Tuesday, March 2, 2021

tiny book reviews (2021): two years eight months and twenty-eight nights, by salman rushdie

 Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (Rushdie novel).png

Sometimes you're in the middle of a book and it's just so good that you don't really want to pick it up again because you know the more you read the less of it you'll have. 

Sometimes you're in the middle of a book and it's just good enough that you can't wait to get done doing whatever you're doing that's keeping you from the book so you can get back to it.

Sometimes you're in the middle of a book and it's interesting enough, but maybe not quite the right thing for right now so you pick something else up instead. You know you'll finish it, just not right now.

And sometimes you're in the middle of the book and you hate it. And you hate that you hate it, but you still hate it. And you're fully committed to finishing the book, because that's who you are--you're a person who finishes books--but holy. cow. this. book. is. just. so. bad.

For me, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights was that book. 


Honestly, I'm sure Salman Rushdie has written good stuff. He's a super well-respected author. One doesn't just _become_ that for nothing. But this particular book, for this particular reader, had nothing.

I read this book because Rushdie got a lot of mentions in Homeland Elegies. And I've never read any Rushdie. And I'm old enough to remember the controversy over The Satanic Verses (though I didn't really know any more about it or him than that). So I figured I'd read some Rushdie.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights was what was available at my library. 

It's fantasy, I guess. Maybe you'd call it magical realism. Or someone might. A bit more magical than real, I think.

I got the sense that it was a parable of sorts. Or a retelling of some real history through myth. I think that's the point of magical realism. I didn't much care for One Hundred Years of Solitude because I didn't understand enough real Columbian social history to get it. I felt the same way reading this, except I didn't even know what continent I was on. 

And so I finished thinking that the book wasn't really written for me. It might be a great book...for a different reader. 

Then again, it may just be a crappy book.

It'll be a while before I can give Rushdie another try, but I will (probably with Midnight's Children). 

I feel like there's something here I need to know, like a dirt road you see meandering up that one particular draw--you trust there must be something up there and it's probably pretty awesome, but for whatever reason you've just never gone. 

Though, that might be the wrong metaphor--it might be that there's a whole other forest that I know next to nothing about, and that I've got to learn quite a bit more about that particular ecosystem before I can come to appreciate Rushdie trees.

I don't know. But I'll find out.

1 of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Paulette said...

I thought I was the only one who didn’t care for One Hundred Years of Solitude. Unlike you, I don’t finish every book I start, and that was one of them. Maybe sometime I’ll pick it up again, because a lot of other people I know really loved it.