Thursday, 9 April 2009

Fury - Salman Rushdie

This is Salman Rushdie’s most autobiographical novel. It is also his most readable. Fury tells the story of Cambridge Philosopher turned legendary doll maker Malik Solanka who is struggling to control his furious anger. His famous creation, Little Brian, has been appropriated by the media and transformed into everything he most detests about consumerist marketing and one night he finds himself standing over his sleeping child with a knife in his hand. Fearing for the safety of his young family Malik retreats to New York City where he finds refuge amidst a city more furious than himself.

This is a city where cab drivers froth with hatred, petty resentments tear relationships apart and a serial killer is murdering women with a slab of concrete. Against this backdrop Malik Solanka tries to rebuild his life and unexpectedly developed a new doll. But will it be a success? Does the internet offer the chance for him to determine every aspect of his creation? And what about those periods of memory loss, could he be the serial killer?

This is a novel about the relationship between an artist and his creation. Only Salman Rushdie could combine the mythic Furies with contemporary popular culture and do so with such high-tempo panache. It is a terrific joy to read Rushdie, no other writer is able to combine so many themes and bring them together seamlessly and with such ease. If you have never read anything by the pre-eminent author of our time, this is the first place you should start. You will not be disappointed.

7.5 out of 10

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