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infinitejoe

Infinite Joe

I like challenging books that make you think, and leave you happy that you did. Typically, I find character driven literary fiction the most satisfying, although I in no way think of myself as a serious literary critic.

Currently reading

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Progress: 282/333 pages

The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie I enjoyed the themes present in this book. Faith versus doubt versus non-belief. Extremism. Divine revelation as related to schizophrenia. The completely human, ungodly starts to the world's religions. Religion, simply, as an "idea".

"WHAT KIND OF AN IDEA ARE YOU? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accommodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze?"

Rushdie contemplates such notions well. His characters are colorful and "real", and the overall read was generally satisfying.

However, I guess I just don't like "magical realism". Or maybe the plots and subplots just seemed a little too disjointed. The book just didn't fully grab me like others sometimes do, and so I'd give it a 6 out of 10, and maybe a 7, just for having the courage to take on such a touchy topic.

(If you decide to read this book, you'll probably want to have a reading guide handy, as some of the subplots parallel stories from the Islamic religion, which you might not be familiar with. Google "The Satanic Verses Chapter 1", and choose the link that starts with "public.wsu.edu/". You'll definitely get more out of the book by knowing the background and the details surrounding the stories in this book.)