I caught hold of this book by accident when I was in search of Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.A book judged initially by its cover turned out to be one of the nicest books I've read in a while.The book is written in the demand of Rushdie's son of wanting him to write a book for children after when the controversy of Satanic Verses happened which made Rushdie live in the hiding for a few years.
The novel is about a famous storyteller, RASHID, Haroun’s father, who lives in a sad city with Haroun and his mother. One day he suddenly loses his ability to weave and narrate stories when his wife leaves him for another man. Haroun, his son then goes on to this adventurous journey to save the culture of storytelling for his father.
Haroun meets Iff the Water Genie and insists him to take him to the magical land, Kahini, Earth’s second Moon, where all these stories are coming from so that he can get his father’s storytelling abilities back. They discover that Kahini has become contaminated by darkness and the stories are beginning to get polluted (Depicting that there is so much plagiarism in this world and no purity in people’s art). The whole journey of Haroun revolves around how he saves the ocean of the streams of story from getting polluted with the help of a few trusty companions, including Iff the Water Genie, Mali the Floating Gardner, and two Plentimaw Fishes (there are Plentimaw Fish in the sea). All these companions are fantastical creatures found in Kahini. The story involves other strange, funny characters including, but not limited to, Snooty Buttoo, the Eggheads, and The Walrus.
The pages of the novel also depict the danger that is caused by storytelling which is best known by Rushdie after the controversies of Satanic Verses.
Rushdie has a magical realism style of writing, a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. It might seem to be kiddish as it is filled with puns and word play and also, the mix between English and Hindi languages makes it even more fun for the readers to read ( eg-land of GUPS (those who gossip) and CHUPS (those who stay quiet). The story is so appealing that it makes you the part of that magical journey through out the plot. The story talks about freedom of speech, censorship, politics, and the power of stories and imagination with an apt amount of satirical touch. No wonder it comes from the pen of Salman Rushdie who had to live in hiding for years due to the controversy over his previous book.The book runs at a good pace, enjoyable read with just the right amount of humor, wit, and interesting characters who bring the story to life.
“What's the use of stories that aren't even true?” If you want to know the answer, read the book.