Note from Josh 1: I just got my second shipment of The Knot in. I’ll be signing and shipping them today. So if you’re waiting, it’s almost time. Thanks for your patience!
Note from Josh 2: Here is part one of an interview I did for Yusuf Clack’s awesome blog, A Better World Through Strong Dads
Many people only know of Salman Rushdie for one or all of these reasons:
1. He wrote The Satanic Verses, a (wonderful and non-Satanic but also non-flattering to Mohammad) novel which caused a fussy Ayatollah to issue a death sentence on the author, who went into hiding for quite a while.
2. He married Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef and subsequently was mentioned in People magazine here and there.
3. He was the subject of a Seinfeld episode
4. He wrote some lyrics for a U2 Song “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”
But none of these items come close to what I consider his greatest accomplishment– The “children’s” book:
Have you ever read the Alice books? There’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. I read them both every few years. Even as a child, I knew there was a lot more going on in these books than met the eye. As I grow older, I become a different person. As I grow older, they become different books. And so I read them again and again.
I re-read Haroun the same way, for the same reasons.
In a nutshell, here’s the plot:
Haroun’s father, Rashid, is the greatest storyteller in the city of Alifbay. Then he literally loses his ability to tell awesome stories. Haroun discovers that there is an actual source of stories, and he goes on a journey to the Sea of Stories to put things right.
There’s a war. Battles. Drama! There is a lot of brilliant wordplay, which give me most of my major Alice associations. There are many moments where I laugh and many moments that remind me of things that I can’t quite get at.
There is perhaps nothing I enjoy as much as seeing an author as brilliant as Rushdie turn his big brain onto a children’s tale, unless it is the moment when I realize that it isn’t actually a children’s tale at all. Maybe.
Haroun can be enjoyed on many, many levels. Adventure story, a love letter to creativity and storytelling, an allegory to any number of things, a playground for anyone who likes linguistic stunts or games of “spot the reference/influence.”
Rushdie is a fan of Pynchon, Borges, and Lewis Carroll, and it shows.
Each time I read Haroun, I’m stunned anew by just how creative it is. My highest compliment for a writer is always this:
This book could only have come from the mind of__(insert author).”
There is a reason why nobody, in my opinion, really tries to imitate Salman Rushdie.
Because he’s that good. I believe Haroun is his best. Academics love to yammer and disagree and use a lot of big words to prioritize Rushdie’s works.
Boo hoo. At its most simple, here is my most clear-cut Haroun and the Sea Of Stories Synopsis: It’s awesome.
Andi if you’re not sure where to begin with Mr. Salman himself, I’d start with Haroun, even though I love all of Rushdie’s “important” books as well.
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