Midnight's Children (Everyman's Library)

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9780679444626: Midnight's Children (Everyman's Library)

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the "bomb of Bombay" chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947—and examines a whole people's capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones.

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Review:

Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts. Take, for example, his 1980 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947--the moment at which India became an independent nation--are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view--and certainly his sense of the fantastical--has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre, Midnight's Children is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Rushdie's narrator, Saleem Sinai, is the Hindu child raised by wealthy Muslims. Near the beginning of the novel, he informs us that he is falling apart--literally:

I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug--that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams. In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the moment, although there are signs of an acceleration.
In light of this unfortunate physical degeneration, Saleem has decided to write his life story, and, incidentally, that of India's, before he crumbles into "(approximately) six hundred and thirty million particles of anonymous, and necessarily oblivious, dust." It seems that within one hour of midnight on India's independence day, 1,001 children were born. All of those children were endowed with special powers: some can travel through time, for example; one can change gender. Saleem's gift is telepathy, and it is via this power that he discovers the truth of his birth: that he is, in fact, the product of the illicit coupling of an Indian mother and an English father, and has usurped another's place. His gift also reveals the identities of all the other children and the fact that it is in his power to gather them for a "midnight parliament" to save the nation. To do so, however, would lay him open to that other child, christened Shiva, who has grown up to be a brutish killer. Saleem's dilemma plays out against the backdrop of the first years of independence: the partition of India and Pakistan, the ascendancy of "The Widow" Indira Gandhi, war, and, eventually, the imposition of martial law.

We've seen this mix of magical thinking and political reality before in the works of Günter Grass and Gabriel García Márquez. What sets Rushdie apart is his mad prose pyrotechnics, the exuberant acrobatics of rhyme and alliteration, pun, wordplay, proper and "Babu" English chasing each other across the page in a dizzying, exhilarating cataract of words. Rushdie can be laugh-out-loud funny, but make no mistake--this is an angry book, and its author's outrage lends his language wings. Midnight's Children is Salman Rushdie's irate, affectionate love song to his native land--not so different from a Bombay talkie, after all. --Alix Wilber

From the Back Cover:

Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India’s independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other ‘midnight’s children’ all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem’s story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Nº de ref. de la librería 97806794446260000000

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Descripción 1995. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VR-9780679444626

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Descripción Penguin Random House. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0679444629

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the bomb of Bombay chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947--and examines a whole people s capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780679444626

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the bomb of Bombay chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947--and examines a whole people s capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780679444626

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the bomb of Bombay chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947--and examines a whole people s capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780679444626

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Descripción Everyman's Library. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0679444629 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Nº de ref. de la librería SWATI2122548626

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Descripción Everyman's Library. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Hardcover. 632 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.1in. x 1.5in.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A classic novel, in which the man who calls himself the bomb of Bombay chronicles the story of a child and a nation that both came into existence in 1947and examines a whole peoples capacity for carrying inherited myths and inventing new ones. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780679444626

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Salman Rushdie
Editorial: Everyman's Library (1995)
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Descripción Everyman's Library, 1995. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0679444629

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Descripción Everyman's Library Classics &, 1995. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería TH9780679444626

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