Dammit, first the pic was too big now I can’t seem to re-size it! ah well.
The last Rushdie I had read was The Satanic Verses, and I thought it was one of the greatest books ever written. Shame treads some of the same paths but its more about Pakistan’s political history than rather TSV’s religious and humanistic themes.
The story is basically about the entwining paths of two families, both representing Pakistan’s prime ministers. Throughout their family history there’s madness, suicide, imprisonment the whole lot and if you discount the flights of magical realism you have to keep in mind that such things did happen.
However the main theme is shame and how it shapes history, or maybe the Indian character?, for the only protagonist in the novel who is not born with a sense of shame is the one who survives the most in the book.
As such Shame is not as powerful as The Satanic Verses, it works as a satire and the writing is great but I felt that it lacks the energy and whizz of Rushdie’s most notorious novel. Still it wipes the floor with practically everyone else so a good Rushdie novel not may excel his own masterpieces but it still is a fascinating read.