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The Satanic Verses [Paperback]

Salman Rushdie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrestling with God Nov. 3 2001
On the evening of September 10, 2001, the acclaimed, or is it notorious, British-Indian author of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie, came to Houston to read from his latest work. A small crowd of Ayatollah-following extremist protesters picketed outside the Alley Theater. If that is all they're up to now, I thought, perhaps we've heard the last of the jihad, the fatwa and the Islamic crazies. Little did I know what outrage awaited the next day.
When I found The Satanic Verses in the book store, I thought, If this is a war of ideas, a war for the mind, then my own little personal protest will be to read what my enemy does not want anyone to read. It had not occurred to me before, because the fervor of the fatwa led me to believe Salman Rushdie's book was some sort of religious tract or angry political protest against Muslim fundamentalism, not a novel of brilliant imagination, sensual metaphor and lyrical poetry.
It is a story of India and Britain, and the inevitable clashes between, brought on by their long, and turbulent history together. It is a story about personal identity, racial identity and religious identity. It is a story of damnation and redemption, love and betrayal, betrayal and forgiveness. But most of all, it is a story about people. Deep, colorful and live, full of passion, humor and questions for the Almighty. It is, in short, a human story, so well crafted, that anyone, even someone like me who has little experience with India or Islam, can relate to its message.
Perhaps this accessibility is just what worried the Ayatollah Khomeni. By issuing his death sentence upon Salman Rushdie's head, he drew widespread attention and sympathy for a talented writer who might otherwise have gone unnoticed outside his own circle of interest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenge worth taking Dec 4 2001
By Heather
I doubt that I ever would have chosen this work outside of my college literature class, but I am much more enlightened for having read it. Salman Rushdie has weaved a novel that is a complicated web of good vs. evil, identity politics, and complex characters.
Not to scare off the borderline reader, but to read this book is a commitment. The use of hindi language and other alien references is a bit intimidating, but why read something if you aren't going to learn anything new? It is thought provoking at every turn and requires the reader to pay attention to the multiple plots and to keep the characters who share the same name differentiated. This book is an absolute must for anyone who is curious about Islam, Muslim life, even the effects of colonialism. Be aware, this isn't a work you can stick on the nightstand and forget about for weeks.
Even if the book isn't your cup of tea, you have to at least give credit to Rushdie for having the conviction to write such a tale. Kudos to him for taking his beliefs, doubts, and issues with a religion, a society, and cultivating them into a piece of art to be enjoyed for all time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rushdie's Masterpiece Jan. 5 2000
The book isn't a blasphemy against Islam; the death sentence pronounced against the author was an insult to everything Islam is supposed to represent. I have never seen or heard of so many people condemning a book they never read. If this isn't the height (or depth) of ignorance, tell me what is. The Satanic Verses is a tour de force. I have read it three times since it was first published and it still fascinates me. There is so much happening in this book that it is several books in one. Those who are upset at the protagonist's ravings against Islam don't seem to realize that these are the ravings of a disturbed mind; Gibreel is a paranoid schizophrenic whose tortured fantasies can only end in the tragedy that finally releases him from his inner hell. Rushdie is an incredibly gifted writer: one moment he is laughing-out-loud funny, and at other times his prose verges on the poetic. Read this book with an open mind; it's a treasure-house to be explored over and over again.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a WONDERFUL book May 19 2002
By Greg
This book is incredible. Rushdie has a unique, lyrical prose style that makes this book a joy to read. The Satanic Verses deals with two men who fall from a hijacked airpane and survive. After the fall, (hmm) they undergo a series of transformations: one man, Gibreel Farishta, is changed into an archangel, while Saladin Chamcha changes into a demon. The story also deals with immigration: the loss of one's homeland and the mistreatment and bigotry with which immigrants are treated. Beyond that, Rushdie is dealing with the intertwined nature of good and evil. Where the book has been accused of blasphemy are the passages in which he opposes the black/white polarization of good and evil in organized religion. I would not recommend this book to a devout Muslim, Catholic, or any unquestioned believer in any dogmatic religion. It questions many beliefs about God and about life. However, I do not feel Rushdie is an atheist, only a believer who does not want to be told what to think. This book is a great masterpiece, second only in Rushdie's catalogue to Midnight's Children. (Well, I haven't read Ground Beneath her Feet yet, but MC is the best I've read so far.) I highly recommend this book and Salman Rushdie. I would read Midnight's Children first if you're a Rushdie newbie.
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Item as described. Good service.
Published 1 month ago by Shams Tejani
5.0 out of 5 stars .
The book was as described and I had a good experience with the purchase. As well the price point was really good.
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Published 11 months ago by Dick P. Veerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived fast
This was a excellent place to purchase what I want, it came quick and packaged very well. I will purchase here again.

Theresa Fong
Published 20 months ago by Theresa Fong
2.0 out of 5 stars Satanic Verses
My husband ordered the book..seller was perfect in mailing etc., but the book was NOT what he expected it to be and did not enjoy what little he read.
Published 22 months ago by mayflower
1.0 out of 5 stars Printing and Binding issue
I ordered this book (Hard Cover) from Amazon and was very excited about reading this world famous book. Read more
Published on March 12 2012 by Rajesh
4.0 out of 5 stars Controversial Fiction
"The Satanic Verses" is a novel which has been overshadowed by its history. Published in late September of 1988, it was on February 14th in 1989 that a fatwa was issued by the... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2011 by Dave_42
5.0 out of 5 stars A Metaphorical Wonder
A great deal has been written since 1988 about Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which, aside from the obvious sensationalism regarding the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's fatwa,... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2010 by Lorina Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile
THE SATANIC VERSES is a great humanistic book. This, along with Franzen's THE CORRECTIONS made up my great reading for the past year. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2006 by Y.A.
1.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to Follow
The Satanic Verses was a huge disappointment. The plot was all over the place and failed to interest me at all. How could this novel have caused so much hype?
Published on Dec 17 2006 by AZ Reader
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