April 17, 2006

Book Review: “Fury”, Salman Rushdie

Fury is a quick read, full of pop and historical references that string together the story of a middle-aged man confronting inner demons he’s carried since childhood (magnified mid-life crisis). Rushdie’s ability to draw from a bottomless well of timely and appropriate references is unmatched.

Fury follows the transition of Malik Solanka, Cambridge professor turned wealthy dollmaker, as he flees his English home, wife, and child, for the anonymity and physical distance offered by New York City.(Solanka’s experience reminds you of some of the raw storytelling of early 20th century French like Zola.) Why he flees, you’ll have to read, but it is disturbing. 

In New York, he confronts his distant past (growing up in India), his not-so-distant past (wife and child in England) and the present he creates while in New York.

I especially like how Rushdie was always one step ahead of me as I tried to unpack the morality of a man who left his wife and child, then finds himself in some “strange” relationships in New York.
“Fury” is well worth your time and will leave you with a lot of good ideas to chew on.

Only Umberto Eco (Foucault’s Pendulum, The Name of the Rose), another author I recently read, strikes as capable of offering anything as challenging as Rushdie, though in a very different way.


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