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Midnight's Children (1981)

by Salman Rushdie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,619229389 (4.05)1 / 948
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
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (Cecrow)
  7. 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.
  8. 21
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  9. 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.
  10. 01
    Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel by Nayomi Munaweera (evilmoose)
  11. 03
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (amyblue)
1980s (4)
Asia (16)
hopes (11)
1960s (231)
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» See also 948 mentions

English (215)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (228)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
It was fine. I don't love Rushdie's writing style but I didn't hate it. I don't know. It was fine. I can see this being the kind of thing I re-read in 10 years and LOVE. ( )
  Midnight_Reader | Feb 3, 2022 |
Ah, Booker of the Bookers. Twice!

Bottom line: If you want to write a really good novel, you should read Midnight's Children and takes some notes from Rushdie. This book is masterfully written and perfectly executed in every sense of the word.

This was probably one of the most difficult novels I've ever read, if not the most difficult. We owe the difficulty to Saleem Sinai's frustrating narration. Saleem narrates the story in a "jumpy" stream-of-consciousness style without much regard to grammar and punctuation. I think Rushdie perfects this style with experimental, risk-taking, care-free sentences that just flow smoothly. It's not that you won't make sense of things, because you definitely will; it's just that it might take you 50 or so pages to get used to it.

In addition, Saleem is a narcissistic character who constructs his own version of reality/events through his narration. He explicitly lies, forgets, leaves things out, includes things that didn't really happen, jumps around in time, etc., making this quite an interesting yet arduous ride.

What I liked most about Midnight's Children is Rushdie's mastery over his own work. Here's a guy who was dedicated enough to perfect and chisel his novel to the very last detail, and I cannot say enough about this. His work shines on multiple levels. It feels so coherent and connected. Almost nothing is wasted (despite the book's length). And everything came together beautifully in the end. The dots just connect with Rushdie. It's exactly everything you would expect from a great novel. Masterful.

It's an engrossing, extremely rich, and dense work. But somehow, I do feel this novel is missing a certain "timelessness" quality. Sure, it has withstood the test of time this long, but it also seems confined to what India/Pakistan/Bangladesh was and is now. I also think the book doesn't lend itself well to a new interpretation upon re-reading, which is why I feel hesitant to give this novel a 5-star rating. ( )
  nonames | Jan 14, 2022 |
This winner of the "Booker of Bookers" is a difficult book to read, and a far more difficult one to rate. It frustrated me to no end with the meandering narrative that required me to re-re-read several paragraphs quite frequently and an unusual literary style that challenged my comprehension. The only motivation for me to persevere with it was the magic Mr. Rushdie has made with the words; almost every sentence from this book is eminently quotable!
It certainly demands another reading, which I hope to give it, in the not-far-away future. ( )
  aravind_aar | Nov 21, 2021 |
I am trying to record my reaction to 'Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie. I don't know what the "X5...Guide Exp" is up there for.

At any rate, this book made me want to keep reading it forever. It quickened my heartrate and made me glad to be alive. It has everything and the kitchen sink thrown into the narrative. I know so little about the history and politics of India and Pakistan that parts of the book were mostly incomprehensible but I let those parts slide by and enjoyed the amazing panorama. Very human. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
A reviewer for [b:A Tale of Love and Darkness|27574|A Tale of Love and Darkness|Amos Oz|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1429313277l/27574._SY75_.jpg|28189] recommends reading Midnight's Children.
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (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.
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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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Average: (4.05)
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