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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This book is a new favourite entrancing vivid brilliant. There aren't many books that I can't put down but this was one of them.Published 1 month ago by Himmatpreet Kaur
Great book, I really enjoyed reading it. It was my first by Rushdie and I am happy I started with this one. Read morePublished 5 months ago by c b
This was a very stimulating read. I found myself very energized while reading it , and thoroughly enjoyed reading my first Salman Rushie novel!Published 6 months ago by greeneyes
I read this over an extended period of time and enjoyed every word and tale written. Rushdie's descriptions are brilliant and his stories are very funny.Published on Jan. 4 2013 by Therongold
I bought this book because Salman Rushdie is a world renowned writer and this is a very popular book. Read morePublished on May 9 2012 by Rajesh
It's no surprise the novel, Midnight's Children has won the Booker Prize 3 times. It is one of the best novels of all time. It has become my favorite novel, and will be yours too. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2010 by A. Pendse
The style of writing is not for everyone. Is it well written? Yes and no. It seems to try too hard, resulting in a book that doesn't generate much desire to keep turning the... Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2006 by Peter
Salman Rushdie is still one of the best contemporary writer; in this book, he's painting a fine portrait of the Indian's socio-political situation. Read morePublished on June 24 2006 by P. Bolduc