Happy birthday, Salman Rushdie!
He is all of 67 today. What a pity a book he began with such brio has haunted him ever since.
Few books open as memorably as The Satanic Verses. I cannot imagine any other writer describing an air crash quite like him. After the plane explodes over the English Channel, the two protagonists, Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, are the only survivors, found washed up on a snowbound English beach.
I have not read beyond the opening because I don’t want to get into any religious controversy. All religions should be respected. I don’t want to hear ill of any religion.
But the opening of this novel is unforgettable. The two characters falling from the sky, flapping their arms and singing as they fall, reminded me of Walt Disney and Mary Poppins. [Read more...]