Wow, it feels like weeks since I posted about a book. Oh wait, it has been weeks. So what the heck have I been doing?! I’ll tell you what I have been doing. I have spent FOREVER reading Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.
I spent the first hundred pages or so, trying to get my head around the writing style of the author; not wanting to read because I just didn’t get it; and trying to convince myself that I should like this book because hey, it is written by Salman Rushdie. Have I ever read any of his work before? No. Do I know anything about him? No. So why is it that I tried to convince myself that I should like it? Because he’s a super famous author that’s why. But you know what? I despised this book to start with. I found myself reading and rereading sentences because they just would not allow themselves to be read correctly (sometimes they hit my eyes backwards). I was constantly losing my concentration because the narrative would go off on a weird tangent and I would then have to go back and read whole pages to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. But for all the gripes I have about it, this was a truly beautiful book (after I got past the first hundred pages).
The children born in the midnight hour on the day of India’s independence from the British Empire, are known as Midnight’s Children. Born at a magical hour and on an auspicious day for their country, these children are all born with special gifts, the power of which is determined by how near or far they were born to midnight. Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight and so has a supremely powerful and magical gift. Midnight’s Children tracks the life of Saleem (both before and after the auspicious hour of his birth). As Saleem gets older, he develops the belief that his fate is intertwined with that of his country, and it is hard to argue with this rationale when presented with certain facts to support his theory. From the beginnings of his grandfather’s life, to the final moments of Saleem’s story, everything that happens is clearly for a purpose in the life of Saleem and the history of India.
Would I read it again? Maybe. One day. Far in the future. But in the end I really loved it. Once you wrap your brain around the writing and start to get into the flow of it, you can’t help but like it. I have discovered that I was not alone in this either. Lots of reviews I read about it after I had finished reading, all said the same thing – the writing was hard to get used at first and they didn’t like it, but after a while they loved it and pretty much all gave if five out of five stars. So if you decide to read Midnight’s Children, my advice is this: be patient, persevere and you will be rewarded.
RATING – 8 out of 10
WHO SHOULD READ IT – If you liked The Life of Pi and The White Tiger, you will more than likely enjoy this as well.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I didn’t really like Saleem that much. I think my favourite character was probably Mary Pereira – I love a character with a deep, dark secret.