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Midnight's Children (1981)

by Salman Rushdie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,147221375 (4.05)1 / 932
In India, one thousand and one children are born in the hour following the midnight commemorating the country's independence from British rule. And of those children, none is more entwined with the destiny of that land thatn Saleem Sinai, he of dubious birth and a nose of astounding proportion. Discovering a psychic connection with midnight's other thousand, Saleem recounts a life both reflecting and recreating the modern history of his oft-troubled homeland.… (more)
  1. 130
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nickelini)
  2. 71
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (GoST)
  3. 61
    The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (GabrielF, CGlanovsky)
    GabrielF: I think Rushdie based a lot of his style in Midnight's Children on The Tin Drum. Both books are historical epics told through the perspective of a child with strange powers.
    CGlanovsky: A boy bound to the destiny of his birthplace. Surreal elements.
  4. 41
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (BGP)
  5. 20
    Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh (pamelad)
    pamelad: Also set during Partition.
  6. 10
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling (Gregorio_Roth)
    Gregorio_Roth: The book is a modern interpretation of KIM in a number of ways. I think it will complete your point of view on Imperialism and India.
  7. 21
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  8. 11
    The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (wrmjr66)
    wrmjr66: I think The Moor's Last Sigh is Rushdie's best book since Midnight's Children.
  9. 01
    Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel by Nayomi Munaweera (evilmoose)
  10. 03
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (amyblue)
1980s (17)
Asia (18)
hopes (11)
1960s (198)
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» See also 932 mentions

English (207)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (220)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
The first three quarters of this book are a joy. Immaginative, joyous, sparkling with wit and intelligence and above all telling a fantastic story. The characters spring from the pages and India is a character in itself. As we move to Pakistan and as Saleem, one of the Midnight's Children of the title, gets older things get darker and after a catastrophic event occurs in the last section the sparkle vanishes and I found this large section a struggle to get through-otherwise it would have been 5 stars. This is a novel that needs time and patience-time to accustom yourself to the original writing style and immerse sheer scope and wonder. I now understand why Mr Rushdie is so feted in the literary world. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
A masterpiece. Rushdie's prose is more like poetry, flowing, branching, playing with the role of author and reader, post-modern and fantastic. I loved, loved it. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
When I started the book, I almost immediately thought "Oh, it's Tristram Shandy in 20th-century India," and then I remembered what a labor Sterne's book had been to get through. Still, I read the first 100 or so pages of Midnight's Children with delight. Nearly 600 pages of it proved a bit much for me, though, and though I was glad to read more about the history, and though any given shorter stretch of the book was pleasant to read, the whole big thing was a bit of a labor for me. It's a good, important book, but the return on investment for me wasn't as big as I like for a book of this size. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
What a masterpiece! I don't understand everything and the narrator is very unreliable (interesting that he keeps reminding us of this) but still, this is brilliant. Rushdie weaves the history of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh into this tale of magical realism, which manages at the same time to explore loaded themes of greatness, identity, and ambition. Rushdie also writes in a way that makes you turn the pages; his writing is so whirlwind it just sucks you in. I love his titling of each chapter; the titling is succinct but perfectly describes the core of the chapter. Nevertheless, this is definitely not an easy read but it pays to persevere. ( )
  siok | Jan 3, 2021 |
Rushdie is the first of the Booker winners that I knew anything about before beginning this project. Nonetheless, I had a difficult, scratch that, complicated experience reading this book. So, since others have written far more intelligently about its plot and meaning, I’ll just tell you what it was like for me.

To be honest, I was reluctant to start “yet another” book about India. That’s why I wrote the blog post titled “Interlude”: pure procrastination.

The narrator, Saleem Sinai, has a putative audience of one, his companion Padma. He begins by introducing his grandparents, and several of the motifs that will recur and weave this loose tapestry together. Saleem himself is not even born until well past the hundred-page mark. And it took me over two hundred pages to get really interested in the book. The style is that of a sauntering saga, an unrushed meandering through several generations, and it drove me nuts -- until I decided to just lie back and let go. Since that didn’t happen until about page 300 of 500, I wasted a lot of time resisting this book.

It is repetitive, and verbose, and grandiose. Rushdie has a way of stringing together three words when one would do. Is he too lazy to choose? Or showing off his vocabulary? But, when I finally surrendered, the repetition-with-a-difference became lulling, like lying on a beach listening to waves: almost the same, but different each time, building imperceptibly to crescendos, then dying down again, weaving a texture of symbols and sounds. I was pulled along with the tide of the story, and learned a lot about India and Pakistan in the process.

I also learned that some books just can’t be rushed through. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Midnight's Children is a teeming fable of postcolonial India, told in magical-realist fashion by a telepathic hero born at the stroke of midnight on the day the country became independent. First published in 1981, it was met with little immediate excitement.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Lindesay Irvine (Jul 10, 2008)
 
"The literary map of India is about to be redrawn. . . . What [English-language fiction about India] has been missing is . . . something just a little coarse, a hunger to swallow India whole and spit it out. . . . Now, in 'Midnight's Children,' Salman Rushdie has realized that ambition."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Clarke Blaise (Apr 19, 1981)
 

» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rushdie, Salmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Versluys, MarijkeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Zafar Rushdie
who, contrary to all expectations,
was born in the afternoon.
First words
I was born in the city of Bombay . . . once upon a time.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish among:

-- Salman Rushdie's original 1981 novel, Midnight's Children;

-- Rushdie's 1999 screenplay adaptation (with introduction) of the novel, having the same title; and

-- The 2003 stage play, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, adapted for theater by Rushdie, Tim Supple and Simon Reade.

Thank you.
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In India, one thousand and one children are born in the hour following the midnight commemorating the country's independence from British rule. And of those children, none is more entwined with the destiny of that land thatn Saleem Sinai, he of dubious birth and a nose of astounding proportion. Discovering a psychic connection with midnight's other thousand, Saleem recounts a life both reflecting and recreating the modern history of his oft-troubled homeland.

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