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Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel by Salman…

Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Salman Rushdie

Series: Haroun (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7612612,190 (3.64)41
Title:Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel
Authors:Salman Rushdie
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Read & Owned, MH Recs, Your library (inactive)
Tags:India, Anglophone, Germanic Language, Asia, Fantasy, Children's Lit., 21st Century

Work details

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

  1. 60
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (weeksj10)
  2. 31
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (weeksj10)
    weeksj10: Rushdie's books focused around the Khalifa family are like a modern day Alice in Wonderland with a spicy bight from its Indian setting. The wordplay, characters, and plot all mirror those of Alice and like Carroll's book Rushdie's can and will be enjoyed by magic lovers of all ages.… (more)
  3. 10
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (wandering_star)
  4. 00
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (amanda4242)

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» See also 41 mentions

English (24)  Dutch (1)  All (1)  All (26)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Cute and clever, but not for me. I was too easily distracted while reading this book. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Cute and clever, but not for me. I was too easily distracted while reading this book. ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
This is a follow up to Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It's like a kind of computer game that Luka has to play to save his father, meeting ancient gods, new friends and magical beasts along the way. ( )
  AlisonSakai | May 11, 2016 |
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at the very start. But I warmed to it quickly, thanks mostly to the excellent performance by reader Lyndham Gregory. I suspect I could read/listen to this book again and again and pick up more and more from it. And enjoyable read. ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
Not as good as other books I've read by this author, but a fun adventure ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Ein Märchen gewiss, aber doch mit einer, wenn auch eher versteckten Moral. In den Zeiten von Reality-Shows, blödelnder Comedians, klein gehackter Nachrichtenschnipsel, zappender ungeduldiger Zuschauer, twitternder Internet-Analphabeten beschwört er die Magie der Geschichten, preist die Erzähler, ohne die die Welt grau und traurig aussähe. Salman Rushdies Roman ist eine Beschwörung und zugleich Ehrenrettung der schriftstellerischen Fantasie.
To save the day, Luka must enter the World of Magic and bring back the Fire of Life. But, Rushdie seems to be wondering, how caught up can a kid get in Promethean questing when his sense of adventure is increasingly guided by virtual derring-do?

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salman Rushdieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bauer, AnnaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cunningham, CarolineDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Proksa, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puttapipat, NirootCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schiff, RobbinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was once, in the city of Kahani, in the land of Alilfbay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out, "Dog!" the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted, "Bear!" the dog bounded toward him, wagging his tail.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679463364, Hardcover)

Salman Rushdie on Luka and the Fire of Life

There’s a line in Paul Simon’s song St. Judy’s Comet, a sort of lullaby, about his reason for writing it. "If I can’t sing my boy to sleep," he sings, "it makes your famous daddy look so dumb." More than twenty years ago, when my older son Zafar said to me that I should write a book he could read, I thought about that line. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, written in 1989-90, a dark time for me, was the result. I tried to fill it with light and even to give it a happy ending. Happy endings were things I had become very interested in at the time.

When my younger son Milan read Haroun he immediately began to insist that he, too, merited a book. Luka and the Fire of Life is born of that insistence. It is not exactly a sequel to the earlier book, but it is a companion. The same family is at the heart of both books, and in both books a son must rescue a father. Beyond those similarities, however, the two books inhabit very different imaginative milieux.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories was born at a time of crisis in its author’s life and the fictional Haroun’s quest to rescue his father’s lost storytelling skills in a world in which stories themselves are being poisoned was a fable that responded to that crisis.

Luka and the Fire of Life is a response to a different, but equally great, danger: that an older father may not live to see his son grow up. In the earlier book, it was storytelling that was being threatened; in the new one, it is the storyteller who is at risk. Once again, the book grows out of the reality of my own life, and my relationship with a very particular child. Luka is my son Milan’s middle name, just as Haroun is Zafar’s.

As well as the central theme of life and death, Luka explores in, I hope, suitably fabulous and antic fashion, things I have thought about all my life: the relationships between the world of imagination and the "real" world, between authoritarianism and liberty, between what is true and what is phony, and between ourselves and the gods that we create. Younger readers do not need to dwell on these matters. Older readers may, however, find them satisfying.

It has been my aim, in Luka as in Haroun, to write a story that demolishes the boundary between "adult" and "children’s" literature. One way I have thought about Luka and Haroun is that each of them is a message in a bottle. A child may read these books and, I hope, derive from them the pleasures and satisfactions that children seek from books. The same child may read them again when he or she is grown, and see a different book, with adult satisfactions instead of (or as well as) the earlier ones.

I don’t want to end without thanking the boys for whom these books were written and who helped me in their creation with a number of invaluable editorial suggestions. Luka and the Fire of Life has been the most enjoyable writing experience I’ve had since I wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I hope it may prove as enjoyable to read as it was to write.

(Photo © Alberto Conti)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Young Luka travels to the Magic World to steal the Fire of Life needed to bring his storytelling father out of a deep trance.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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