Haroun And The Sea Of Stories Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Nov 1 1991
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Immediately forget any preconceptions you may have about Salman Rushdie and the controversy that has swirled around his million-dollar head. You should instead know that he is one of the best contemporary writers of fables and parables, from any culture. Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a delightful tale about a storyteller who loses his skill and a struggle against mysterious forces attempting to block the seas of inspiration from which all stories are derived. Here's a representative passage about the sources and power of inspiration:
So Iff the water genie told Haroun about the Ocean of the Stream of Stories, and even though he was full of a sense of hopelessness and failure the magic of the Ocean began to have an effect on Haroun. He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale. Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead, but alive.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"And if you are very, very careful, or very, very highly skilled, you can dip a cup into the Ocean," Iff told Haroun, "like so," and here he produced a little golden cup from another of his waistcoat pockets, "and you can fill it with water from a single, pure Stream of Story, like so," as he did precisely that.
From Publishers Weekly
Following the unprecedented controversy generated by The Satanic Verses , Rushdie offers as eloquent a defense of art as any Renaissance treatise. Supposedly begun as a bedtime story for Rushdie's son, Haroun concerns a supremely talented storyteller named Rashid whose wife is lured away by the same saturnine neighbor who poisons Rashid's son Haroun's thoughts. "What's the use of stories that aren't even true?" Haroun demands, parroting the neighbor and thus unintentionally paralyzing Rashid's imagination. The clocks freeze: time literally stops when the ability to narrate its passing is lost. Repentant, Haroun quests through a fantastic realm in order to restore his father's gift for storytelling. Saturated with the hyperreal color of such classic fantasies as the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland , Rushdie's fabulous landscape operates by P2C2Es (Processes Too Complicated To Explain), features a court where all the attendant Pages are numbered, and unfurls a riotous display of verbal pranks (one defiant character chants "You can chop suey, but / You can't chop me!"; elsewhere, from another character: " 'Gogogol,' he gurgled. " 'Kafkafka,' he coughed"). But although the pyrotechnics here are entertaining in and of themselves, the irresistible force of the novel rests in Rushdie's wholehearted embrace of the fable--its form as well as its significance. It's almost as if Rushdie has invented a new form, the meta-fable. Rather than retreating under the famous death threats, Rushdie reiterates the importance of literature, stressing not just the good of stories "that aren't even true" but persuading us that these stories convey the truth. As Haroun realizes, "He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Essentially, "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" is a story about censorship. The protagonist participates in a war between the forces of speech and the forces of silence. There are two events which precipitate this war: 1) Princess Batcheet, of the land of storytellers (Gup), is kidnapped by the armies of the land of silence (Chup), and 2) the Ocean of the Streams of Stories, the source of all the stories in the world, is poisoned by the ruler of Chup.
The people of Gup are faced with a major decision. They only have resources to fight one battle and the question is often asked: "What is more important? The Story? Or the Storyteller?" Is the story more important than the ability to tell it and the person who is communicating it?
What is even more poignant in this tale is that Rushdie has made the Princess an unlikable character: she is ugly, has a screechy voice, and makes improper, invaluable, or disrespectful comments when she speaks. Rushdie was Princess Batcheet at the time this book was written. The price on his head was placed over improper, invaluable, or disrespectful comments (as viewed by some populations in the world) he had written in the Satanic Verses.
In the end, both the person and the stories are saved and Rushdie makes his crucial point: one could not exist without the other. Even though the princess is disliked, she is saved because all ideas must have the chance to be expressed- even ideas that have been deemed "bad" or "dangerous".Read more ›
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
Haroun bitterly asks his storyteller father, "What's the use of stories that aren't even true?" To compensate for this offense, he embarks on a fairytale journey where he learns how precious, rare, and powerful the human imagination is. The plot is similar to the movie The Never Ending Story, coupled with the literary traditions of Alice in Wonderland, the Phantom Tollbooth, and Willy Wonka.
The book was diverting enough to read on the bus yet underlying its entertainment value is a deadly serious subject. A boy's mother has just left him; his father has fallen from grace; the world is weeping and warring; and the little boy, Haroun, must decide "to be or not to be." He can bring peace to the planet with his powers of imagination. Can you?
In my opinion the theme of the book is "Stand up for what you believe in no matter what it takes." Ever since Haroun found out that his dad had lost his story telling powers, he never gave up on finding ways to make him get his powers back. He used extreme measures to retrieve the story telling powers for his father, like fighting a war for people he had just met because the Chupwalas were the ones who were polluting the sea of stories. He also fought this war so Iff the Water Jeannie would turn back on the story telling water and Rashid could tell his stories once again. Being a person who believes in the principle of chasing after your dreams and what you believe in, applaud Haroun for his actions.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately I haven't received the item yet. I know its a great book because I have read it before. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The problem is the Kindle edition, not the book. This is the second Kindle book I've purchased where blocks of text are missing. Read morePublished 3 months ago by RMG
It was in good shape, but it took quite a while to get here. I would order from here in the future, but allow a lot of thime for shipping to Canada.Published on Oct. 8 2011 by nic
Upon stumbling across "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" I had no idea what to expect... and I was very pleasantly surprised! Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2011 by LeeLee
Coming from a land where free speech is not a privilege, Rushdie presents a strong case on its place in society, government and in human relationships. Read morePublished on July 9 2004 by E. F. Romano
Living in a harsh brutal world where sadness is manufactured, three people in the entire city are happy. These are Rashid, Soraya, and Haroun. Read morePublished on May 18 2004