The Satanic Verses

Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #28 in Indian, Ranked #37 in Controversialsee more rankings.

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic... more

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Anthony Julius I’m interested in the trials, of course – particularly the trial here, but also the trial in the States – because of what they meant in the context of the 1960s. Just as I’m interested in what The Satanic Verses meant at the moment of its publication in 1989/90: with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the extinction of socialism as a project of human liberation, and, coincident with that, the emergence of Islam or Islamism as both a threat and a promise – and how a novel manages to be the axis on which these huge global events turn. (Source)

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