Book – Fury
Author – Salman Rushdie
Year – 2001
Genre – Fiction
Salman Rushdie is an undoubtedly brilliant writer. Fury is full of clever illusions to classic art, pop culture, politics and science, of intelligent discourse on the state of the world, of impressive parallels between characters and real life issues. Unfortunately, it is also really really boring.
It took me nearly three months to slog through this book – and at around 250 pages, that is terrible going. I reached the stage where I was challenging myself to read just two more pages before I had to put the book down and do something else. It doesn’t matter how clever your writing is if it is that much effort to get through your book.
The story of Fury revolves around an Indian born British professor and doll maker who has fled to the United States of America after having murderous thoughts about his wife and young son. We then receive chapters on some of the more colourful characters he has met in his past, and in the present America. There is a plot here hidden amongst the discourse, but sadly I just didn’t care enough.
Despite not liking Rushdie’s sense of story, I did however hugely respect the intelligence of the writing that was on show. I suppose starting with Midnight’s Children or Satanic Verses may have been a better idea considering that this is a mostly forgotten book of his, and they are seen as masterpieces, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted amount of time, but this book is not one I’d recommend.
As a final note, this book was published by a group called Modern Library. I don’t think I have really gone into publishers here – excepting Penguin – but these guys deserve note simply because it is the most wonderful book to read from so far this year. The whole book is flexible, but smooth, and really a joy to carry around. I shall be having a look on their website soon, and hopefully will be able to find some similar to this.
Modern Library website – www.modernlibrary.com