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Fury by Salman Rushdie
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Fury (original 2001; edition 2008)

by Salman Rushdie

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2,149303,032 (3.28)75
Member:thorold
Title:Fury
Authors:Salman Rushdie
Info:Vintage Digital (2008), Edition: New edition, Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Collections:Ebooks
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, New York, 2000s, professor-as-victim, satire, Indian diaspora

Work details

Fury by Salman Rushdie (2001)

Recently added bygj262, marquayrol, Dinci, kthsdlr, scherergenius, laifke, private library, jroche
  1. 00
    Herzog by Saul Bellow (thorold)
    thorold: Rushdie's Fury is an ironic 21st century take on the professor-as-victim theme, with a whole string of references back to Herzog.
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» See also 75 mentions

English (27)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
As always, I am a bit breathless when I finish a novel by Rushdie. The vigor of his ideas and the multitude of analogies he draws from contemporary events, history, and mythology are nothing short of astonishing. This novel, set in New York City, traces one academic man's journey from an existential crisis to efforts to drown out his fury, to his effort to face it and make meaning in his life. In my opinion, this novel is one of the more generally accessible reads because the plot is more clearly discernible than in several of his other works. Per usual, the characters are at once humorous and terrifying in their humanity. So take the ride, by all means, and hold onto your hat. You will run smack into pathos, rage, passion, fear, with a smattering of love and hope. Great novel! ( )
  hemlokgang | Feb 26, 2016 |
I did not finish this book on CD. I thought it pretentious and offensive in the first CD of the book and decided there are other books I'd much rather read. ( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
Reminded me a bit of the movie _Taxi Driver_ - incredible anger/rage with little outlet. Also incredible alienation, but that seems to be one of Rushdie's recurring themes. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I am putting this one down. I have vacillated between finishing/not finishing long enough, and reached my decision this morning.

Why put it down? Because it's an exhausting read. It's the non-stop self-pitying rant of an extremely wealthy man who can't find happiness. A man who abandons his wife and son (after thinking seriously of murdering the former) in London for the fury of New York. In a nutshell, he wants the fury of New York to overpower the fury he feels within himself.

What I suspect is a thinly veiled autobiography (and you know how I hate those, Holden Caulfield), Fury is full of beautiful writing and wonderful quotes for publishers about the excess of America. However, it descends quickly into whining. Beautifully written, irrepressible whining.

It is not very popular to dislike Rushdie's writing. People think of him as so esoteric, on a different plane, writing at a higher level than most. Perhaps his vocabulary is larger than the average fiction reader, but that only serves to give his writing a sense of arrogance. I can imagine him writing and thinking, "No one understands me. No one will "get" this."

This was the first Rushdie book I have tried, and I will more than likely try another one. After all, perhaps some of his earlier writing, before he was jaded by wealth and beautiful women half his age, will prove to be a bit more accessible for us common folk.

Not recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Fury? A better title might be Impotence, Poor Decision Making or Whiny Discontent, and the old author has a beautiful women chasing him. Uggggggh. Only a few stylistic twists save this one from one star. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Set mostly in New York Fury is perhaps the fruit of Rushdie’s move to the US after the restrictions necessitated by the fatwā made life in the UK less than congenial for him.

It is not a vintage work, no Midnight’s Children nor Shame. Too much is told, not shown. It also begins inauspiciously; with a very Dan Brownesque first sentence, “Professor Malik Solanka, retired historian of ideas, irascible dollmaker, and since his fifty-fifth birthday celibate and solitary by his own (much criticised) choice, in his silvered years found himself living in a golden age.”

Now, it could be said that Rushdie is playing with the reader, essaying a fable, but, really, three of those crudely dumped slivers of information are examples of newspaper prose and the knowledge they bring us ought to have emerged more organically during the course of the novel.

The novel deals with Solanka’s life after leaving his second wife. He was so full of fury he had almost killed her and their young son and he fled to New York to escape that horror becoming reality. He was also the creator of a TV series in which a doll called Little Brain hosted a kind of chat show where various historical and philosophical figures were interviewed. It became a cult hit, was taken up further, spawning the usual commercial opportunities attendant on success, but in the process was dumbed down. The doll masks which are one of the manifestations of the show’s popularity later become a plot point.

Rushdie’s usual scatter shot referencing is present, not only to the Erinyes (Furies) of Greek myth - along with allusions to more popular culture - but also copious descriptions of SF stories (eg The Nine Billon Names of God) and films (Solaris, even - heaven help us - Star Wars.) The three Furies have their counterparts in the three women whom Solanka is involved with in the course of the book.

There is a sub-plot involving a republic known as Lilliput-Blefescu (where the doll masks take on a political significance) and which allows Rushdie ample scope for Swiftian allusions.

As a novel, Fury is too tied up in itself. Rushdie is riffing on his concerns but here his orotund, fabular style is distracting, the characters are not as rounded as in his earlier works and the plot not as engaging.
added by jackdeighton | editA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salman Rushdieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Konings, GérardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Karina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sterre, Jan Pieter van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaccaro, NickPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vermeulen, RikCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Professor Malik Solanka, retired historian of ideas, irascible dollmaker, and since his recent fifty-fifth brithday celibate and solitary by his own (much criticized) choice, in his silvered years found himself living in a golden age.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679783504, Paperback)

Fury is a gloss on fin-de-siècle angst from the master of the quintuple entendre. Salman Rushdie hauls his hero, Malik Solanka, from Bombay to London to New York, and finally to a fictional Third World country, all in order to show off a preternatural ability to riff on anything from Bollywood musicals to revolutionary politics. Professor Solanka is propelled on this path by his strange love of dolls. He plays with them as a child; as an adult he quits his post at Cambridge in order to produce a TV show wherein an animated doll, Little Brain, meets the great thinkers of history. Little Brain becomes a smash hit, and perhaps inevitably, Solanka finds himself in America. (It's not only the show-biz version of manifest destiny that brings him to the New World: one night in London he finds himself standing over the sleeping figures of his beloved wife and child, frighteningly close to stabbing them. This intellectual puppeteer is, of course, fleeing himself.)

Now, in New York, he is filled with wrath. Solanka is far from being an Everyman, but his fury is a kind of Everyfury. It's road rage writ large--the natural reaction to an excess of mental traffic. There are several books running simultaneously here: a mystery, a family romance, a bitingly satirical portrait of millennial Manhattan, and a sci-fi revolutionary fantasy. A single fragment gives a sense of Rushdie's reflexive multiplicity: when Solanka finally faces his memories of childhood, he recalls "his damn Yoknapatawpha, his accursed Malgudi." Here's a writer who, leading us into the tender places of his protagonist's soul, stops long enough to reference not just Faulkner but Narayan as well. If it sounds like a bit of a mess, it is. If it sounds frighteningly intelligent, it's that too. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:19 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Malik Solanka, a middle-aged ex-philosophy professor and millionaire creator of a hugely popular doll, seeks refuge from his unwanted fame and disintegrating marriage in New York City.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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