The Satanic Verses
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By turns satirical and playful, Rushdie’s masterly novel about identity and alienation remains an ever-relevant investigation into the freedom to think differently and to question what is sacred.
Daring, controversial and brilliant, few books have had the global cultural impact of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. By turns satirical and playful, fantastical and bitingly relevant, Rushdie’s fictional account of the history of Islam incited riots by Islamist groups and led to the orthodox Iranian government issued a fatwa against Rushdie, which has never been officially lifted.
20 years on from its original release, the book remains freshly relevant: as a challenge to censorship, a warning about the consequences of suppressing creative expression and a masterwork of fiction.
As the Guardian writes, ‘above all, perhaps, it dramatises the conviction that there is nothing more sacred than the freedom to question what is sacred. Twenty years on, it's a principle that urgently needs to be remembered.’
'A staggering achievement, brilliantly enjoyable' Nadine Gordimer
'A masterpiece' Sunday Times
'A novel of metamorphosis, hauntings, memories, hallucinations, revelations, advertising jingles and jokes. Rushdie has the power of description, and we succumb' The Times
'Damnably entertaining and fiendishly ingenious. One of the very few current writers whose works are attempts at the great Bible, "the bright book of life" ' London Review of Books
A great novelist, a master of perpetual storytelling. * V S Pritchett *