Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

Satanic Verses is the "Baap" of all the banned books that are ever known to human kind. If you get to know that something is being banned by the government of a country, you feel more attracted towards it. Satanic Verses was published in 1988, the year when I was born and it managed to create quite a stir back then. The book represents the perfect example for "Power of writing", and this one shook the world. So, I managed to get a PDF of this book and started reading it on my iPad. The first digital version of the book that I am reviewing here because we fellow book reviewers including me are celebrating banned books weekend. :)

There is a strange kind of hate associated with Salman Rushdie, I don't know why. May be because he is fearless and controversy's favourite child. His new book "Joseph Anton, A Memoir" has come out recently and I am looking forward to read it. Satanic Verses was very well received by many countries but Muslims all over the world detested it and which created quite a stir. The book is still banned in India. People who were associated with the book were killed. The Japanese translator was kiled in 1991, the Italian translator was stabbed to death, both in 1991. The Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard barely survived an assassination attempt in 1993. The Turkish language translator was the intended target for the Sivas massacre in July 1993 that claimed the lives of 37 people.

This book according to me is a fine work of fiction. Rushdie is a fantastic story teller. The language, the plot and the characters are complex but they come out beautifully if you have patience to sail through the book. There is too much of Hindi and Urdu involved. I am particularly not comfortable with Urdu so google came to my rescue. There are two protagonists in the book, Gibreel Farishta, a character inspired by Big B of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan and Saladin Chamcha, who works as a voiceover artist in England. Both of them get miraculously saved when a hijacked airplane crashes down in English Channel and hence begins the story.

Rushdie understands human emotions quite well. The way he creates realism in the book with logical theories and are thoroughly relatable. The characters of the book are strong and well defined. Each one of them leaves a long impression on your mind. The book is about life, love, death and many other shades of life that moves in different centuries quite effortlessly.

I particularly loved the line "Writers & Whores, I see no difference here". This one cracked me out and it was said by Mahound. I would not like to get into the details of the book but what I felt created a stir about the book is, Mahound is supposedly the Mohammad of Islam, Mahound is a derogatory word that Britishers use for him. Also, Mahound, is said to be followed Satanic verses told to him by Gibreel. According to me this was the reason that triggered the outrage for this book.

Anyways, lets not get into controversies related to the book and keep a neutral point of view, but it gets tough for someone who has heard so many things about the book to maintain a neutral point of view. I somehow managed to finished the book but trust me it was not an easy read. Took me days, to understand and comprehend what Rushdie is trying to do, but if you ask me, overall the book is one mindfucking blowing read. Just maintain a neutral point of view. These are fictional characters, nothing like that is going to happen in real world. :)

Book Source : Internet, PDF file.
Reviewed for Banned Books Weekend


  1. oh hell, ive been waiting to get my hands on this book. Dude, you need to send this to me.

  2. hey i need a copy email id ...thanx in advance

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The circulation of this book is an illegal offence under the IPC - I would like you to remove the link for the same from your review. You are free to contact people on your mail and discuss anything related to how to got a copy for the same but the downloadable hosting URL on the site of ALOP should be removed.

    Hoping to see you comply with the same


  5. Hi Pulkit,

    I have done the same that you had asked for. The sole motto was to provide easy access to the people who wanted to read the book. Anyways. People sked for it and I made it accessible for all the readers.

    I think there is something called as freedom. Internet is already flooded with too many unwanted things or "banned" things. The sole purpose of posting this review here was to make people aware about what the book has.

    I am not promoting any kind of hate or neither I want to trigger any sort of outrage, would have been better if you had contacted me on my mail ID to tell me , but anyways.

    Too many restrictions on ALOP are making me lose my interest :) Will see till when I am comfortable in posting my reviews here.

    Cheers !!!

  6. You know, I was barely 7 when I heard Rushdie's name in relation to his work. Never read him, but the controversy following him makes me want to read him! :D I like the review, email it to me too if you can. :)

    PS: Have you read "Such a Long Journey"? It was banned in Maharashtra. I will review it. Mast hai! :D

  7. @Pulkit: IPC does not make it an offence if the book is intended for review purposes. However, the sale of the same and enticing public deliberately is.

  8. Under section 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code, publishing and selling such a book (banned officially by the state) is an offense. I never said that review should not be done. I just wanted the downloadable link to be removed. Hope that makes it clear.

    Regards and Blessings

  9. No it isn't, since 295A talks about malicious intent. However, I am not getting into this. Your concern is genuine. And yes, your explanation makes it clear. Since Yatin has already confirmed, there's no issue anymore.

  10. apologies if anyone was uncomfortable

  11. @Pulkit: Arre, koi na! Koi load nahi. Sab changa hega :)


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