Yeah, I'm with you all the way on Midnight's Children in particular, but
I've read all of his books, even the early SF one, Grimus. I think the
only one I disliked was the rock one, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which
I was put off in advance by the Bono connection, and then it turned out
that Bono was all over the book too, and it's full of this really narrow
and dated view of music where nothing that has happened in the last few
decades, apart from Bono of course, are worth a damn. I recommend Shame
and The Moor's Last Sigh
- Martin Skidmore
From: Kris Majer [mailto:kmajer@...
Sent: 09 May 2003 21:34
Subject: [johnbarth] Apologies, Touts
So let me first apologize for walking out on the On With the Story read.
I was more or less responsible for the sign-ups, I think, and it was
generally a very difficult moment to eke out time for anything. We had
managed to conduct two very fruitful and (in my opinion at least) very
pleasant group-reads before, so maybe we will pull it off once again one
day? Maybe during the summer? I promise to supervise the sign-ups and to
see it through to the end this time - not before July though, until then
I'm grounded with the thesis... So much for apologies (and a bit of a
promise, too, I guess). On to Touts!
I know there are Rushdie fans here on board, I remember Blair mentioning
Fury (though unfavourably, am I right? in comparison to his other
works). Fury I haven't read, but about two years ago I read The Satanic
Verses, and was very much taken with it. After the two colossal Barths
which saw me through January, February and March, and after having
lingered on the American soil for some time now, I decided to switch
continents and bought Midnight's Children.
An incredible book! I strongly recommend the Barthfolk to seek it out if
they haven't already; made me think of Our Man very very often. Nightly
male-to-female storytelling, the number 1001 popping up all over the
place, obsession with history and correspondences, ontogeny
recapitulates philogeny ('parallels' would perhaps be a better word in
this case), an impossibly self-conscious narrator with his irresistible,
hilarious narration - full of flash-forwards, digressions, twists and
turns... There's a touch of Pynchon here and there, too, in the zany
characters that people the novel. I literally enjoyed every bit of it.
Most highly recommended. Will anyone back me up here?
I'll leave you to savour the opening lines...
"I was born in the city of Bombay... once upon a time. No, that won't
do, there's no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor
Narlikar's Nursing Home on August 15th, 1947. And the time? The time
matters, too. Well
then: at night. No, it's important to be more... On the stroke of
midnight, as a matter of fact. Clock-hands joined palms in respectful
greeting as I came. Oh, spell it out, spell it out: at the precise
instant of India's arrival at independence, I tumbled forth into the
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