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Midnight's Children ➜ [KINDLE] ❆ Midnight's Children By Salman Rushdie ➦ – Saleem Sinai was born at midnight the midnight of India's independence and found himself mysteriously handcuffed to history by the coincidence He is one of 1001 children born at the midnight hour each Saleem Sinai was born at midnight the midnight of India's independence and found himself mysteriously handcuffed to history by the coincidence He is one of children born at the midnight hour each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent—and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times Through Saleem's gifts—inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell—we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast colourful background of the India of the th century.

  • Paperback
  • 647 pages
  • Midnight's Children
  • Salman Rushdie
  • English
  • 10 January 2016
  • 9780099578512

About the Author: Salman Rushdie

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent His style is often classified as magical realism while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western worldHis fourth novel The Satanic Verses led to protests from Muslims in several coun.

10 thoughts on “Midnight's Children

  1. Turhan Sarwar Turhan Sarwar says:

    Midnight's Children is not at all a fast read; it actually walks the line of being unpleasantly the opposite The prose is dense and initially frustrating in a way that seems almost deliberate with repeated instances of the narrator rambling ahead to a point that he feels is important but then before revealing anything of importance deciding that things ought to come in their proper order This use of digressions or better put uarter digressions can either be attributed to a charmingly distractable narrator or a vehicle for perhaps cheaply tantalizing the reader or bothI'll admit that at first I didn't appreciate being so persistently manipulated Many times in the first few chapters I found myself closing the book in anger thinking to myself If the story is worth it this tactic is utterly unnecessaryThe tactic it turns out is unnecessary The book the story is stunning It's stunning enough that the frustrating aspects of the telling are forgivable and actually retrospectively satisfying which I suspect is what the author wanted While the fractional digressions on the one hand can have you groping around for a lighter they on the other hand work to accustom you to the novel's epically meandering pace Also they effectively allow you to feel a certain urgency near the end of the book as the narrator runs out of timeThe imagery is lush; the characters are curiously magically lopsided; the language is complicated and beautiful; the chapters are nicely portioned despite the initial plodding pace; the narrative is deliberately allegorical which perhaps suggests an enhanced enjoyment of the work after studying a bit of Indian history Elements of the story's frame the narrator writing in a pickle factory with sweet Padma reading along are particularly amusing and the chapter entitled In the Sundarbans is nothing short of breathtakingThe book will go slow in the beginning; the book means to; give it patience it's worth it I think

  2. Sean Barrs Sean Barrs says:

    Midnight’s Children is an absolute masterful piece of writing It is entertaining intelligent informative progressive and even funny it is an astoundingly well balanced epic that captures the birth of a new independent nation I hold it in such high regard The children are all fractured and divided; they are born into a new country that is yet to define itself in the wake of colonialism it has no universal language religion or culture The children reflect this; they are spread out and unconnected to each other As such Rushdie raises a critical uestion does India even exist? These children are born on the night of India’s independence but what exactly are they born into? The mass of land they occupy is yet to establish what it now is it is something new a place with an internal battle raging between modernisation and tradition It’s not the India it was the day before and it’s certainly not the India it was before the colonisers came “What's real and what's true aren't necessarily the same” Saleem our narrator and protagonist reflects this He is a hybrid born into two worlds He has powers powers that allow him to connect telepathically with the other children born into the new nation They all have their own gifts and they all represent an infectious optimism a powerful hope that things will start to get better Their progress in the story their successes and failures reflect the development of the new India As Saleem begins to fall apart as he begins to lose himself the optimism begins to shatter and things go terribly wrong war approaches death approaches Rushdie plays around with reality warping it and twisting it to the point where its very nature becomes an allegory for the failings of society The India he has created is both removed and part of the real world He has used human terms and human emotions to personify a country Through this he demonstrates how it can waver and falter and how it can fail and become a victim to its own passions It’s an exceedingly clever device Saleem is egotistical and unreliable but his life is a physical manifestation of post independent India On a character level he actually thinks he is altering events though he only ever mirrors it “Memory's truth because memory has its own special kind It selects eliminates alters exaggerates minimizes glorifies and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version than his own” All great literature should be subjective All great literature should have a multitude of ramifications If we go away with one single clean cut meaning or interpretation then the author has failed to some degree Literature needs to make us think; it needs to make us uestion the world and our place within it And Rushdie certainly does that You may disagree with my reading I think Midnight’s Children can be seen in a number of different ways and I’d love to hear what other people thought it all meant There’s just so much going on in this book I could literally write several essays on it Rushdie draws heavily on Máruez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude by recreating the long drawn out family saga told in the magical realist mode to represent reality in a truthful way than standard story telling would allow; however Rushdie transcends it in so many ways I will be reading The Satanic Verses very soon I think and I will definitely be writing on Rushdie for my university work This is clearly one of the most important novels written in the last fifty years

  3. Michael Finocchiaro Michael Finocchiaro says:

    This is my absolute favourite Rushdie novel Its background of the Partition of India and Pakistan after the disastrous and cowardly retreat of the British occupiers and the ensuing Emergency under Indira Ghandi provides a breathtaking tableau for Rushdie's narrative His narrator is completely unreliable and that is what makes the story so fascinating I lend this book out so many times after talking about it so much and never got my paperback copy returned that I had to buy a hardcover that I would no longer lend out so as not to lose it any It was the first time I read a book with this kind of narration mostly having had the omniscient distant 3rd party narrator or the interior dialog or stream of consciousness 1st person narrator and this was a revelation for me which later led me to read DFW Pynchon and other post modern writers with relish A fantastic 20th C masterpieceI used to talk about it all the time and lend it out and folks liked it so much that I kept having to replace my paperback copy At one point I got fed up and bought a hardcover that I don't lend out any The backdrop of the horrors of the partition of India and Pakistan bungled so badly by the United Kingdom's cowardly retreat leaving a chaotic bloody vacuum in '48 is already compelling but what really makes this novel so fascinating for me is the unreliable narration It was the first book I read where the first person narrator was a known liar and so you could not always believe what he said In terms of writing and narration this was uite a revelation to me who was used to the omniscient and neutral 3rd person narrator or the deep stream of conscious first person narrator I found it fast paced and extremely well written If you have never read Rushdie before this is where I would suggest you start

  4. Kevin Ansbro Kevin Ansbro says:

    To understand just one life you have to swallow the world —Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children For me one of the most important books of our modern ageI ADORE this playful historical epic Salman Rushdie is a literary god in my eyes and can do little wrong so I am biasedRushdie is one of the authors who has influenced my own style of writing even though his overly descriptive approach is discouraged by publishing editors the world overThe 'midnight's children' of the story are those born in the first hour of India's independence from British ruleIt is true that the novel's digressive meandering plot is as difficult to crack as the enigma code but please do stick with it Midnight's Children is picturesue and read gasmic Rushdie's rascally mischievousness tickles each paragraph from start to finish and his human imagery is second to noneHerein is an India where streets abound with bicycle repair shops and itinerant snake charmersYou could literally randomly poke a pin at any sentence in the book and witness flourishes of Rushdie's genius For each new reader an abundance of chaotic brilliance awaits This is magical realism at its very best Read it please just read itUpdateBen Blatt in his recent book Nabokov's Favourite Word is Mauve uses mathematical formulae to interpret literature Through this process he has discovered that Rushdie's book is the most ejaculative British novel of all time racking up 2131 exclamation marks per 100000 wordsMy reaction to that is who cares???? Midnight's Children is one of the best books ever written and Rushdie can add as many exclamation marks as he likes

  5. Samadrita Samadrita says:

    What's real and what's true aren't necessarily the same Discard skepticism as you approach this epic Suspend disbelief Because myth and truth blend into each other imperfectly to spin a gossamer fine web of reality on which the nation state is balanced precariously And we the legatees of this yarn are caught up in a surrealist farce which plays out interminably in this land of heat and dust and many smells our rational selves perennially clashing with our shallow beliefs but eventually succumbing to an incomprehensible love of the absurd Illusion has to offer than you thinkApproach this panorama with a sense of wonder This land of Sultunates of slave kings and Empires wrought by alien invaders of manic religious ritualism of a civilization which had co existed with Mesopotamia and Egypt of most accomplished snake charmers of the world of crushing poverty and staggering riches The peepshow man with his dugdugee drum beckons you to behold the images of Meenakshi temple and the Taj Mahal and the Bodhgaya and the holy Ganges streaming down from Lord Shiva's tresses to uench our mortal thirst And you cannot be a witness to the unfolding of a spectacle without aweApproach this homage to the spirit of a time and place with joined palms head dipping mildly in reverence With palms bracing the earth knees bent forehead kissing the ground With a hand raised to the forehead then the heart and each shoulder With an erect palm thumb and forefinger meeting in a circle Our pantheon of divinities will look down on you with displeasure otherwise But above all approach this plenitude of tales within tales within tales with love Without love for the shared fantasy of 'unity in diversity' this book would not have existed at all If I seem a little bizarre remember the wild profusion of my inheritance perhaps if one wishes to remain an individual in the midst of teeming multitudes one must make oneself grotesue O Swallower of Multitudes Bearer of Multiple Identities Assimilator of a million and one traditions Nation of dubious ancestry born of imperialism and revolution of three hundred and thirty million gods and goddesses prophets and saviours and enlightened ones fortune tellers and clairvoyants fantasies and dreams and nightmares of self contradictions galore this is a love letter to you from a besotted son if there ever was one O people of fractured selves you who have been scarred by the vicissitudes of history traumatized by partitioned fates absorbed by the currents of dynastic politics afflicted by the optimism disease gather up and listen to the saga of midnight's children your very own one a child of hardwon freedom other a child of flesh and blood Saleem and India India and Saleem Not identical twins but twins bound to mirror each other's ambiguous trysts with destiny twins doomed to share a love hate relationship Listen to vain foolish self deluded cuckolded Saleem and his self aggrandizing story telling Awash in the glow of his 'Anglepoised pool of light' as he is fallacious and chutneyfied as his 'history' is I detect in his voice a uiver a note of humble deference and endless love Love of lapiz lazuli encrusted silver spittoons and perforated sheets of the progress of a nation tied tragicomically with his own Love of flap eared Ganesh and a resolutely silent flap eared son love of Sunderbans' phantasmal mangrove forests and Bombay's non conformity Love of the blue skies of Kashmir and the hubbub of old Delhi's slums and Amritsar's narrow malodorous bylanes Love of people and places beyond borders There are as many versions of India as Indians Do you not make out the throbbing ache in his declamations for historical compounds left bloodied by dastardly mustachioed brigadiers? For a subcontinent trifurcated meaninglessly and wars waged without rhyme or reason? Can you discern the tone of suppressed anguish and rage for the promise of midnight's children withering away under the harsh glare of an Emergency? The grief for a broken republic and a flickering hope for regeneration and renewal? Midnight has many children; the offspring of Independence were not all human Violence corruption poverty generals chaos greed and pepperpots I had to go into exile to learn that the children of midnight were varied than I even I had dreamed I can In Saleem's contrived cornucopia of stories 'leaking' into each other I sense his despondency and his joy his pride and his guilt And in his implicit avowals of filial love I find an expression of my own I had entered into the illusion of the artist and thought of the multitudinous realities of the land as the raw unshaped material of my gift 'Midnight's Children' might be an overblown unsubtle metaphor for India but it is also a celebration of multiplicity in a universal context Despite the narrative's flaws and the forced nature of the analogies in the latter half I choose to honour Saleem Sinai's self professed intentions I choose to remember and cherish it as an act of love as an act of faith

  6. Lisa Lisa says:

    The power of the storytelling left me speechless all the words were in the novel and there were none left for me If there ever was a novel that changed the way I read this is it I must have read each sentence several times just to follow the thread of the confusing story and I still got lost in the labyrinth of individual and collective history that unfolds on the stroke of Midnight on the night of India's independence So completely taken in by the children who are born on that particular stroke of midnight thus beginning their lives together with the state I must have bought at least ten copies of it over the course of the years to give to relatives and friends in different parts of the world It was not always a welcome present and some people looked at me strangely after giving up on reading it They seemed to have come to the conclusion that my mind must be as confused as the novel if I was infatuated with it to the degree that I began to ramble when I talked about itBut it is just such a perfect example of how literature transcends reality and stays true at the same time It is deeply connected to its roots in post colonial India and yet universal in its idea of humanityAre we really who we think we are? Does it even matter if we are who we think we are or is it important that we are what we are meant to be? What decides what we are meant to be then? The sum total of what came before us and led to our being born constitutes the stage which we enter Then we act out the play which is co written by humanity and it is definitely a tragedy for we all owe death a life which is what tragedy is all about life leading to death Whatever happens to us has the effect of a deus ex machina and sometimes there are gods in machines than we can handle keep track of or even describe in a novel Sometimes the gods get stuck in their machines as well Anything is possible on the stage of life And it is always opening night first performance debut We forget our lines and we ramble In life and in art In this novel we stumble over words spoken too fast as if the characters are afraid that the curtain will fall before they have had their fair share of the showHow come it is so hopelessly funny then this tragedy of India? How come each story line makes me smile through tears?In my memory the novel grows to an explosion of the senses I hear a cacophony of voices chatting incoherently in my head I see colours merge into fireworks of lametta I feel the heat and cold and humidity and dryness of an India I have never been to I taste the foods whose names I cannot pronounce I touch and I am touched by the story which contains a truth deeper than reality It is funny in the exhilarating way a roller coaster is funny You slowly move upwards seeing where you are heading feeling your stomach react to the fall before it comes hoping for it to end and to go on forever You feel dizzy and brave and alive but confusedDo I remember the plot correctly? Well memory itself is a tricky oneMemory's truth because memory has its own special kind It selects eliminates alters exaggerates minimizes glorifies and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version than his ownSo I trust my own memory and declare that what I remember is true This is a masterpiece It was written in 1981 Where's that Nobel? Stuck in a broken god machine? Nothing to be surprised at there the novel is about how such things happen

  7. Dolors Dolors says:

    “Who what am I? My answer I am the sum total of everything that went before me of all I have been seen done of everything done to me I am everyone everything whose being in the world affected was affected by mine I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come”Living different ways of grasping the meaning of man and the world should offer a deeper perspective than the usual reductionism that we oftentimes subject cultures that diverge from our own and “Midnight’s Children” is a book that I lived rather than I readIn deconstructing the concept of identity Amin Maalouf tried to separate rootlessness from migration the sense of belonging from nationalism individual expression from collective duty and it’s the Lebanese born French journalist’s inferences that I hear as I turn the pages of Salman Rushdie’s masterpieceIn the same way applying the label of “magic realism” to “Midnight’s Children” is a blatant simplification Do not misunderstand me the narration fits the postmodernist tendency of Western metafiction which includes abrupt changes in the chronological seuences told by an unreliable narrator that uses the language and spirit of a fairy tale Those are indeed undeniable elements that distinguish this novel from realistic and traditional approaches But Rushdie goes beyond the generalization and creates a sui generis style with harmonious dialogue and sumptuous lyricism that entices the mind and warms the heart blending myth and fiction with grotesue reality rising the resulting hotchpotch to the level of colossal epic Likewise this is not merely a novel on the turbulent historical events regarding the independence of India and its later partition from Pakistan it’s the story of a man blessed or cursed with extraordinary gifts that is inexorably handcuffed to the making of a generation descendant of a picturesue family lineage that paints an unorthodox portrait of the multifaceted culture of a certain eraRushdie has a very honest stance toward history In his own words “History is always ambiguous Facts are harsh to establish and capable of being given many meanings Reality is built on prejudices misconceptions and ignorance as well as on our perceptiveness and knowledge”The narrator the Indian Muslim Saleem Sinai doesn’t claim to possess the absolute truth of the events that shape the world he lives in he doesn’t even claim to understand them and so he teases but never poses he plays with his imagination but never lies about his erratic memory which either real inaccurate or both ends up participating as another fictional character in the story “Memory has its own special kind It selects eliminates alters exaggerates minimizes glorifies and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version than his own” With that warning in mind the reader is in for an intertextual journey where everything is loaded with allegorical gist Numbers and literary references; A Thousand and One children born at midnight on the day that India proclaims its independence? Symbolical characters; a super snooted child of destiny that smells the future? A vivid tapestry of religions Asian ancestry and folklore; a hit the spittoon heirloom as emblem of a vanishing era? A perforated sheet as a token of stolen glimpses and love? Salman Rushdie’s spicy prose is the result of twenty six pickle jars namely chapters of specially blended ingredients of which sarcastic humor is not the least important Fable but never superstition personal history but never collective grievance and a certain amount of magic realism create a multisensorial experience that weaves together the vanguardism of the Western literary tradition and the most distilled portrayal of the Indian tradition Thus Rushdie’s novel emerges not only as a colorful allegory for the birth of a “new India” but also as an iconic text that signifies the birth of a “new world” where literature brings cultures closer across borders and allows people to hold on to the optimistic belief that what we have in common will finally overweight what drives us apart Call me naive but I think that’s a beautiful dream to have Indeed

  8. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    Reading Rushdie's Midnight's Children is like listening to someone else's long winded rambling re telling of a dream they had And like all people who describe their dreams especially those who do so long past the point where their listeners can believably fake interest or patience Rushdie is inherently selfish in the way he chose to write this book Midnight's Children is one of those novels that are reader neutral or even reader antagonistic they seem to have been written for the sole purpose of letting a writer wallow in their own history their own problems their own pet concerns desires and childhood hangups Books like this are not mirrors of the world or even mirrors of the author but mirrors of how the author wants to be seen by the worldThere are patches of writing in this book that startle amuse and tantalize the reader but the story is not as interesting as the narrator or the author seem to think it is; in fact the narrator's constant references to the depthdifficultycomplex interconnectedness of his story all rang false to me The narrator constantly tried to impress the reader with the gravity absurdity necessity etc of the story he was telling there were lots of annoying melodramatic asides to the reader along the lines of O this O that If only But I must wait to get to that later which only served to distract from a story that should have just been left to stand on its ownI'm not necessarily the type of reader who wants concrete literal plot driven stories but I'm also not the type of reader who has infinite patience for postmodern self inflated authors who either have a degree in literature and waste no time bludgeoning you with that fact or don't have a degree in literature and waste no time in showing you just how good they are despite it all And lastly above and beyond the annoying narrator the rambling story that went on for about 200 too many pages and the author's disrespect or at least disregard for the reader the last and crushing blow I can deliver to this book is that it was boring The narrator – who by the way is a fairly flat character despite having over 500 pages to develop himself went to great pains to convince us otherwise with constant reminders of how epic and interconnected his life was and how it resonated with the history of modern India but in my opinion a truly interesting story wouldn't need an obseuious narrator to constantly remind us how interesting it was I realize I'm in a minority in my dislike of this book; after all it won the Booker Prize and is widely regarded to be one of the most important novels in English language literature I also realize I haven't said anything about what the book is actually about in a nutshell a coming of age story with a heavy dollop of magical realism and self pity with doses of Indian life scattered throughout but all I felt when turning the last page of this book was relief

  9. Michael Michael says:

    Fantastic intelligent hilarious profound and historically illuminating And the narrator is deliciously unreliable too Need I say ? I will His sentences are the kind of energetic super charged masterpieces that I could uote endlessly Here's one plucked utterly at randomInto this bog of muteness there came one evening a short man whose head was as flat as the cap upon it; whose legs were as bowed as reeds in the wind; whose nose nearly touched his up curving chin; and whose voice as a result was thin and sharp it had to be to sueeze through the narrow gap between his breathing apparatus and his jawa man whose short sight obliged him to take life one step at a time which gained him a reputation for thoroughness and dullness and endeared him to his superiors by enabling them to feel well served without feeling threatened; a man whose starched pressed uniform reeked of Blanco and rectitude and about whom despite his appearance of a character out of a puppet show there hung the unmistakable scent of success Major Zulfikar a man with a future came to call as he had promised to tie up a few loose ends

  10. Kimber Silver Kimber Silver says:

    I am the sum total of everything that went before me of all I have been seen done of everything done to me I am everyone everything whose being in the world affected was affected by mine I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come ― Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children I pull up a chair and ready myself I had after all been promised a fantastical story of the children of midnight The air crackles with electricity as the story unfolds where it all began in the dreamlike land of Kashmir where a fledgling doctor falls in love seven inches at a time Saleem Sinai the narrator weaves a wondrous tale and I ‘listen’ with rapt attention as I’m drawn into the winding history of the Aziz family an account of supreme importance because without it the destiny of Saleem could never be fully realized Saleem’s grandfather Aadam Aziz is a starry eyed youth aching to make a name for himself as a physician The fates have plans beyond imagining for this newly ualified medic Mix together a landowner's ill daughter a poorly lit bedroom and a giant sheet held as a modesty curtain between doctor and patient On this sheet is a hole seven inches in diameter cut into its center through which he must examine the young lady Sprinkle liberally with a magical realism so delicious that I was left light headed Stir well and let the concoction simmer over the low heat of mystery and the table is laid for generations to come Midnight's Children is a tale of love betrayal and lust on every conceivable level Humor interspersed with tragedy fashions the perfect bite Within these pages we find a poetic long haired husband hidden in a crawlspace a movie starlet with a suicidal spouse and a man with a hair part so crisp that women can’t control their desire for him I mean who doesn’t go wild over a great hair part right? Then there are the children born in the midnight hour ― those mystic beings filled with the disease of optimism; the dreamers of dreams made of knees and noses noses and knees It feels as if Rushdie writes down the story just as he thinks of it leaving it there in all its naked glory Like a recording of a conversation with a friend that includes any unforeseen interruptions As Rushdie’s skittish mind conjures the narrative he imagines other visitors stopping by the house and so they too become part of the yarn I absolutely loved the narrator’s companion Padma prodding him to uit veering off course and get back to the task at hand because we both want to know what is going to happen I cheered her for keeping him on track several times The conversational writing style is an enchanting part of what makes this author a cut above in addition to his rich lyrical prose The man is an artist with words painting pictures so vivid that they became burned into my memory for all time I was however powerless to protest; we were swept into her Datsun of vengeance nevertheless while we lived in her Guru Mandir mansion she fed us the birianis of dissension and the nargisi koftas of discord; I cracked the cover expecting greatness and by the time I turned the final page felt a part of the Aziz family If you’ve not read Rushdie please start with this chaotically brilliant book Midnight’s Children captured my imagination and left me breathless A big thank you to Kevin Ansbro for his recommendation

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