Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights

A Novel

Book - 2015
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *  NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post * Los Angeles Times * Harper's Bazaar * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * The Guardian * National Post * BookPage * Kirkus Reviews

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.

Praise for Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

"Courageous and liberating . . . a breathless mash-up of wormholes, mythical creatures, current affairs and disquisitions on philosophy and theology." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Rushdie is our Scheherazade, inexhaustibly enfolding story within story and unfolding tale after tale with such irrepressible delight that it comes as a shock to remember that, like her, he has lived the life of a storyteller in immediate peril." --Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian

"An amusement park of a pulpy disaster novel that resists flying out of control by being grounded by religion, history, culture and love." -- Los Angeles Times

"[A] rambunctious, satirical, and bewitching metaphysical fable, perhaps his most thoroughly enjoyable to date . . . fantastically inventive, spirited, astute, and delectable." -- Booklist (starred review)

"A composite of magic realism, mythology, science fiction and straight-up fantasy . . . Like the best Rushdie novels, Two Years is playful and inventive, and also intellectually bracing." -- The Globe and Mail

"Incandescent . . . All those years of writing and success have perhaps been preparation for this moment, for the creation of this tremendously inventive and timely novel." -- San Francisco Chronicle
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812998917
Characteristics: 290 pages ; 25 cm


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Jun 22, 2018

I am totally a Rushdie fan by now. This has all his trademarks but more story based, shorter and moves quicker. Cool stuff.

Nov 29, 2017

In this novel Salman Rushdie brings together the mythologies of works such as "Arabian Nights" with contemporary American creations such as Graphic novels. He is a writer who lived and wrote with the oppression of a death threat because of a specific novel, described in detail in "Joseph Anton". Here he continues to celebrate the freedoms of literature, no matter the political situation. The conflict in the novel is, in case you missed when it happened, the Great Djinn War (or perhaps Wars - human vs Djinn as well as Djinn vs Djinn). However, contemporary religous struggles are not ignored. With a pointed examination of the construction of divinity, Rushdie has one of the Djinn there's only one word that justifies that as far as these savages are concerned: the word of this or that god. In the name of a divine entity we can do whatever the hell we like and most of those fools down there will swallow it." During this apocalyptic struggle, Rushdie sustains his post-modern slant: "It seemed that digression was the true principle of the universe, that the only real subject was the way the subject kept changing." And he sustains his wry sense of humor. Given the heavy testing Salman Rushdie has had to endure to write freely, this novel felt like a weight had been lifted from the author's shoulders. He has always utilized elements of cultures from the world. In "The Ground Beneath her Feet", he explored what if popular musicians from India became as large world-wide as Michael Jackson. In this work, elements of the graphic novel become entangled in a world-wide power struggle, and it is somehow fun. Toni Morrison praised Rushdie as a true international writer for the world. His position is unique, yet he continues to create that unique position with works such as this one.

Apr 18, 2017

This is a bit of a difficult book to review, as the phrasing and language are unquestionably beautiful, however, it was very challenging to get through. The plot was original, but the source of the originality was also the greatest issue I had with this book, which was that, rather than focusing on fleshing out any given character into which the reader could emotionally invest, this book focused heavily on world building. It was refreshing, in a way, as this is an uncommon approach, but it is hard to get motivated about reading something you can't empathize with.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

This is my first foray into Rushdie and I have been pleasantly surprised! This modern mythological tale compiled by a future utopian civilization is very clever, humourous, thoughtful and philosphical. I flitted between 3-4 stars but I gave it a 4 because I felt it had been a long time since I actually had to think while reading! I will definitely read another Rushdie... I like his style.

May 26, 2016

I really wanted to like this Rushdie novel more but had a hard time getting invested. There are definitely some interesting sections and plot points and general philosophy but it never completely clicked for me. Still a great author and worth checking out!

Apr 02, 2016

Rich, interesting and challenging. Pokes fun at things we are familiar with and tells an unusual story as well.

Mar 16, 2016

I enjoyed the witty and always amazingly intellectual imaginings of the first part of this novel, however I found the end the same predictable woes that seem to emanate from Salman's writing. He can't seem to recover from his own many failed relationships and I think the children are a challenge, as they are to all.. Undoubtedly a brilliant mind occupied with presenting the reader with clever coincidences; and historical and philosophical snippets; but I have to confess that I am tiring of Salman. Oh dear. I feel the fabric tearing and I am being pulled into Fairyland.

Feb 03, 2016

Loved it. He has such an imagination! Best read slowly, to keep track of all the characters and let all the details sink in.

Nov 13, 2015

Is it just me or is he unreadable?
Try The Satanic Verses. The fatwa was really for the writing. He has clever phrasing, references and observations, but he tries too hard at that. Again it's probably just me.

Nov 04, 2015

Although there are better fantasy books out there, this one is entertaining enough, if slightly overstuffed with characters. Its strongest points are the ties to current events and the comic details of Rushdie's writing (who knew jinn don't have earlobes?).

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