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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Context and Censorship
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...
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Artnet Project

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but a little too fanciful.
I've heard about Salman Rushdie. Both good and bad. The only way to find out the truth for myself was to read one of his books. Being the naturally lazy man that I am, I grabbed the smallest book of his I could find. Little did I know that this book was a fairy tale, and not something that would rouse Islamic fundamentalists.
Anyway, I already purchased it and...
Published on Nov. 7 2002 by sporkdude


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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
By 
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". Censorship kills the story and will eventually kill mankind.
Rushdie illustrates that freedom of speech is integral to the survival and evolution of our human culture. In a time when our world is becoming increasingly paranoid about expression and is enacting stricter laws to regulate the dissemination of ideas (perfect example: the fallout over Janet Jackson's Superbowl appearance), Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" stands out as a beacon to those who believe in freedom. This is such an inspirational book for children, and adults, to read. Rushdie is a man who risked his life to share his thoughts with the world- and he lived to tell a story about it.
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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
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 (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant fairytale on free speech & censorship, July 9 2004
By 
E. F. Romano (Somerville, Massachusetts United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars i just finsihed it. i thought it was the best book ever!!!, May 11 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars the words are are a school of minnow, March 9 2004
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. And it's funny. If you're not laughing, you're not paying enough attention.
When I was in high school I was obsessed with Voltaire. He was, and probably always will be, beyond my scope, and probably beyond the scope of Rushdie as well, with important ramblings about Nebuchadnezzar and the meaning of revolution.
But I can't change that I thought of V when I read Haroun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The dark forces of humanity can be defeated, Dec 17 2003
By 
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. Society is divided between the people who want to be happy and the leaders who want to control them into unhappiness because unhappiness makes people controllable. Hence the fight of a child and his father to restore happiness in the world, and happiness comes from stories, tales, sagas, and all other imaginative adventures that help people be free in their minds and then strong enough to impose their freedom in society. In other words it is a tool to make people strong and satisfied. Of course one could see an allusion to the moslem world and the dark forces who try to control the minds of the people in that part of the world. But it is a universal story too because it is not much more different in our own part of the world where politicians are just comptrollers in chief of our spirits and brains and imaginations and creativities for their own selfish interest. Brilliant and to be read by all those who believe there is a possible world beyond the world of the narrow and selfcentered and egocentric and bureaucratic interest of the few who use the many to satisfy their greed for power, money and cannibalistic domination.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous fairy tale, Oct. 17 2003
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. This book blew me away: the only book I've read beforehand that captivated me to read in one sitting was the first Harry Potter, and this one is possibly more imaginative in the fact this it is one book long. A whole world is drawn to vivid life in only 250 or so pages and it is fascinating. If you have a whimsical side and enjoy fairy tales with a serious side, you will love this short novel by the master, Salman Rushdie. When is his Nobel coming along? It's about time.
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Haroun And The Sea Of Stories
Haroun And The Sea Of Stories by Salman Rushdie (Paperback - Sept. 27 2001)
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