأ علي الأطلاق..لا ينصح به..
Profile Image for Jr Bacdayan.
211 reviews1,741 followers
September 4, 2016
What kind of idea are you?

This question, scattered throughout the pages of this novel, is the intermediary between the author and his work. A waterloo of sorts, a windbreaker giving rise to the question of the material’s purpose. It gives us some sort of glimpse as to why he chose to name it “Satanic Verses”, insight to all its diabolical implications, and some sort of motive as to why it is disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet. So what kind of an idea is this? In turn, what kind of idea are we? It is said that people are only the sum of their ideas and beliefs. So what equaled to our sum? What are we made of?

Are you a preconceived idea?

When does the bias of the material end and when does the bias of the reader begin? If you’re either a Christian or a Muslim, then surely the title of this novel made you pause, if only a little. Or maybe it drove you off altogether. I assure you this novel is not satanic in any devilish way. Now I ask the question: Do we really approach a book with an open mind, or do we give immediate judgment to books based on their titles? Do we read without bias or do we bear impasse to fairness. Do we aim to learn or do we aim to protect our knowledge? These questions, I believe, are critical when discussing reading materials which are controversial in nature. It occurred to me when, during an article review in one of my classes, my group-mates and I discussed the bias of an article about the Gaza affair. My groupmates interpreted the article in favor of Israel while I, on the other hand, viewed it a bit sympathetic towards Palestinians. I realized then that when it came to issues we have forehand knowledge of; people tend to see what they want to see. Justification of its stand is the priority of the mind rather than the absorption of new information. This selective receiving, blindsiding whatever parity the material has, is a greater source of misconstrusion rather than biased material. Sure, there will always be certain biases in all materials we read, but the bias of the mind is the sieve through which comprehension passes, it will only let in biases it supports. This greatly affects one’s comprehension into the mold it wants to see. The bias of a material will be evident to an open mind, but the bias of a reader will affect even the most unbiased material. A good example is the reading of the Bible. The Bible is the foundation of Christianity. Everything that Christians believe in come from that book, but I believe it was Isaac Asimov who said “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” It only shows that one’s biases are the hands that mold one’s reading experience. People’s understanding is founded on the guidance of certain assumptions and axioms based on previous knowledge, but this principle can also be taken to an extreme. This “learned” mindset which has become second-nature to us, is a great hindrance to critical thinking and knowledge acquisition. Even the most gifted mind is beset by this problem, and I believe it takes years of practice to be able to read something without any inclinations.

So before you read this novel, I beg that you give a conscious effort to be open-minded and at least try to suppress the inevitable biases that you will have. A full cup will spill all that’s poured into it, be an empty cup. Only then can one learn to fully appreciate this novel.

Different Ideas

Salman Rushdie’s novel is a multi-layered magical tale with lots of possible implications. Its many facets, much like a dice that can roll to many of its sides, may have different meanings or might be driving together at one main point. It’s hard to really pin-point the central theme of the novel. The author suggests that it is about migration and the problems that immigrants face, which is most obvious during Chamcha’s early metamorphism. The notion of “nationalism” and betrayal of one’s country is thereby tackled. But then Mahound’s, the Butterfly Girl’s, and the Immam’s respective arcs try to bring perspective to blind faith. Baal’s tale warns one of trying to be someone else. The Old Woman’s and Rehka Merhcant’s respective accounts tell us not to devote our purpose to another person. The terrorist’s example hints mockery in self-sacrifice. Farishta’s bizarre experiences advises us to not to be fooled by destiny or purpose. Alleluia’s case conveys that uprightness is not always rewarded. The whole “immigrant mob” incident showcases that the mob mentality is not always right. Many possible ideas are present, one can choose which to focus on, which to ignore, which to accept. Which I idea are you?

My idea

For me, the main idea of this novel is learning to understand that one must create one’s own ideas. If you will notice, all the facets and interwoven tales are delved in problems when the characters place their life, their ideas on nationalism, faith, someone they want to be like, someone they love, on political beliefs, on destiny, on goodwill, on what everybody does. We are busy with these worldviews that we then ignore the question “What are my own ideas?” “Who am I apart from these things not of my own?”


“Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accommodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world."

A bit of a cliché, I know. But one can’t avoid the reality of what this says. Are your ideas your own, or were they placed there by society? Creativity, originality, uniqueness these things are being suppressed by a society that calls for conformity, for belongingness. What kind of idea will you be?

The World's Ideas

“Society was orchestrated by what she called ‘grand narratives’: history, economics, ethics. In India, the development of a corrupt and closed state apparatus had ‘excluded the masses of the people from the ethical project’. As a result, they sought ethical satisfactions in the oldest of the grand narratives, that is, religious faith. But these narratives are being manipulated by the theocracy and various political elements in an entirely retrogressive way.”

“We can’t deny the ubiquity of faith. If we write in such a way as to pre-judge such belief as in some way deluded or false, then are we not guilty of elitism, of imposing our world-view on the masses?”

Worldviews, social constructs, axioms, these are also important as much as one’s individuality. For one must take into account that one’s self interest doesn’t give one the right to step on another. “Let our aim be a way of life not diametrically opposed to, but better than that of the mob. Otherwise we shall repel and alienate the very people whose reform we should desire.” I understand Salman Rushdie was disrespectful to Islam and to Muhammad, shouldn’t he have been? It is not for me to say. It was his choice, and I refuse to cast another stone where I am but an observer. But who are we to say that he deserves to die for his unbelief? It is one thing to ask for an apology, and another to take life altogether. Why should a review get deleted when it says bad things about an author? Free Expression is commendable but one must also remember repercussions. Acts are done in the name of ideas. Be careful what ideas you clash with, you embody, for unlike an idea which can change, the associated action cannot be taken back. The Fatwa placed on Rushdie’s head speaks the truth about how conforming the world asks us to be, how the actuality of ideas cannot be undone. But sometimes, just sometimes, the realization stemmed from one person’s ideas changes the world for the greater good. Will the possibility of criticism deter your idea?

What kind of idea are you?

Be your own kind of idea, think critically, question everything, don’t be a passive receiver, be open-minded, be creative, unique, but also learn to respect ideas that are not your own.
Profile Image for Rich.
96 reviews23 followers
April 21, 2010
Salman Rushdie uses excessive language to cloud discordant plots, has a part-time occupation of scouring the news to write op-eds about evil Muslim organizations he reads about, and is obsessed with celebrity.

Rushdie strangles his plot in The Satanic Verses by hitching every development to a forced and unnecessarily long description or metaphor. His overwriting prevents the development of narrative flow. He even returns to more metaphors about the same topic sometimes, like when he writes about stuff falling out of the plane in the first chapter again and again. It's not hard to read but it is distracting and he uses ingratiating language. He doesn't sound confident in his writing.

"Yaaaaaa! I'm falling out of an aeroplane! Wa-waaajaaaa!" The annoyance you now feel is the same feeling I felt when I started reading The Satanic Verses a couple of days ago. I don't oppose metaphors and I don't even oppose varied styles and formats of writing, so long as they are effective. There is a difference between figurative language and purple prose. Look at this punctuation, pg. 15: "Oh: don't forget: she saw her after she died." Ok: Thanks: I won't forget. Oh: and Rushdie: I don't like kitschy conversational prose.

"It was the death of God." pg. 16. What a way to start a paragraph! God just died? Aw man, false alarm, it's just more crap like: "It was part of his magic persona that he succeeded in crossing religious boundaries without giving offence." Oh it was? I'll keep that in mind about the character from now on. Nah, I'll probably forget it. It doesn't matter though because it didn't mean anything to begin with. At least he threw in a book recommendation, Akbar and Birbal, in that paragraph to make it worth something. It's out-of-place. He's certainly proven to me that he's a master of the Orient at this point, though. (Someone told me not to use the term "orientalist" because it was "stale" so I'll use master of the Orient instead.) He also gives a shout-out to Hinduism and Buddhism in this paragraph. Just name-drop those religions as fast as you can and move on, I guess. No Satanic influence there.

Rushdie also relies on intentionally jumbled (what'sitcalledwhenyoudothisstupidthing?) words and run-on sentences. This sucks. I remember writing words like that in elementary school because I thought it was funny. It's not funny. It's cutesy at best. I don't like reading over 500 pages worth of giddy and bubbly writing just to get through a stupid plot.

His realism is magical because he relies on controversial fairy tales to carry themes he is either too lazy or too incompetent to create through reality. His magical realism makes me feel like I'm watching what I imagine an Enya music video would look like. He's hiding a spastic plot behind mysticism. He fails to employ that mysticism to do anything more interesting than a competent author could do with the real and concrete.

According to RUSHDORK, I mean Rushdie, Satan interrupted the divine dictation of the Koran. It was supposed to go from the Archangel Gabriel's mouth to Mohammad's ear and then to he People. Satan stepped in like the jackass in a game of Telephone who gets the message wrong on purpose. Later, Islamic ninjas covered up Satan's interference and Mohammad's mistake. This is the plot hook of The Satanic Verses. Mohammad was influenced by the Devil even though the Koran has no trace of the two goddesses introduced by Zoroaster. How the hell does that work? Was Mohammad like "My utterances at dawn: t'was Satan. Sorry, guys." Maybe that happened -- but Rushdie never explains this. But it was probably, as a huge amount of speculative western scholarship has "uncovered" in the years since Rushdie's inflammatory book was published, just a fight amongst a few Muslims who accused a few other Muslims of attempting, in compiling What the Prophet Said, to add their own idols, who they wanted to be included in religious scripture. THAT HAPPENED COUNTLESS TIMES DURING THE FORMATION OF THE KORAN and western historians, in all their ignorance of Islam, got involved, so when they saw Muslims accusing each other, they took the chance to say "they're fighting about Satan's influence." It was a few phrases that got chopped in the cutting room of the Koran, but were scooped off the floor. MAYBE. Someone called them "satanic," probably a westerner, as Daniel Pipes speculates, and it was on. Rushdie was ready to write.

Misappropriating history with such lazy disregard for truth or context, with such an ignorance that turns condescending by transmission -- this is the hallmark of Dan Browns, not great authors. It's as though Brown seized on some of the more inflammatory screeds from the Arian Heresy and wrote a book that went like, "Aha! The Knights Templar were time travelers!" It's not good fiction. That this intentionally inflammatory claptrap rose to the level of world-renowned Great Art speaks more to the global prejudice against Islamic theology than to to the Satanic Verses' literary worth!

If you believe that Gabriel spoke Allah's divine words to Mohammad, I bet you don't also think that Mohammad received false words from Satan, do you?

If you believe that Gabriel did not speak Allah's divine words to Mohammad, I bet you also don't think that Mohammad received false words from Satan, do you?

The rest of this review has very little to do with The Satanic Verses but it does have to do with Rushdie:

Rushdie lives a pampered celebrity life now that he's no longer hunted by hundreds of assassins. He's an English knight, so maybe he'll fulfill his fantasy and go to the Holy Land to vanquish Muslims, just the bad ones though, as he is so adept at finding. Another review on Goodreads said that he had a cameo in Bridget Jones's Diary. That's lame. Sir Rushdie came out of hiding by walking on stage at a U2 concert. I didn't know he was a rock star, wow. We get it, you really like attention. He teaches English now at Emory University, far away from where the following treacherous Islamists lurk. Here are some thoughtful articles he's written:


Someone email Sean Hannity and just set up the interview already! Islam can't take this informed and logical onslaught much longer, Salman! Let it live!

He's been married four times. I'm cool with that... I live in the U.S. so I know that judging someone for that it wrong. That must sting Rushdie's massive ego a bit. Maybe he just doesn’t care. A few parting shots:

He was most recently married to a model who poses nude, is decades younger than him, sits interviews covering how she loves certain parts of her body, repeatedly proclaims that she isn't boastful, and is a judge on a cooking show. Spare me the whole "EVERYONE would want that in his life!" Here's some hubris on display from her steroidal celebrity Facebooky page:

"'Being married to a giant cultural figure like Salman Rushdie, I want
to earn my seat at the table,' she says."

Why stop at Rushdie's table? Why not surpass him and become The Greatest Human Being to Ever Live? Her authorship includes a cookbook called Easy Exotic. Too many jokes there.
Profile Image for Ben.
157 reviews15 followers
August 3, 2016
People jumping into this book blindly may soon find themselves wishing they had informed themselves somewhat beforehand. I must claim an embarrassing ignorance about just about every aspect of this daunting work at the outset: I had only the faintest whisper of a memory of having heard the phrase "satanic verses" outside of a discussion of the ever-present religiously-sanctioned hit out on the author's life. I had very little knowledge of Indian culture and none regarding the cross-cultural experiences of Indian immigrants living in Great Britain, and I only knew the barest outline of the history of Islam. While reading this book, I fell head-first into every one of these gaps in my knowledge and quite a few more besides. To pigeonhole the Satanic Verses as a book solely concerned with and influenced by the above mentioned topics is to miss a great deal of what Rushdie put into it. Personally, while reading, I often found it helpful (and at times necessary) to educate myself along the way. Even still, I recognize that I have not grasped many of the story's finer points and subtler themes, and I suspect that, if ever in my life I am able and patient enough to deepen my understanding of this work, my rating will almost certainly improve.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,217 reviews9,890 followers
August 7, 2022
I loved Midnight’s Children and Shame but this one was an exercise in exasperation which I should have left well alone instead of becoming intrigued again by its fearsome bloody reputation as a book that kills people. There were three reasons why I very strongly disliked this book.


It could be most of this book is a meticulous account of the dreams aka visions of mostly one character. And he has dreams within dreams. The as it were real-world plot inches along like a slow bicycle race with this person’s back story and that person’s back story and the dreams jump around as dreams do so this whole cumbersome multi-layered affair seems to be going nowhere for many pages.


Cajoling, supercilious, sneering, mocking, silly, making constant quips, it exhausts and finally aggravates. Here he is wittering on about angels:

The human condition, but what of the angelic? Halfway between Allahgod and homosap, did they ever doubt? They did: challenging God’s will one day muttering beneath the Throne, daring to ask forbidden things: antiquestions. Is it right that. Could it not be argued. Freedom, the old antiquest. He calmed them down, naturally, employing management skills a la god. Flattered them: you will be the instruments of my will on earth, of the salvationdamnation of man, all the usual etcetera. And hey presto, end of protest, on with the haloes, back to work. Angels are easily pacified, turn them into instruments and they’ll play your harpy tune.

The above passage raises another big problem – who exactly is talking here? This narrator, is he actually The Devil as is implied early on? *


A whole lot of this book is taken up with a detailed sequence of dream-narratives that dispense with the dream framework and become a comic-ironic history of the life of a religious leader who is never called Mohammed but referred to as either The Prophet or as Mahound, an insulting medieval name for Mohammed. (It came from the French Mahun which was a contraction of Mahomet. Well, so the internet tells me.) So we get the twisty tale of how Mahound eventually got rid of the polytheism of the city of Jahilia and how Islam, here called Submission, became accepted as the true religion. Well, what could possibly be offensive about that, since that is what actually happened? Only everything.

As an example of how detailed this gets, there’s a whole chapter about Mahound making a deal with the city boss to accept three of the female local gods into his religion in return for the city of Jahilia accepting him as The Prophet. The boss says you can’t just throw out all these three hundred gods, the people won’t stand for it. Well, says Mahound, how about if I say the people can keep these three gods but we’re gonna re-brand them as angels. Okay, says the city boss, that sounds like a deal.

Then of course there is the notorious section where the sex workers in the largest brothel in Jahilia pretend for their clients’ amusement to be the wives of Mahound. They are fooling around and being deliberately offensive, and gradually they take on the characters of Mahound’s wives. This is the section which earned Rushdie the famous fatwa but it is by no means the only part which might strike a Muslim as blasphemous. The scribe Salman (hmmm, same name as our author) gets the job of writing down Mahound’s words and frankly he gets fed up of it:

When he sat at The Prophet’s feet, writing down rules rules rules, he began, surreptitiously, to change things.

And strangely, the Prophet does not notice. Salman says:

So there I was, actually writing the Book, or rewriting, anyway, polluting the word of God with my own profane language. But good heavens, if my poor words could not be distinguished from the Revelation of God’s own Messenger, then what did that mean?


Speaking as an atheistic liberal, I have no desire to get anyone mad at Rushdie all over again. But there is no doubt he was playing around with the most sensitive ideas about Islam here. It’s possible he thought a brilliantly complex post-modern metanarrative aimed squarely at Booker Prize judges, London Review of Books subscribers and the like would fall outside of the purview of the Muslim world, and he could, as it were, hide his subversive fabulation in the spotlight. In this he was catastrophically mistaken.

The intricate obsessive re-telling of the early history of Islam is the main reason I had to give this up : it’s deadly boring for a non-religious reader. You don’t know if this or that name or incident is suppose to be a caricature of history or an ironical comment or a plain historical fact. Reading The Satanic Verses turns into an exercise in frustration – who is supposed to be an angel? What’s an angel anyway? Is it the Devil who is telling me this whole shaggy god story anyway? Did I care once?

Salman Rushdie is one of our greatest authors but in The Satanic Verses he was barking up the wrongest possible tree.


*This narrator says to the reader : “Who am I? Let’s put it this way : who has the best tunes?”
Profile Image for Hend.
155 reviews813 followers
August 14, 2022
يقول المفكر البريطانى رولد ديهل
ان هذا النمط من اثارة الحساسية قد اوصل كتبا غير متميزة على الاطلاق الى قمة الكتب الاكثر مبيعا فى العالم ولكن فى نظرى هذه طريقة رخيصة للوصول للهدف وفى نظرى انه انتهازى خطير
ديلى نيوز مارس 1989

كتاب ايات شيطانية يدل على احد امرين اما الجهل المطبق بالاسلام والمسلمين او تعمد تشويهه بغير حق

فى اعلان عن كنيسة كانتربرى فى انكلترا يقول الدكتور روبرت رونسى

ان فاقد القدرة على تمييز الحق هو وحده الذى يخفق فى ان يرى ان نشر هذا الكتاب قد اساء للمسلمين فى كل انحاء العالم واعتقد ان الاساءة للمسلمين او اى دين هى اساءة الى المسيحية

ادلى كبير حاخامات اليهود فى انجلترا اللورد جاكوبقيتش
هذا الكتاب ما كان ينبغى ان ينشر
وانه عملية تشويه مقصودة

هناك فرق بين محاولة مناقشة اى دين وبين قلب الحقائق والتشويه المتعمد

هى رواية مقززة تحتوى احط و ارخص العبارات
سخرية من الميسلمين بالفاظ اقل ما يقال عنها انها قذرة

اى انسان يقرا هذه الرواية يتاكد انها ليست صدفة ولا من خيال المؤلف بل
تشويه متعمد

وليس هذا فقط ولكنها رواية عنصرية الى اقصى درجة
ضد الديانات الهندية وذوو البشرة السوداء

Profile Image for Brett C.
805 reviews181 followers
May 2, 2021
This is controversial book because of the social context rooted in the story. It didn't take me finishing the book to understand why Salman Rushdie was/is a hated man. Having studied extensively Arab/Middle Eastern/Islamic culture and being a former Arabic linguist, I was able to zero-in on what was being written. The controversy of the Satanic Verses from a historical perspective is a whole other discussion. I am not confident to discuss them so I'm sticking to a book review.

The title is taken from the alleged verses (Surah 53:19-20) that were given to the Prophet as divine revelation. The devil tricked Prophet giving extra verbiage for misleading purposes. The author uses them "Have you heard of Lat, and Manat, and Uzza, the Third, the Other? They are exalted Birds...", pg. 385.

The plot is about two Indian actors who fall out of the sky. Their plane explodes during a terrorist hijacking after takeoff and they fall into the English Channel. As they fall, they are transformed: Gibreel becomes an angel-like character closely resembling the angel Gabriel (Jibril) and Saladin transforms into a cloven-hoofed devil. From there is gets confusing.

The controversy from the writing is in Girbreel's dream sequences are the strong references to Islam:

1. The Prophet Muhammed is called 'Mahound', an alternative name for Muhammed sometimes used during the Middle Ages by Christians who considered him a devil.
2. Later, 'The Curtain, hijab, was the name of the most popular brothel in Jahilia" pg. 388, where the wives of Prophet Muhammed work. Literally, he uses their names: Ayesha, Ramlah, Hafsa, Juwairiyah, 'Mary the Copt', Sawdah, etc. "When the news got around Jahilia that the whores of The Curtain had each assumed identity of one of Mahound's wives, the clandestine excitement of the city's males was intense", pg. 393 and "The fifteen-year-old whore 'Ayesha' was the most popular with the paying public", pg. 394.

From a readability standpoint, Salman Rushdie's writing is very disjointed, wordy, and scattered in thought. There were many times when I was lost and felt like giving up. The writing style was tedious because almost all of it mimics conversation.

Overall I did not care for this book. My honest opinion is Salman Rushdie was trying to piss people off but writers do that sometimes. I would recommend 'Shame' and 'Shalimar the Clown' for better examples of his storytelling ability. If you didn't like this book, maybe give his other works a chance. Thanks!
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
January 16, 2015

When the Danish Cartoon crisis erupted, I immediately went out and bought a copy of this book... though I'm afraid I didn't then go and read it in public places, as I should have done. It is indeed extravantly disrespectful towards the Prophet, as everyone knows. What's somewhat less well-known is that it's also very disrespectful towards a figure who sure looks a lot like the late Ayatollah Khomeini. I wonder whether this wasn't the real reason for the fatwa? No doubt it has already been discussed at great length...
Profile Image for Lily.
72 reviews23 followers
September 22, 2007
Life is too short to endure bad fiction.

The story started out interesting enough, with the characters literally falling out of the sky. It took me a awhile to get into the story, but I finally did. The problem was that every time you managed to get a hold of the basic underlying narrative it would evaporate and be replaced by a nonsensical dream sequence. The transitions between the two realities was so seamless that you frequently find yourself lost. Add all of that to the fact that you are trying to juggle the names of very foreign persons and places and it gets even worse.

I think that, perhaps, to approach this book and appreciate it you have to have a working knowledge of the Koran and Persian Mythology.

I also think that the book would have never been have read by as many people as it has been were it not for the controversy surrounding it.
Profile Image for Mohammed  Ali.
475 reviews1,151 followers
March 10, 2017
" .. إن الوغد موجود في كل مجتمع و لكنه لا يظهر على السطح إلا في فترات الإنتقال , و هو لا يرمي إلى أي غاية , و لا يسعى إلى أي هدف , و لا يملك أي فكرة , كل ما هنالك أنه يعبر عن نفاذ صبر , و يدل على اختلاط الأمور في المجتمع , و مع ذلك نرى الوغد - دون أن يدرك هو ذلك - يخضع في جميع الأحيان تقريبا لجماعة صغيرة من المتقدمين الذين لهم هدف محدد , فهم يدفعون هؤلاء الأوغاد في الإتجاه الذي يناسبهم . "

ألبير كامو
Profile Image for Sheba.
27 reviews11 followers
January 4, 2008
I can't really review Rushdie's work. I don't understand everything he writes about. But I do love him because his language and his prose and his stories are just so Indian.

He writes lushly, extravagantly, with story tripping over story, subplot over sub sub plot. Characters tromp through with no regard for their antecedents. The colors are candy pink, good luck red, and Aegean blue, and everything is crashing and tumbling into each other.

And on top, his stories are amusing, mischievous, clever, full of naughtiness and frank stupidity. And if someone rides his ass backwards through parliament, no one blinks, and Bollywood is even more bollyish and saints ride rats in homespun, and then all of sudden, his stories are so sharp, so smart, quick to cut and they leave you, well, feeling awed. Do I need to say more....

It is taxing to read Rushdie and you need time, "Verses" took me a month of straight reading; but Rushdie is a big beautiful genie of a writer and the ride is fantastic.
May 17, 2017
(2.5 ** το μισό το χρωστάει στην συναναγνωστική μου Ταλεντάρα )

Ο Ρούσντι με τους Σατανικούς Στίχους παίζει δεξιοτεχνικά με όλα τα είδη αφηγηματικής τέχνης μα και με το νευρικό σύστημα των αναγνωστών.

Το πολύπλευρο παραμύθι του μαγικού και ζοφερού ρεαλισμού του εισβάλει σαν ιός στο μυαλό.
Διαχέεται αργά και βασανιστικά σε όλα τα πνευματικά αιμοφόρα αγγεία προκαλώντας πολλαπλά επεισόδια και κρίσεις συνειδητής και ασυνείδητης απροσδιόριστης κατανοητικής καταληψίας.

Με πιο απλά λόγια μπορεί να διάβαστεί ελαφρά τη καρδία και να αποφέρει μια απλή νοητική φλεγμονή, μπορεί όμως αν διαβαστεί ως πολυσήμαντο,πολύπτυχο και σκανδαλώδες λογοτεχνικό αριστούργημα να αποφέρει ανήκεστη βλάβη και κατάρρευση εγκεφαλικών κυττάρων.
(Φθηνά τη γλίτωσα)

"Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό, ήταν έτσι και δεν ήταν, έγινε κάποτε και ποτέ, όπως έλεγαν τα ινδικά παραμύθια..."

Ακριβώς έτσι εξελίσσεται όλη η ιστορία.

Ο συγγραφέας δημιουργεί μια ισλαμική παραγωγή η οποία δεν οριοθετείται στο Κοράνι και τον Προφήτη.
Εξαπλώνεται και δημιουργεί φαντασία και μύθο με θρησκευτικές και πολιτικές αναφορές,με κοινωνικά,ταξικά,τοξικά,ηθικά,και παρανοϊκά φαινόμενα που επηρεάζουν άμεσα την ανθρώπινη υπόσταση και την ατομική βούληση.

Η τριτοκοσμική Ινδία με τη γλωσσική πολυμορφία και την θρησκευτική ποικιλία της
Χριστιανισμός,σιχ,βουδισμός) συγκρούεται και παραπαίει με το σύγχρονο παγκοσμιοποιημένο πολιτισμικό καθεστώς.

Εξ αρχής,ο συγγραφέας χαρακτηρίζει αυτή τη χώρα
των πολύχρωμων και αρωματικών παραμυθιών,
αδύναμη να κατοχυρώσει οποιαδήποτε γνησιότητα
αν δεν συγκεραστεί με τους λαούς της δυτικής "κατοχής".

Ο κινηματογράφος αποτελεί τη λαϊκή παραδοσιακή τέχνη της Ινδίας και ο ρόλος του -με όποιο θέμα κι αν καταπιαστεί-είναι θεμελιώδης.
Επιτελεί κοινωνικό και πρωταγωνιστικό έργο όχι απλώς διασκέδασης και ψυχαγωγίας μα και χειραγώγησης ως αποτροπή κοινωνικών εντάσεων.

Μια ταινία δημιουργεί και ο Σαλμάν Ρούσντι με σκοπό την απόσχιση του καλού απο το κακό.

Δυο θρησκευτικά στρατόπεδα ετοιμοπόλεμα και φανατισμένα ξεκινούν την ιστορία και ρίχνουν κατόπιν τους τίτλους κάποιου άχρονου τέλους.

Οι ινδουιστές με τον πολυθεϊσμό τους και οι ισλαμιστές με τον μονοθεϊσμό και τον καταραμένο και έκλυτο προφήτη τους.
Και εστιάζουμε κυρίως στον Μωάμεθ που ως νεαρός και άπειρος συμβουλεύεται το θεϊκό πνεύμα που του αποκαλύπτειται κατά αποκλειστικότητα.
Μετά την θεϊκή παραίνεση αποφασίζει να ενώσει όλες τις υπάρχουσες θεότητες ανεξαρτήτως φύλου σε αγγελικές υποστάσεις του Αλλάχ.

Η "Κυρία" της ερήμου (θα σας τρελάνω πριν τρελαθώ ) όμως,αρνείται κατηγορηματικά να ασπαστεί τον Αλλάχ και να απαρνηθεί τις γυναικείες θεότητες, ακόμη κι αν αυτές εμπεριέχοταν με άλλο ρόλο στη νέα θρησκεία.

Ξεκάθαρα και με κάθε εξουσία που της αναλογεί απαγορεύει να προσκυνήσουν τον Αλλάχ.

Ο Μωάμεθ ανεβοκαταβαίνει τα βουνά και ζητά την επιφοίτηση του Αγίου πνεύματος και τη λύση στο πρόβλημα.
Όταν απελπίζεται,συμπράττει με την πονηριά και τη μισαλλοδοξία μετατρέποντας τις παραδοσιακές γυναικείες θεότητες σε πνεύματα του κακού.( πάρτε το αποκορύφωμα της επικείμενης βλάβης που αχνοφαίνεται).

Ο πολύτροπος προφήτης υποχωρεί φαινομενικά και με δόλιο-δίκαιο τρόπο αποκτά δύναμη.
Συγκεντρώνει "αγάπης"όπλα, ακατανόητα θέσφατα επιβολής σε φτωχούς και αμόρφωτους πιστούς, φανατισμένους οπαδούς με κύρος και δόξα και επιβάλλει με θρησκευτική ευλάβεια τη νέα θεολογική πίστη. (Έρχεται το τελειωτικό χτύπημα )

Η "Κυρία" της ερήμου,η απόλυτη εξουσία, είναι η πρώτη που ασπάζεται το κοράνι και γίνεται φανατική μουσουλμάνα. (Μετά επήλθε το χάος).

Ένα συνονθύλευμα απο γυναικείες προφητικές μορφές,έκπτωτοι και ιεροί,πνεύματα του κακού,παρανοϊκά μυαλά, κερασφόροι ψυχωσικοί,άγγελοι μετά ποιμένων,λάτρεις του δυτικού πολιτισμού,ακλόνητοι πολυθεϊστές
μετανάστες,φτωχοί, πλούσιοι, άρρωστοι και αρρωστημένοι παρουσιάζονται με εξέχοντα ρόλο στο έργο μας.

Αρχή και τέλος προφανώς απροσδιόριστης επεξήγησης.
Όλες οι παρενέργειες ορμούν με βία στον ανυποψίαστο αναγνώστη.

Εγκιβωτισμένες αφηγήσεις για τη ζωή και τις πράξεις των δορυφόρων των πρωταγωνιστών πέφτουν κατά ριπάς και αναρωτιέσαι αν έπαψες να κατανοείς γεγονότα ή παραληρείς.

Μέσα απο την πάλη του Καλού με το Κακό εμπεριέχεται η παραδοσιακή ιεραρχία του κατεστημένου όπου ο καθένας κάνει τελικά το καθήκον του.
Το αναπόδραστο και το μοιραίο.

Αυτή η κινηματογραφική ιστορία για τον Μωάμεθ και τα έργα του,οδήγησαν το συγγραφέα σε θανατική καταδίκη. Η μουσουλμανική κοινότητα θιγμένη προέβη σε παράνομες και εγκληματικές πράξεις με θύματα πολλές ανθρώπινες ζωές.

Εν κατακλείδι, η ολοκλήρωση της ανάγνωσης αυτού του βιβλίου οφείλεται σε μεγάλο ποσοστό στον πολυαγαπημένο μου συναναγνώστη Kyriako Sorokkou γνωστό πλέον ως Ταλεντάρα.

Μαζί καήκαμε. Γελάσαμε. Μπερδευτήκαμε. Ανταλλάξαμε απόψεις για όλα όσα ισχυριστήκαμε πως κατανοήσαμε (ψέμμα). Κουραστήκαμε. Αλλά τα καταφέραμε!!!

Ταλεντάρα μου, ανυπομονώ για την κριτική σου και για το επόμενο
συναναγνωστικό μας ταξίδι.

Τελικά ο προορισμός δεν έχει σημασία,μα θεωρώ ούτε το ταξίδι.
Σημασία έχει ο "συνοδοιπόρος" σου.

Καλή ανάγνωση σας εύχομαι ( χαιρέκακο γέλιο).
Πολλούς ασπασμούς!!
Profile Image for ميقات الراجحي.
Author 6 books2,028 followers
December 31, 2017
لا أعلم لماذا رشدي إنحدر بمستواه بهذا العمل ذلك (آيات شيطانية) فكرًا وأسلوبا أدبيًا. خصوصًا أنني قرأت له قبل هذ العمل رواية (أطفال منتصف الليل)أولًآ وهي رائعته الجميلة، والتي أبدع فيها بموضوع الهند قبل وبعد الإستقلال، ثم قرأت (آيات شيطانية) ومن بعدها غير عمل له ومنها عمله (العار). فوجدت حيرتي في إنحداره لهذا المستوى ربما أراد تقديم تنازلات أكثر ليتأقلم مع المجتمع الجديد! كعادة بعض الكتاب العرب والمسلمين وغيرهم من القادمين من دول العالم الثالث كنوع من الإنسلاخ القائم في الأساس على تشضي الهوية ليس على أثر جغرافي بقدر ماهو إحساس بالدونية.

قدم رشدي قبل (آيات) وبعد آيات أجمل أعماله من الناحية البنائية للرواية ومن ناحية القدرة الروائية فلماذا فعل مافعل؟!.. هذه مضحك ومخجل... هذه الرواية وجدتها مُقذية ومنفرة.

حينًا أقول أن رواية (منتصف الليل) وهبت رشيد مكانة عالمية وهو قابع في بريطانيا ولاشك صدى روايته وصل لبلده الهند فلماذا هذا المنزلق في رواية بائسة موضوعًا وطريقة معالجة حتي أنني بت أستغرب "التطبيل" الذ يحصده من بعض العرب مسلمين وغير مسلمين من دعاة الحرية التي تمجدهم دار (الجمل) في غلاف الرواية حتي تُحسن بيع منتجها كعادته إزاء العمل الذي يرفض.

عمومًا تقبع شهرة الرواية في تناولها بالتعريض لشخصية الرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم – في طريقة معالجة بائسة ومناقشته ضمن سياق الرواية لبعض آي القرآن وفق أفق ضيق ينم عن سوء كبير وعظيم بثقافته التي ينتمي إليها – الإسلامية – التي يتبع لها حتي لو شكليًا (وليس موضوعي الدخول في قلبه فهذا مما بينه وبين الرب). حتى عندما حاولت أن أكون محايدًا وأنظر للرواية من جانب أدبي ومن ناحية تقنية فهي معدومة وهشة بعيدًا عن موضوعها. رغم أن رشدي نحى في كتابتها طريقة الممبدعة العظيمة (فرجينا وولف) في "مسز دالوي" وغيرها من الأعمال التي أبتكرت وطورت فيها "تيار الوعي” إلا أن الرواية ليست بتلك المستوى رغم جودة روائية وأدوات رشدي للأمانة الأدبية.

من صحيفة :
The Daily News, dated March Lst 1989, Rushdie
يقول المفكر ((رولد ديهل) : ((أن هذا النمط من إثارة الحساسية قد أوصل كتبًا غير متميزة على الإطلاق إلى قائمة أكثر الكتب بيعًآ في العالم.. ولكن في نظري أن هذه طريقة رخيصة للوصول إلى هذا الهذف.. وفي نظري أيظًا أنه انتهازي خطير.. وأعتقد أنه"مأجور" . )) أنتهى

هنا مراجعتي لرواية أطفال منتصف الليل :

قراءات 2009م
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews927 followers
March 1, 2023
"Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true."

"When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible."

Salman Rushdie and the long shadow of 'The Satanic Verses' - Los Angeles Times

My most recent reading of Salmon Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was for a book club while I was living in Morocco. This made me very sensitive to the book's perceived insult against Islam as well as the ensuing outrage. Still, as I read it, the novel felt like it was much more about the immigrant experience and transformation than it was about the infamous and frequently referenced Satanic Verses passage.

The novel's language is remarkable; however, it also slows down the reading. That was a criticism of many in my book club. I feel that this is very worthwhile as there is so much humor in the language that a quick reading won't reveal. Another criticism, and one which I am more sympathetic to, is that reading The Satanic Verses can become a slog. It can be difficult to connect some of the tangential stories to our two main protagonists. I liked some of the 'side stories;' however, trying to keep track of all the characters and competing stories did turn the reading into a slog at times. Despite that, I'd still recommend the novel. I like how, from the beginning, anything seems possible!

Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,359 reviews792 followers
December 17, 2015
I'm giving this four stars because I acknowledge the importance of what this book has to say. The importance does not outweigh the fact that Rushdie does the "oh look how badly they treat women they must be bad!" dance while amassing almost a dozen girlfriends in the refrigerator and a couple personas whose bad ass character definition is completely subsumed by their (male) lover's plot lines, but stands alongside it, equally worthy of mention. It's a balancing of my importance as a self with my importance as an idea, something that men the world over could learn something from. Intersectionality does not dampen your critical thinking skills; solipsism does. And when it comes to gynephobia or any other ideological oppression, solipsism kills.
Mahound, any new idea is asked two questions. When it's weak: will it compromise? We know the answer to that one. And now, Mahound, on your return to Jahilia, time for the second question: How do you behave when you win? When your enemies are at your mercy and your power has become absolute: what then?
The main reason why I think this book deserves to be read is because while Rushdie does fall into authorial/political traps in regards to women, he does so while deconstructing the very power structures that propagate those traps. It's not a matter of "I did my best and no one should criticize me" feel-good stagnancy, nor a philosophical degeneration into nonentity that likes to pretend privilege is not a thing, but a real look at the compromises we live by in the societal boundaries of good and evil. This angry and messy view of things is particular important when considering the book, its history, and the particular reader I am, an atheist woman who grew to adulthood in the wake of 9/11. I have my own issues due to my identity, but I'll never be thought a terrorist.
Emboldened by the lights and the patient, silent lens, he goes further. These kids don't know how lucky they are, he suggests. They should consult their kith and kin. Africa, Asia, the Caribbean: now those are places with real problems. Those are places where people might have grievances worth respecting. Things aren't so bad here, not by a long chalk; no slaughters here, no torture, no military coups. People should value what they've got before they lose it. Ours always was a peaceful land, he says. Our industrious island race.
I know people died for the sake of this book, I know people died for the sake of my country's obsessions with security and military industrial complex as a direct result of Islamophobia, and I know how easy it would be to use one to excuse the other. It's the same parsed feeling when Rushdie writes about current events in Ferguson twenty-six years before in fiction form, and then goes on to comment how the martyr of his particular story had a history of abusing women that does not receive coverage for the sake of solidarity. What's important here is how little confidence there is in regards to the "right" answer to all this, how Rushdie handles the choice between in such a way that the good and the bad of each are readily apparent and always in metamorphosis. Much like Murakami, I found myself questioning my own beliefs not because of how characters I had identified with had suffered, but due to the genuine interest the author had in questioning the lines of good and evil and what that all meant for our effort to live. Both of them have issues with writing female characters, but the "worth reading" quality is high enough to merit a pass.
Allie had a way of switching from the concrete to the abstract, a trope so casually achieved as to leave the listener half-wondering if she knew the difference between the two; or, very often, unsure as to whether, finally, such a difference could be said to exist.
If I can do it, so can you. Personal offence does not impress me when lives are on the line, and that goes for any and all lives.
Profile Image for Johanna.
220 reviews24 followers
September 9, 2007
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is overwhelming in terms of plot, imagery, and its large cast of characters. However, it is completely worth it and it flows beautifully once you get in tune with the book. I bought the Satanic Verses when I was 17 and I was not ready for it--I read 15 pages and then put it away. I picked it up again 7 years later and could not put it down.

There is just....so much packed into this book. One would have to read it many many times to get the full meaning of it, but at the same time it is a highly enjoyable and pleasurable read. By combining the two, this book becomes perfect--you can enjoy it on first read, but you will want to read it again, and again. Rushdie is the consummate storyteller. Like Neil Gaiman, he is amazing at the actual "telling" of the story, as opposed to just having interesting characters and plots (although he does). He is a storyteller in the tradition of the old tellers, the bards and minstrels and trovadores of a bygone age. Rushdie keeps it alive.

However, a warning. There is a reason that Rushdie had a fatwa declared against him. This book does not portray the Prophet Mohammed in the best light. At all. That is something people may find offensive. I found it fascinating in terms of exploring the genesis of a religion. Rushdie keeps your guessing--in the end, you have to decide what you believe about the characters, including Mohammed.
Profile Image for Peiman E iran.
1,430 reviews693 followers
June 26, 2016
دوستانِ خردگرا، به نظرم 2 ستاره هم برایِ این کتاب زیاد بود
متاسفانه با گنده کردنِ موضوعِ این کتابِ مسخره توسطِ خمینی و عده ای ایرانیِ عرب پرست و نادان، تنها و تنها مردمِ سرزمینم خسارت دیدند
بله عزیزانم، با محکوم کردن و حلال کردنِ خون « سلمان رشدی»، باعث شدند که این مرد ناشناس و رمان نویس، به شهرتِ جهانی دست پیدا کند، و از طرفِ ملکۀ انگلستان لقبِ «سِر» را دریافت کند... بله، با این حکم، سلمان رشدی میلیونها دلار از فروش همین کتاب در حسابِ مبارکشان رفت... پول سرزمینِ من خرجِ هزاران هزار طاقۀ پارچه شد، تا بر رویِ آن مثلاً مرگ بر انگلیس و مرگ بر سلمان رشدی بنویسند، در این بین مردمِ انگلستان چه گناهی کرده اند!! مشخص نیست
چندین تُن و چندین و چند کیلو، خرجِ رنگ برایِ نوشتن این شعارها شد و درود فرستادن بر محمّد
در این میان چه کسی خسارت دید؟؟... اسلام؟ عرب پرستان؟ انگلیس؟ سلمان رشدی؟ ... خیر... فقط و فقط مردمِ ساده و مظلومِ سرزمینِ من خسارت و زیان دیدند که البته با نادانیِ خود مستحقِ ستم نیز میباشند و عده ای شاعر و نویسندۀ بیگناه و خردگرا نیز ضربه خوردند

دوستانِ گرانقدر، در هند و بنگلادش و اسلام آباد در اعتراض به «سلمان رشدی» چندین و چند نفر کشته و مجروح شدند، بیشتر آنها حتی این کتاب را نخوانده بودند، کتابی که شاید ضعیفترین کارِ این نویسندۀ هندی تبار بود
در ترکیه نزدیک به 40 تن از روشنفکران در آتشِ خشمِ این عرب پرستان سوختند
یک جوانِ نادان و احمقِ لبنانی به نامِ «مصطفی محمود مازح» در لندن به قصد کشتنِ سلمان رشدی، هنگامِ ساختِ بمب در هتلی منفجر شد و گَندَش از رویِ زمین پاک شد ولی از سویِ ایران لقبِ «شهید» گرفت
در ژاپن « هیوتوشی ایگاراشی» مترجمِ این کتاب، با چاقو تکه پاره شد
این همه کشتار و جنایت و جایزۀ 4 میلیون دلاری، برایِ کشتنِ نویسندۀ یک کتابِ داستانیِ ضعیف
عزیزانم، این رمان به سبک رئالیسم نوشته شده و شرحِ زندگیِ دو هندی است که از یک حادثۀ ترور، جان سالم بدر برده و به انگلستان رفته اند... تراژدی و کمدی هم چاشنیِ داستان است... بله... داستان زندگیِ مردمی است که در آرزوی دنیای بهتر، از کشور خویش می گریزند، مردمی که نه توان فرارویی به انسانی مدرن را دارند و نه می خواهند در دنیایِ سنتی زندگی کنند
برای دست یافتن به هویتی تاز��، زندگیِ سراسر پردردسر را در بریتانیا از سر میگذرانند
در شهرِ خیالیِ «جاهلیه»، دوازده زنِ روسپی ساکنِ « خانۀ عشق» هستند که نامِ این 12 نفر توسطِ نویسنده هم نامِ با زنانِ محمّد، پیامبرِ اسلام است و اشاره هایی کنایه آمیز به خمینی و زندگیِ محمد نیز دارد، اما فقط بخش کوتاهی از این کتاب به پیامبرِ تازیان یعنی محمّد اشاره دارد
البته به عقیدۀ من بسیار کتابِ ضعیفی بود
پیشنهاد میکنم وقتِ ارزشمندِ خودتان را صرفِ خواندنِ این کتاب نکنید
<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>
Profile Image for غُفْرَان.
236 reviews2,099 followers
December 18, 2016
واحدة أخرى من الروايات التي تمثل القيء الفكري بكل معانيه وكأن الرجل أبى أن يحمل كل هذا الوسخ بداخله فتقيئه علينا في شكل رواية
فهو لم يعتدي فيها على الإسلام فقط بل على كل الديانات السماوية ولكن كان للإسلام ونبيه عليه افضل الصلاة والسلام النصيب الأكبر
فدائما كان وسيظل الإسلام شوكة فى حلق أمثاله
ممن كانوا إفراز نتن للثقافة والدعم الغربي ولنحطاط ولسذاجة الفكر الإلحادي فهذا فكر لم يعمي أصحابه فقط عن الايمان والأديان فالله الغني عنهم وعن إيمانهم ولكنه طمس على عقولهم وأصابها بحالة تيبس باتت غير قادرة حتى على التفكير السوي أو المنطقي فكثيراً قرأت في هذا الفكر فلم أخرج منه سوى بنوبات من الضحك المتواصل على ضحالة فكرهم وخلوه ليس من الايمان ولكن من العقل .
تتبعها حالة حزن على المخلوق المكرم المزين بالعقل من قبل خالقه كيف عبث بعقله الى هذا الحد فتحول بما كسبت يداه الى هذا المسخ !!!

في النهاية هذا عمل لم يحمل بين صفحاته ما يستحق القراءة لا فكر ولا إبداع ولا قصة ولا لغة ولا أسلوب أدبي لم يحمل سوى سموم فكرية وأمراض قلبية وعقلية ..

Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,729 followers
March 9, 2011
A near perfect novel. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. I loved how Rushdie was able to master heaven and hell, saint and sinner, heaven and earth in this dreamlike exploration of what it means to be an immigrant, an angel, a saint and a sinner. At times he writes like a post-modern satirist cum Pynchon, then suddenly he melts into his best post-colonial Achebe, and then off again on his magical realist, literary carpet à la Gabriel García Márquez. Rushdie's writing is a mountain you don't climb down, you fly off.
Profile Image for Liz Janet.
579 reviews384 followers
April 9, 2018
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”

I’ve been meaning to read this novel for years, ever since I first read his other magnificent novel “Midnight’s Children“, and the wait was worth it, it is not disappointing in any sense of the word.

My one problem is that I expected this to be an novel set in ancient times, as I thought it had a bigger focus on ancient deities and Islam in general, instead I was greeted by a fantastic study on what is like to be alienated, as an immigrant, a minority. But I will still hope for him to do another work on what I originally expected, it is too good a subject to pass up.

“What kind of idea are you? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accomodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world.”

This work also had a focus on how religion can be politicized, and the fatwa on his head was more than proof on how such a thing was somehow allowed. It is odd, that the point he was showing in a fictional novel came to affect him in the real world in such a terrible way. What happened to him, and many others included in the publishing, and even translation of such a valuable work , should not be permitted by anyone of any religion or lack thereof, or even differing political opinions. It is an anchor that keeps society in the darkness, and it needs to end.

Rushdie’s works in general are masterpieces, and this one is one of those at the top, only behind “Midnight’s Children”. Hence, it should be thoroughly read an explored. Have fun!

If I see one comment about how I shouldn't like this book as a Muslim, or people complementing me for standing up to my faith or some nonsense like that, I AM GOING TO LOOSE IT!!!
Review to come, hopefully soon.
Profile Image for William2.
758 reviews3,078 followers
May 19, 2020
Rather spooky reading at the time of the Rushdie fatwa. Deserves a reread. It really is better than the three stars I’ve given it. It was a little over my head when I read it.
Profile Image for Saadia  B..
184 reviews75 followers
May 16, 2021
One of the worst books ever written. It’s outrageously stupid, full of staggering bizarre concepts and a deteriorating narrative.

It claims to be written under the “freedom of speech” notion. Yet it criticises, ridicule and target one religion only. Extremely ignorant and contradictory in nature, I believe this book was written with an intention to hurt sentiments. Not recommended to anyone who believes in freedom of speech and giving respect to other religions no matter how many difference of opinions one may have with them.

If I had an option I would have given this book 0 stars but sadly that’s not possible.

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