Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children
Salman Rushdie

Can Rushdie write? Yes, he prose is beautiful, if too baroque at times for me. I read this over a decade ago, and there are scenes I can still remember clearly.

Can he craft a compelling story? Yes, as this story of the transformation of India, and those who lived there, as it moved from colony to nation state makes clear he can carve a complex story down into the parts that matter most.

How about his characters? Are they well drawn? Undoubtedly. Saleem, the center of the story, and a child born at midnight on the day India received its independence, is superbly rendered. I remember things about him to this day. His family and the others who populate this book of how one struggles and grows in a world of tumultuous change are also vivid.

So why didn’t I like it as much as I thought I would? Perhaps expectations were too high; perhaps I was expecting too much. Perhaps it was the tinges of magical realism that didn’t sit well with me. Perhaps it was something else. Undoubtedly, this is a brilliant book, but perhaps not a book for me. An important book, and a book well worth reading, but one that left me emotionally underwhelmed. Either way, in the end, I was left feeling like I’d read a book that I both admired and did not particularly enjoy. imagine your experience might be different.

Recommended for the enthusiast.


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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