Shalimar the Clown

Shalimar the Clown

A Novel

Book - 2005
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"Los Angeles, 1991. Maximilian Ophuls, one of the makers of the modern world, is knifed to death in broad daylight on the doorstep of his illegitimate daughter India, slaughtered by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former United States ambassador to India, and subsequently America's counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination but turns out to be passionately personal."
"This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter - and of a fourth character, the woman who links them, whose revelation finally explains them all. It is a narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France, and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. There is kindness and there is magic capable of producing miracles, but there is also war - ugly, unavoidable, and seemingly interminable. And there is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortally dangerous."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: London : Jonathan Cape, 2005.
ISBN: 9780224061612
0224061615
9780224077842
0224077848
Branch Call Number: FIC RUSH
Characteristics: 398 p. ; 24 cm.

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PDBurt
Sep 02, 2020

I found myself chuckling while reading the first part about a young woman, her father and her father's driver. I feel like I'm supposed to like this author because of his history but I did not find it to be a master piece. While I have a fairly good understanding of vocabulary I had to guess at some meanings through context. Talk about detail, a bit too much and there are so many asides that you don't find out what's going on until almost the end of part one. I didn't care for the woman's perception going back and forth in time, the casual porn in her self indulgent life and her confusion about what was real or not, felt like demonic influences. I wonder if the author himself is troubled with that. The second part seemed like a whole other story. There was nothing cohesive to connect it to the first part and it felt like swimming through a sea of details to get to any kind of plot. I only skimmed through the rest of the book after chapter one and didn't understand the story until the last two pages; however, I am glad I read the first part. Rushie did not inform me of the conflict between Kashmir and Pakistan. Maybe if I had waded through all the asides I might have gleaned a morsel of history. I can learn anything relevant to that on Wikipedia. I din't even understand that the driver was her father's killer until I reread the library site's review.Those issues were oblique. This author could put his wonderful writing to better use than this detailic merry-go-round.

a
AaronAardvark1940
May 27, 2019

The story is simple, but Rushdie turns it into a history book. Each character is carefully developed and set in its proper historical and social context with great detail. Rushdie’s love of the Kashmir that once was shines through. “Shalimar the Clown” is a critique of religion, politics, and social mores, from which no side emerges unscathed. It’s clear why Rushdie has been the subject of fatwas. As I approached the end of the book, I kept wishing the storytelling went on for another hundred pages. A wonderful book for anybody who loves language and who enjoys occasionally researching somewhat obscure references.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 19, 2015

A very timely novel about terrorism and the ongoing struggle between India and Pakistan for control of Kashmir. Shalimar is typical Rushdie: a novel that exists as a political thriller, folk tale, wartime adventure, slapstick comedy, and tale of romance. In a post 9/11 world Rushdie is able to see the horrors of extremism and religious conflict, however, his stories are always told with a decidedly humorous and cleverly satiric touch.

s
Samauribrarian
Sep 30, 2013

One of my top ten books of all time. Amazing story told through incredible mastery of language. An epic global tale that takes place in part in India & LA. A great first Rushdie if you've been wanting to read any of his tomes!

m
mvincelli
Mar 07, 2010

Not yet read.

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