On My Bookshelf (9)

In this weekly meme I will highlight a book that remains on my shelf, unread and impatiently waiting to be picked up.


Well I guess I can no longer call this a weekly meme, since my last OMB was back in April (oops). But it’s back now, and I do intend to show off my unread books more regularly from now on.

This week’s pick is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. I’ve wanted to read this book for quite some time now, mainly of course because of all the commotion that surrounded its initial release back in 1988 (the year I was born). I want to see for myself what all the fuss was about which resulted in a fatwa being issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, ordering the death of Rushdie. The title of the book refers to the so-called “satanic verses” that were once part of the Quran, and allowed the worship of three pagan Meccan goddesses.


No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta (“for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies”) and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie’s powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.



7 thoughts on “On My Bookshelf (9)

    1. I’ve not read that one (yet), and to be honest I don’t really know what it’s about either but I’ll check it out. The Satanic Verses caused quite a stir and Salman Rushdie had to go into hiding for years after the book was released, so that’s really quite something.

  1. This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while too. I’ve started it a few times, but can’t get into it…. I haven’t loved his other books so I may just not be a fan of his style but I am determined to get through this one someday. I hope!

    1. I’ve read The Enchantress of Florence which I quite liked, though I get what you mean about his style. Sometimes it’s hard to get into the story. Well, let’s hope we’ll both be able to get through the book someday!

  2. Was The Satanic Versus the book that caused Ayatollah Khomeini to issue to the Fatwa for Salman Rushdie? I feel like a guy I went to University with said that to me, but I can’t be sure. I wanted to read his book Midnight’s Children since the movie was actually filmed in Sri Lanka and some of the scenes were filmed at my brother’s old school, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    1. Yup that’s the one. I think after I’ve read The Satanic Verses I’d like to read Rushdie’s autobiography as well, called Joseph Anton, which is the false name he used while he was in hiding.

      I haven’t read Midnight’s Children either, but so cool that it was partially filmed at your brother’s school! 🙂

  3. Pingback: #DailyBookQuote 23Mar13 : Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses | Whatever It's Worth...

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