Haroun and the Sea of Stories

I read Haroun and the Sea of Stories recently (the book however is 30 years old) and it smacks of right now even after all this time.

The author, all those years ago, wrote this fantastical tale for his eleven year old son Zafar.

Don’t be fooled, though, into thinking it is in any way childish or infantile, but rather to be read by children in one way and by adults in another (think Harry Potter or the Life of Pi).

A great storyteller, Rushdie packs every line with humor, bang on critical observations and considerations as well as a never ending series of unforgettable characters (the Shah of Blah, Blabbermouth, Butt the Hoopoe, Khatam Shud and the Chupwallas) and problems/impediments that need to be solved and overcome.

Language is bent and stripped and put together again in a new and inventive fashion. You will be transported to The Moon World of Kahani, the Kingdom of Gup and the Ocean world of stories.

An unputdownable page turner so tight and fast paced and hilarious; so smart and truthful and revealing that kids will breathlessly follow the protagonist, Haroun, on his adventures; cheering him on, sharing his fear and indecision, learning from his strength and intelligence all the way to his happy ending after the innumerable obstacles faced.

Adults, on the other hand, will argue and debate and discuss the intelligent portrayal of freedom of speech, truth versus lies, the power of the written word and the passing on of stories from generation to generation as well as the power of the people, the untruth of the political arena and the power of love and one’s convictions.

Just as great music and film stand the test of time, so too has this colorful book that will continue to be read and loved by generations to come.

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