Well, folks, I'm done with the 2007 TBR challenge. I know that I'm supposed to read one book a month, but I'm trying to get done with my other challenges before the challenge I'm hosting, Something About Me, starts on August 1.
Of course I've heard of Salman Rushdie. I remember vaguely the flap about the book Satanic Verses, back when I was in high school. It all sounded so political, so Islamic..? Back then I was ignorant, but I carried with me this idea that his books would be tome-like, too intellectual, above me somehow. So I never read that, or any other of his books.
When Shalimar the Clown came out and I read the reviews, I thought "well, maybe I should try reading Rushdie after all". I'm so glad I did. This is just the type of book that I like. Education and insight into another culture and country (in this case Kashmir) without feeling like you are being educated. In other words, Rushdie is a master at educating the reader about the conflicted region of Kashmir, while weaving it into the storyline in a way that is entertaining and masterful.
This book has it all: love, revenge, politics, culture. Read it, oh do. Here's a sample passage that I like:
For Shalimar the clown the total abnegation of the self was a more problematic requirement, a sticking place. He was, he wanted to be, a part of the holy war, but he also had private matters to attend to, personal oaths to fulfill. At night his wife's face filled his thoughts, her face and behind hers the face of the American. To let go of himself would be to let go of them as well; and he found that he could not order his heart to set his body free.