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Haroun And The Sea Of Stories [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Salman Rushdie
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $4.54  
Hardcover CDN $16.61  
Paperback CDN $12.27  
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Book Description

Nov. 29 1991
It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.

R is for Rushdie. Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie’s classic children’s novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as Gulliver’s Travels, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. Haroun, a 12-year-old boy sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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.

"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.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Context and Censorship Feb. 8 2004
The key to understanding "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" is to look at the context during which it was written. Salman Rushdie was in hiding, and on the run, after a fatwa had been placed on his head for writing the Satanic Verses. He was away from his wife and child (the latter for whom the book was written).
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".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Pleasure July 10 2004
By A Customer
I had to read this book for a humanities lit class. I found myself really enjoying it. It is a really excellent book. It kind of made me feel like a little kid. It is such a fantasy story, but it isn't written for kids. It was quite inspirational too, it made me feel like everything would be ok. I have recomended this book to two other people, they loved it too. I don't want to tell you any of the plot because it suprises you as you read it, but it is a really good book. One that I would recomend to anyone who asks what to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fine Oct. 8 2011
By nic
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Simple, Honest and Entertaining Feb. 15 2011
By LeeLee
Upon stumbling across "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" I had no idea what to expect... and I was very pleasantly surprised! This book is by no means a difficult read, but the time spent reading it is well worth it.
It has echoes of Dr. Seuss's eccentricities, with some 'Alice and Wonderland'-esque twists - eclectic and endearing characters, bizarre names, silly rhymes, good and evil, light and dark... all rolled up into an adventure to save the threatened Ocean of all Stories.
Salman Rushdie creates characters that you can't help but love, whether it be Haroun, the worried and loving son of a story teller who has lost his 'Gift of the Gab', or the sky-blue bearded genie Iff, who is responsible for spiriting Haroun away to another Moon, you will be delighted by the patchwork of personalities that are presented to you from page one.
A simple exploration of the importance of storytelling (very literally!) wrapped in a whimsical fairy tale - clever, honest, and entertaining!
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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. A story with a strong message written in a style of a symbolic fairytale, there is meaning injected into each character and action which inspires and delights a reader willing to take the time to understand Rushdie's opinions on the brutality of censorship and the power of personal expression.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Haroun And The Sea Of Stories May 18 2004
By A Customer
Living in a harsh brutal world where sadness is manufactured, three people in the entire city are happy. These are Rashid, Soraya, and Haroun. Rashid, the father of Haroun, is a storyteller and speaks throughout the city. His wife, Soraya, is a singer. Then Haroun is a smart young man. The storyteller looses his wife and storytelling talent. One day Haroun meets a water genie named Iff and his mechanical bird, Butt, and they take him to a magical second moon. They meet Prince Bolo and eventually Rashid there as well. So they are on a wild goose chase to find Princess Batcheat, Bolo's wife, and destroy the evil Kattam-Shud that is poisoning the beautiful story waters.
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By A Customer
Salman Rushdie really wrote a great book. I read this book in my English/Social Studies class and we all had a fun time reading it. We all were anxious to read the book because we would always stop at a good part and we really wanted to find out what happened. I think Salman Rushdie should write a sequal when he goes back to the moon Khani and sees all his friends: Iff the Water Genie, Blabbermouth, Mudra the Shadow Warrior, Batcheat,Prince Bolo,and all his other friends.
My favorite part of the book was the end. How they find Princess Batcheat is such a good part. I don't want to explain it because you reviewers have to read it!!! I also like it after Rashid tells everyone the story. The first few words of the story that Rashid tells you at the end are actually told the same way in the begining.
I really would recommend it!!!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the words are are a school of minnow
Have you ever watched them? The most amazing part is the way the school changes direction, swooping off the other way.
Rushdie's language is the same. It flows and swoops. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by M. Harvey
1.0 out of 5 stars Just the Asian Version of The Phantom Tollbooth
I'm sure you have all already read about the begining of the book, so I am just going to start: This book is horrible. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Charlotte Young
1.0 out of 5 stars Starts with Potential, but the Rest is Obviously Forced
This book is written with quite beautiful laguage and wonderfully descriptive words. Rushdie's talent to form perfect pictures with words and to let you enjoy it while he does is... Read more
Published on Dec 22 2003 by Cody Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark forces of humanity can be defeated
This is a tale for all kinds of public. It sure is for children but to teach them in the most attractive way imaginable what grown-ups will understand at once. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2003 by Jacques COULARDEAU
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous fairy tale
I read this book in one sitting and I was astounded at the breadth of Rushdie's imagination: I had previously read "Midnight's Children" and I absolutely loved its scope. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by Kurt Lennon
4.0 out of 5 stars A mix of fantasy & fairy tale that is pure delight.
Rushdie soars in this wonderland tale of Gups, Chups, and other fantastical figures making up this fun and highly entertaining read. Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2003 by William Wu
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