Comments: 9
Thank you! And yes, it's definitely one of my books of the year -- which is why the non-matching narrative voice is such a big deal to me. But it definitely underscored yet again why it's a blessing the fundamentalists never got the better of Rushdie (and ultimately he came out even stronger, though by his account at one point it was a close call ... mentally, not physically, that is).
Murder by Death 3 years ago
I'm so glad you're bringing at least some of your reviews back - you make me interested in reading this one!

I wonder if the third person narrative choice was to create emotional distance for himself? It must be hard to write a soul bearing memoir when you've led such a life; perhaps making it someone else's "story" made it easier? Just speculating.

I love that first quote.
Rushdie is one of the people I could quote forever and at length -- just about everything he says and writes just rings with clear-headed common sense and razor sharp analysis. "Joseph Anton" is probably best appreciated if you've read some of his fiction before, or some of the nonfiction he wrote during the fatwa years (I'd recommend "Step Across This Line"; if not prior to "Joseph Anton" then as a companion read -- it's the essence of the nonfiction he wrote from 1992, I think, until about a year after 9/11).

As for the third person narrative, yours might have been my theory if
(1) I hadn't caught him in one, arguably even two places that show the whole book was written in the first person originally and then switched to third person *later on*, so it's obviously a deliberate (and retroactive) editorial choice, and
(2) the whole thing is just too heartfelt and personal -- and Rushdie is way too good a writer ordinarily to send a book to print where the tone of the whole thing doesn't match some other key element, including the narrative voice.
He's an incredibly person to meet, I got to hear him give a lecture years back, and would love to again.
I believe that sight unseen! (Also: Now I'm jealous. :) )
He started off with a line wondering what is it about gods and rape
And well might he wonder ...
"So it goes." 1 year ago
Possibly the best review EVER
More like a rant, actually, but thank you! :)