Summary and book reviews of Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

by Salman Rushdie

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie X
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2015, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2016, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan

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About this Book

Book Summary

From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor's office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia's children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights - or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

Inspired by the traditional "wonder tales" of the East, Salman Rushdie's novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today's world. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.

Excerpt
Two Years Eight Months And Twenty-Eight Nights

Very little is known, though much has been written, about the true nature of the jinn, the creatures made of smokeless fire. Whether they are good or evil, devilish or benign, such questions are hotly disputed. These qualities are broadly accepted: that they are whimsical, capricious, wanton; that they can move at high speed, alter their size and form, and grant many of the wishes of mortal men and women should they so choose, or if by coercion they are obliged to do so; and that their sense of time differs radically from that of human beings. They are not to be confused with angels, even though some of the old stories erroneously state that the Devil himself, the fallen angel Lucifer, son of the morning, was the greatest of the jinn. For a long time their dwelling places were also in dispute. Some ancient stories said, slanderously, that the jinn lived among us here on earth, the so-called "lower world," in ruined buildings and ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Rushdie's writing style is a combination of lusciously meandering prose that is achingly perceptive and a word frenzy that is unerringly infectious. This is why I have a feeling that the word "masterpiece" is going to be associated with this book, and not ironically or with any hyperbole.   (Reviewed by Davida Chazan).

Full Review (586 words).

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Media Reviews

Library Journal
Most readers will overlook Rushdie's not-so-subtle scolding in this rollicking magical realist adventure, which is fast paced and accessible. It can be enjoyed as a fairy-tale adventure, literary fiction, or a political allegory for our times.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Rushdie provides readers with an intellectual treasure chest cleverly disguised as a comic pop-culture apocalyptic caprice.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Beguiling and astonishing, wonderful and wondrous. Rushdie at his best.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Who were Ghazali and Ibn Rushd?

Those versed in Muslim philosophy and theology have probably heard of both Ghazali and Ibn Rushd, but when I first read Two Years Eight Months Twenty-Eight Months I thought they were fictional. When I discovered they were real people who had written the books Rushdie talks about, I decided to find out more about them.

al-GhazaliGhazali of Tus, also known as Al-Ghazâlî (c.1056–1111), was an intellectual well known among royalty, military and political leaders of Baghdad during his early career. However, he abandoned that life, believing that these leaders were corrupting influences, who might endanger his religious beliefs and ruin his chances at the perfect afterlife. Although he did return to secular life at one point, he retained...

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