06 November 2009

Review: The Ground Beneath Her Feet

So if you've read my last entry, you know my problems with Salman Rushdie. And this book certainly continued them. Throughout The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Rushdie stayed his usual pretentious self. It was annoying, aggravating, and made me want to put the book down sometimes.

But that said, I didn't. Because more than in Fury, this book kept me interested. We got more moments of Rushdie doing his good stuff towards the end, and in a way it becomes simply heartbreaking. When Rai (the narrator) describes the death of Vina and its aftermath, you truly feel for him. He's lost the love of his life, and so has the world, apparently. The denouement of the story almost feels like a letdown after this glimpse of the author's best writing.

Is it worth a read? Sure, if you've got the extra time. I think it could have been edited down a bit, as the 575 pages seemed overly long-winded at times. But it really does become a compelling story, one in which you become invested in the characters.

One last note. Rushdie uses the same anecdote about the Pope and his driver (the life-long driver brings JPII to the Vatican before he is named pope, the smoke goes up, someone comes out to tell the driver he is fired) that he used in Fury. This was simaltaneously kind of a neat link, and really annoying. Get some new anecdotes, man.

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