Oh I do like this book – the first time through I thought it was a roller coaster of a ride and barely made sense of the plot much less all the characters. I did get a bit of the themes. This time, having some idea of what was going to go on I clicked into the plot/characters right away and followed all the way through, picking up on more interesting ideas and themes. I took notes though –>
The ideas are not so innovative in and of themselves, but the presentation is incredible and magical – fun. All through that war between the jinns of Peristan and the humans of Earth there’s a lot of love and more than a few nuggets of ancient wisdom – old as the times of the stories from Scheherazade.
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
by Salman Rushdie
2015 / 304 pages
read by Robert G. Slade 11h 26m
rating: 9.3 / literary fantasy
(read and listened x2)
Somehow, some way, a jinnia named Dunia slipped through a crack between Peristan (Fairyland) and the earth. When she got here she fell in love with a 12th century philosopher named Ibn Rushd (Averroes) – Together they had many babies – all without earlobes.
Many years later – a thousand years – another split in the barrier between the worlds occurred and Dunia rushed on through searching for those babies or their descendants. Unfortunately, some other “dark” jinnis slipped through as well and the “time of strangeness” began. Many of the physical laws governing our world no longer apply – at least to those folks without earlobes. This creates tension which the “dark” jinns take advantage of. Ultimately war ensues, but not before a lot of strange things happen making people question their minds and values –
The story is told from the point of view of an unnamed narrator living at least a thousand years from now. He’s telling an audience this history and inserting his own commentary.
The main theme revolves around reason versus faith (Rushd-Aristotle verses Gharzad), but Rushdie’s ideas of mongrelism and alienation (there is no “pure”) via multi-cultural heritage is explored in various ways, geography, names, religions, languages, foods, gardens, etc. Religion and politics come in for special attention.
Love is an important theme as is anger.