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10 Amazing Books By Salman Rushdie That Are All About Puns & Magic Realism

By Anubha Das

Updated - May 9, 20247 min read

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Salman Rushdie is a master of the written word. Rushdie sculpts books that have made him one of the most highly regarded authors in the ocean of literature, among disputes, puns, metaphors, and magical realism. Rushdies writings, which are both engaging and thought-provoking, deal with the interconnections of Eastern and Western culture, as well as questions of religion, life, and death.


Here we explore some of his must-read works.


1. Midnight's Children


Available On Amazon @ INR 300


This is by far Rushdies most well-known work, and if you only read one of his books, make it this one. It won the Booker Prize, and on two successive anniversaries of the prize, the 25th and the 40th, it was named "the finest novel of all winners." It's about a young child named Saleem, who was born at 12 a.m. on August 15, 1947, giving him the same age as independent India. He is born with unique abilities and finds that he is one of many people with unique abilities who are born around midnight. The narrative depicts India before, after, and during independence and partition, employing magical realism to illuminate the countrys predicament. Many writers were inspired by its distinct style.


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2. ​The Satanic Verses


Available On Flipkart @ INR 1000


For those who arent easily offended, this is his most contentious work, and its worth reading. Farishta, a Bollywood actor known for portraying Hindu deities, and Chamcha, an English voiceover artist, star in the film. They both perish on a hijacked airliner but are miraculously spared; nevertheless, Farishta takes on the archangel Gabriel's personality while Chamcha takes on the devils. The literary art of this novel makes it one of the best books by Salman Rushdie.


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3. ​​The Moor's Last Sigh


Available On Amazon @ INR 343


This novel follows Moraes 'Moor' Zogoiby through his life, which takes place in Mumbai and Cochin. This novel, like all of his others, has a fantastic aspect to it: Moor matures twice as quickly as a regular man and has a malformed hand. The book also goes back generations in his family tree to explain why he is the way he is.


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4. Shalimar the Clown


Available On Amazon @ INR 506


This book lacks the magical realism of the others on the list, but it does have the same political insight that Rushdies works are known for. We follow Americas counterterrorism head, Maximilian Ophuls, and his chauffeur, a Kashmiri Muslim who murders him and explains why in flashbacks. We explore the history and how these people lives intersected in the past as the tale goes across countries. The narrative of this one of the best books by Salman Rushdie depicts how politics wrecked what was once lovely about Kashmir.


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5. ​Quichotte


Available On Amazon @ INR 514


This is Rushdies most recent book, and it received a Booker Prize nomination in 2019. It has a story inside the story, which is beautifully written. We follow an Indian novelist who, despite never having met her, gets fascinated with a talk show personality in the United States. He writes her letters signed "Quichotte" and embarks on a search for her across America. The narrative emphasises the problems that the United States is now dealing with.


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6. The Ground Beneath Her Feet


Available On Amazon @ INR 370


Salman Rushdie crafts an epic rock and roll love story about two young men going for the same young woman, inspired by rock music culture and the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The entire story takes place amid the height of rock musics popularity. The readers are captivated by the immensely deep network of allusions, civilizations, and narratives that interweave throughout The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Rushdie gives us to read a memorable narrative that transcends time and place by combining Eastern and Western civilizations, as well as ancient and contemporary elements.


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7. Haroun and the Sea of Stories


Available On Flipkart @ INR 230


Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie's classic children's novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as The Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, and The Wizard of Oz. In this captivating work of fantasy from the author of Midnight’s Children and The Enchantress of Florence, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.


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8. Joseph Anton: A Memoir


Available On Amazon @ INR 571


Rushdie, hailed as a literary martyr and ridiculed as a prima donna, emerges as both inspirational and irritating in this account of his life following Irans Ayatollah Khomeinis fatwa against him in 1989. Rushdie combines stirring defences of free speech with biting observations on the maniacal high-level security subculture, ripostes to detractors and ex-wives—"when he mentioned a pre-nup, the conversation became a quarrel"—sex gossip, and constant name-dropping ("Willie Nelson was there! And Matthew Modine!"). Theres some preening self-dramatization on the part of the celebrity author, but theres also a constant edge of melancholy.


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9. Fury


Available On Flipkart @ INR 330 


This is a very American novel, a bitingly satiric, frequently wildly comic portrait of American culture in the early twenty-first century. Prof. (Bombay born, Cambridge educated, now Manhattan resident) is a twice transplanted protagonist (Bombay born, Cambridge educated, now Manhattan resident). Malik Solanka is an obscenely wealthy guy who rose from a philosophy professor to a BBC-TV celebrity to the creator of the enormously famous Little Brain doll. Rushdie has never been more acutely aware of the American mentality and current events, and hence more relevant to American readers. 


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10. Luka and the Fire of Life


Available On Amazon @ INR 363


Rushdie lets his imagination run wild in an alternate universe inspired by the strange logic of video games, yet his amusing wordplay and light-as-air fancies are little more than a brilliant parody. This sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories sees Luka, Harous younger brother, on a journey to save his father, aided, ironically, by Nobodaddy, a holograph-like character.


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