Tuesday, September 8, 2015
New Release: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
When you set out to read a Salman Rushdie novel, you can assume you will encounter a few things -- extraordinary characters (and ordinary characters, of course), history, philosophy, and irreverence. Rushdie does not disappoint in Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, a tale of rivalry -- that of evil versus good, religion versus reason, and fear versus knowledge. Our narrator lives in a world one-thousand years from now, where a War of the Worlds--our world and the supernatural world of the jinn--has happened now, in our time, to bring about an age of enlightenment.
What you will encounter in this book are strangenesses: people who float and others who are crushed, human lie-detectors and human lightning rods. You will also find many normal people--poets, philosophers, landladies, and wives--who are drawn into the fantastic by those around them and are brought to their knees, some at the whims of evil Ifrits, others by the hands of their own fellow men, and finally some by mere chance. And finally, you will find love -- some true and original, some mere shadows or facsimiles of those loves.
If you are familiar at all with Rushdie's views and novels, you will probably guess what event, what change in the hearts and minds of men, could bring about peace and enlightenment for centuries. It will not be a viewpoint popular with all readers but his reasoning and his use of modern-day examples of corruption and failings in humankind are undeniable. This book made me sad about the world we live in and left me wondering if there is an actual way that we could eventually attain a world of peace and brotherly love without the intervention of supernatural forces. I enjoyed this read, however painful it was.
Without much faith,
p.s. I received an advance reader's edition of this book from LibraryThing.