The Satanic Verses

By Salman Rushdie

Rating: 4 stars

Over the English Channel, a hi-jacked airliner explodes leaving two survivors clinging to each other as they fall. One gains a halo while the other grows horns and goat legs, acting out the ancient battle between good and evil again; but which is which?

This is a very complex book, with many interwoven themes: love, belonging and betrayal being the central ones. Different people will get many different things out of it, but what struck a chord with me was the issues of belonging, and the difficulties of standing between cultures, since this is something I feel on a day-to-day basis.

I also loved the language of the book. Rushdie has a wonderful gift for words and it was a pleasure to let the words drift over you. It also captured, for me, the voice of Indian literature. It does sound like an authentic mix of cosmopolitan English and Hindi; while Rushdie wasn’t the first Indian writer to write in English and add a twist of Indian colloquialism, he has certainly mastered the art. Like its predecessor, Midnight’s Children, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Book details

Publisher: Vintage
Year of publication: 1988

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