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Haroun and the Sea of Stories - A Review


The book, “Haroun and the Sea of Stories”, was written by Salman Rushdie in 1990, while he had been sentenced to death by Islamic fundamentalists. It was actually, according to the writer's own view, a kind of redirecting his attention towards the work of fiction after being frustrated a lot. In short, it is a warning about the dangers of story-telling that won him the Writers' Guild Award (Best Children's Book in 1992).


It is the story of Haroun, a 12-year-old boy whose father Rashid is the greatest storyteller in a city so sad that it has forgotten its name. When the gift of gab suddenly deserts Rashid, Haroun ventures into Gup City, Kahani, which is located on the shores of the Great Story Seas to save his father's renowned story telling abilities, and ends up saving the entire story-telling world from the evil Khattam-Shud, the Prince of Silence, who is intoxicating the Sea of Stories with poison. Rushdie employs the simple tactics of a legendary plot and imaginative characters to make his novel as great as any child's fairy tale.

The theme works as a beautiful fantasy story about a boy who saves a world of make believe. It can also be viewed as an experiment on creativity, the obvious dangers of authoritarianism, the honest weaknesses of democracy, the importance of history, and ofcourse all expressed through a theme of an illusion. Definitely a message for the adults.


Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad book as such. It’s just that it is a children's book, a fact that most of us don’t realize, until we start reading it. However, it is beautifully written and imaginative, and to top it all one who has read Rushdie’s other books would like the hidden message and the meaning behind the names.


The way Rushdie goes about describing each character and each event is enthralling and it is refreshing to note how Rushdie is creative with his imagination.


Whether people say, am sure that children would definitely enjoy it, and you would think it as lot of fun, too. And to top it off, I am not such a big fan of Salman Rushdie.


It definitely is not a waste of time, as it is so short


Anyone who liked Rushdie’s other books is bound to love this one as well. The book certainly has some great moments that will definitely hold your interest. Whatever may be the reason, just read it for the child inside you


That’s it - a must read if you want to dive back into your childhood.



Publisher (General enquiries) Agent


Jonathan Cape Ltd





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