I avoided reading Salman Rushdie till now. I heard great things about
him, but overwhelmingly I hear about his ‘Satanic Verses’, the infamous book
that resulted in a death fatwa. But the other week I decided to read something
by him. I was looking for ‘Midnight Children’ but
couldn’t find it and instead, borrowed ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’.
I was very pleasently impressed. I love his writing – the way he plays with
the words, his use of mythology to further his references, his characters,
his tackling of the great questions. His ability to weave a story is
extraordinairy and sets him uniquely apart from his contemporaries. He is a
master at his craft and one fantastic story teller.
This book is about music, love and life. Three themes intertwined with an
‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ like love story. He also cleverly brings in the
history of current events and pop-music. But what really makes this book
great is his skill at creating a rich story with fantastic characters who face
the many struggles that we all face.
Some people accuse this book of having unbelievable characters. They’re
right, but it is their lack of imagination and understanding of Rusdie’s
style that makes them see this as a flaw. His characters are magical but
he is still able show us how human they are. Magical realism plays an
important role but like Marquez it is to make a point – to use it as a back
drop to better illustrate our own world.
I enjoyed reading this book tremendously. It has a fantasic story, written by
a master. We can’t really ask for anything more.