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5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and illuminating novel
Every time I read one of Rushdie's novels I come away enlightened and amazed, and certainly reading the literary masterpiece The Moor's Last Sigh is no exception.

Perhaps one of Rushdie's more accessible novels, the story follows a more conventional narrative, although to call anything Rushdie writes conventional is inaccurate. In this case the story follows a...
Published 18 months ago by Lorina Stephens

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great prose style carries the book through.
After reading, Midnight's Children and Shame in succession, I was ready for a let down. I got precisely that as in comparision, this book lacks the intricate plot of Shame or funny historical references of Midnight's Children. The only thing left is great narrative style of Rushdie, which is in tact and in full bloom. So read it if you are a Rushdie fan. Otherwise, read...
Published on April 25 2001 by Udyan Khanna


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5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and illuminating novel, Oct. 7 2012
By 
Lorina Stephens (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Every time I read one of Rushdie's novels I come away enlightened and amazed, and certainly reading the literary masterpiece The Moor's Last Sigh is no exception.

Perhaps one of Rushdie's more accessible novels, the story follows a more conventional narrative, although to call anything Rushdie writes conventional is inaccurate. In this case the story follows a family history, that of the Zoigoby clan, which takes us into Jewish, Moorish, Spanish and Indian heritage, illuminating perfections and defects of the body, mind and spirit. There is very much a theme of isolation of spirit and intellect in this novel, of loneliness despite crowded and intimate environments. In conjunction with that Rushdie marries political unrest to to restless spirits, so that both microcosmic and macrocosmic time flow around and through each other, so that one has a sense of a ship tossed upon a boundless sea.

As always there is a fluid and adept use of language and phraseology that defies every literary convention, and in doing so creates breathtaking art. One comes away wanting to memorize phrases for their utter beauty and sagacity. But let it not be thought this is a novel only of high art, for certainly throughout the story Rushdie's irreverent and incisive wit prevail, so that at times I caught myself bursting into laughter.

I would have to say that if a person is new to Rushdie's work, The Moor's Last Sigh would be a perfect introduction.

Highly recommended, and certainly a novel that should be a staple in anyone's library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Story Time, March 28 2002
By 
Gordon Smith (san jose, ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Remember story time? Mom or dad would gently lull you into a dreamworld with tales of fantasy, or keep you up all night following a captivating adventure. Well this is story time. Grown up style. You'll feel like a kid again reading this book, but don't worry: you won't feel like a child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Me encantó, Aug. 27 2001
By 
"cello_ali" (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Es mágico, es genial... te hace volar por india... Uno puede oler, ver y sentir todo lo que Rushdie nos cuenta en "El último suspiro del moro".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great prose style carries the book through., April 25 2001
By 
Udyan Khanna (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
After reading, Midnight's Children and Shame in succession, I was ready for a let down. I got precisely that as in comparision, this book lacks the intricate plot of Shame or funny historical references of Midnight's Children. The only thing left is great narrative style of Rushdie, which is in tact and in full bloom. So read it if you are a Rushdie fan. Otherwise, read the other two books as they are gems of English Literature.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a literary experience, April 9 2001
By 
Mary Reina Zach (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Anyone taken film rights? It should be a Hindi movie, that's for sure. Just with some added sophistication and mind madness! Salman Rusdie successfully keeps readers at the edge of their seats in this Bold and the Beautiful meets the Indian Brady Bunch family saga described entirely by the youngest member of the Zogioby CLAN if we can call it that. There are some things which are bizarre,such as the Moor's aging. But there are many descriptions and lines in the book that can touch any soul. It teaches that life should never be taken for granted, the Moor is the best example, he lived every year like they were two, and he had still accomplished so much in his short life. ONe of my favourite lines is "defeated love is still a treasure,and those who choose lovelessness have won no victory at all!" tells me to take risks in life, so not be so afraid of what bad might happen. to just LIVE. For those who enjoy a family story engulfed by love, jealousy, money, corruption, insanity and art this is the story for you. ENJOY!
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good as always, Feb. 27 2001
By 
Emilia Palaveeva "ema-in-seattle" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
After the Midnight Children, I was a little reluctant to buy another Rushie book, fearing I will be disappointed. However, The Moor's Last Sigh is as magical as the first one I read. Rushdie once again takes the point of view of an extraordinary individual, from an extraordinary family to look at the world, India and the small circle of the narrator's family and freinds. This unusual perspective, however, instead of alianating the reader, brings him/her closer and provdes us with a clearer understanding of the grand, as well as the ordinary.
A powerful mixture of tragedy and comedy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ, Feb. 10 2001
By 
Annabel (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
I picked up Rushdie's the Moor's Last Sigh, before I headed to India this last winter. I thought it would be a perfect introduction to Kerala...and the city of Cochin. When I was reading the tale, I already felt immersed in the tropical, sultry atmosphere of Cochin. Rushdie's writing style is brilliant; he has a style entirely unto himself. The novel is absolutely sweeping in breadth, he just lifts you into another world. I did not want to put the book down, but I had to once in a while to absorb the intense imagery and mind-blowing language. He has Cochin down to the T. While I was walking around that small fishing town, I suddenly recognzied all the familiar locales he wrote of...from the chinese fish nets, St. Francis Church, the Synagogue..the lake front... It's a fantastic & captivating escape from the grind of our daily routines. Rushdie is a an artiste with words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ, Feb. 10 2001
By 
Annabel (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
I picked up Rushdie's the Moor's Last Sigh, before I headed to India this last winter. I thought it would be a perfect introduction to Kerala...and the city of Cochin. When I was reading the tale, I already felt immersed in the tropical, sultry atmosphere of Cochin. Rushdie's writing style is brilliant; he has a style entirely unto himself. The novel is absolutely sweeping in breadth, he just lifts you into another world. I did not want to put the book down, but I had to once in a while to absorb the intense imagery and mind-blowing language. He has Cochin down to the T. While I was walking around that small fishing town, I suddenly recognzied all the familiar locales he wrote of...from the chinese fish nets, St. Francis Church, the Synagogue..the lake front... It's a fantastic & captivating escape from the grind of our daily routines. Rushdie is a an artiste with words.
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2.0 out of 5 stars longwinded and dull, Jan. 5 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
A dead pull from start to finish. My feeling is that people tend to overpraise Rushdie's novels as a kind of celebration for having plodded through them. How depressing to spend a week of your life laboring through a narrative that just ultimately wallows in the fetid stink of its own self-absorption. Rushdie doesn't allow his characters to reveal themselves to us, electing instead to drool words, relentlessly, carelessly, sloppily, mercilessly. He tells us everything without ever showing what it's like to be one of his characters. For a novel purportedly grand in scope, this one feels suspiciously like navel-gazing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars tedious, Dec 29 2000
By 
Orrin C. Judd "brothersjudddotcom" (Hanover, NH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Salman Rushdie's chronicle of the da Gama-Zoigby merchant family wends its way from the 1492 expulsion, by Ferdinand and Isabella, of Moslems and Jews from Spain to modern India, where Hindu nationalists seek to define non Hindus out of India, back to Spain where the narrator is imprisoned by a mad Moor. It's two broadest themes seem to be: (1) that religious identity is not that important or, at least, should not be considered that important; and (2) that the modern age (1492 you will readily recall is the year that Columbus sailed) has been uniquely defined by such religious intolerance. One can obviously understand that a writer who is living under threat of death for blaspheming Mohammed would feel this way, however, he is wrong on both counts.
As to the first point, individuals are defined by their religious/moral beliefs and cultures are defined by the dominant religious/moral beliefs of their members. Mr. Rushdie seems to relish turning religious characters into evil caricatures; Abraham, for instance, is portrayed as the kind of evil Jewish criminal overlord that we would sooner expect to find in 1930's Nazi propaganda. He seems to believe that serious religious beliefs necessarily warp the soul & make believers evil. It's odd that this author who is so widely celebrated as a victim of religious intolerance, is himself so intolerant of others.
In fact, there's a weird sort of dissonance in the outrage we hear from Mr. Rushdie and his defenders. On the one hand, they loudly declare the importance of free expression and the right to broadcast ideas, no matter how objectionable. But on the other hand, they react in horror to the fact that ideas & speech have consequences. Mr. Rushdie, like a neo-Nazi or a flag burner or a Klansman, has a right to propound his ideas. But having spewed forth his hate speech, he should not expect to be immune from the violent reactions of those he attacks. Ideas have consequences. If you aren't willing to cope with the consequences, don't express your ideas. Along with the right to speak, comes the right to shut up.
As to the second point, The Moor did breath his final sigh at the start of the Modern Age, but Mr. Rushdie's focus on the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain is misplaced and his interpretation of that moment as being fundamentally about a birth of intolerance is inaccurate. We date the Modern Age (specifically The Renaissance) to this time period because, with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, the Christian Church was forced back into the heart of Europe and brought forgotten texts and learning back West with it. Also, the Colombian voyages opened a New World & unleashed tremendous energies in Europe. But most importantly, it was during these years that Martin Luther's teachings and Guttenburg's printing press brought about a democratization of religion and learning. These were the really important causes of the Modern Age, the resurrection of Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella was more symptomatic of the general rise of Europe than causative of the Modern Age.
Moreover, far from leading to an age of intolerance, the opening of the New World, the birth of Protestantism and the widespread access to learning provided by the printing press, all had the effect of allowing for greater differences in religious beliefs. The press put religious texts into people's hands, Luther vindicated their right to read them & develop their own understandings of their meaning and the New World provided a safety valve for those who would previously have been destroyed as heretics, to flee & establish their own communities of like believers. Mr. Rushdie's attempt to square the circle and equate the rise of fundamentalist Islam and Hindu nationalism with the rise of Europe, is profoundly wrong.
Instead, these two spasms of intolerance are more readily comparable to the Inquisition. Against the great tide of the Reformation and Renaissance, the Catholic Church tried to interpose a breakwater of intolerant conformity, but it was doomed to failure. Similarly, fundamentalist Islam and nationalist Hinduism will ultimately be swamped by the tides of Protestantism, Capitalism and Democracy.
Mr. Rushdie should recognize that the forces of history are on his side, relax a little, and return to writing less portentous fictions like his Carrollesque Haroun and the Sea of Stories, to which, incidentally, his little word plays are better suited.
GRADE: D
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The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (Paperback - Sept. 7 1995)
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