I’ve always been a bit intimidated by Salman Rushdie’s reputation and so haven’t read any of his books. I started reading this in a physical book, but the pandemic has impacted my reading in strange ways. What I mean by this is that I have had times when almost all I want to do is read – in particular, during lockdown, if I wasn’t working or exercising, I was reading. Then, other times, I couldn’t get through more than a couple of pages before I gave up. I was reading Midnight’s Children for my book club and when I started reading it, I was in a no-reading stage. Actually, this was between the two Melbourne lockdowns (in 2020… I’m not discounting that we may have more in 2021) and so audio book was perfect because I was driving to work. So audiobook it was.
It’s a beautiful, lyrical book that meanders through the life of main character Saleem Sinai, born at midnight on the day of the partition of British India. He, along with 1000 other people born at this time had magical powers. But the story starts long before this and covers a large amount of time. It’s a big book. There’s a lot of it and, several times through the book, Rushdie does a recap. I understand the value of that, but it was really annoying. I felt that the book was suggesting I hadn’t paid attention and was filling me in. However, especially when you have a time limit for reading the book, it’s very annoying to have pages telling you what you’ve just read. I appreciate the book, I enjoyed it, but it was far longer than I would have liked.