A big hearty thanks to everyone who had signed-up for the read-along and I hope you feel a sense of accomplishment as much as I do completing a classic chunkster and can now shout to world and said, “Yes! I have read Midnight’s Children, and this is what I think of it…….”
For others who are caught up with one thing or another and didn’t get a chance to finish it, I hope you do one day. To those who didn’t like it, this read-along is a good way to find that out!
It will be great to hear from both aficionados and those who didn’t like it, why you love / hate the book. At the beginning I was quite worried that I might be leading you guys to madness to take up reading of this book, but I’m glad some of you persevere and finish it. Although I don’t have the patience to read like Wilfrid does, at some point in my life, I’ll revisit the book.
Now here are some thoughts on week 4………… (and don’t forget to vote on two polls at end of this post!)
This week Zee of Wordly Obsessions posted part two of her read-along. Zee thinks the Methwold Estate is an almost chess-sized version of the ’real’ battle between the Indian population and it’s invaders, and the game of conqueror and conquered is played throughout Sinai’s stay in the estate. As Zee wonderfully describes:
Rushdie adds a touch of poetic justice to the whole situation, as he ironically depicts Methwold’s line continuing in the form of Saleem, but without a trace of the English heritage that runs through his veins. For me, this reminds me of the symbol of the Ouroboros; the snake that bites its own tail. Methwold is snake-like as he feeds his unassuming venom into the future inhabitants of the estate. But it is his own son who destroys what is most dear to him; a sense of Britishness.
The ‘nurture’ part of our upbringing, whether it be with our biological parents or not, plays a big part in how we identify ourselves. Saleem being a ‘midnight’s child’ has powers that enable him to look into the past through other people’s memories. He talks of how events outside him, even before his conception, heralded his coming. He seems to believe that he is the ‘fated’ child of the Sinai’s, which promotes a much stronger sense of belonging.
Read the rest of Zee’s Part Two Discussion here. We will be eagerly waiting for Zee’s Part 3 of her review!
On Week 2, Wilfrid did a Book 2 review and he said:
One thing I admire about “Midnight’s Children” is the effort Rushdie has put into the planning of the story. Often, the ending of the sub-plot or the character is foretold and it is a matter of telling the story in reverse. Rushdie has even planned out where the middle of the story is to be (titled as “Alpha and Omega”). I have yet to read the author’s note. If I could ask Rushdie a question on “Midnight’s Children”, that would be: Did you create the storyline backward? How did you know that “Alpha and Omega” would be the middle of the book? Do you have a laundry list of metaphors and what they mean to share with me?!
Despite many temptations to rush through the book, Wilfrid feels the book is worthy to be savoured slowly. Wilfrid is not familiar with Indian history and the quote:
In the West people tended to read Midnight’s Children as a fantasy, while in India people thought of it as pretty realistic, almost a history book.
made him feels that if he had read it purely from the fantasy perspective, it would have been quite a fascinating read. There is so much to learn and discover that inquisitive Wilfrid as he is, spent a lot of time finding out the landmarks or history mentioned in the book and did his own historical research. Wilfrid ended his review for Book 3 in this post.
Jessica of Park Benches and Book Ends’ final review of the book is hot out of the press!! See here. Jessica posted a brilliant review about her reading experience and feel that she will re-read the book at some point in the future, but will never read another book from Rushdie again!
Geosi wrote a piece about his general thoughts about the book here and patiently answered 4 of the questions in week 1 and thank everyone for giving him the impetus to read this book.
If you like to share your thoughts or reviews, share it on Mr. Linky!
Wilfrid, my co-host and I wanted to say a very very big thanks to everyone who participated. I plan to host another one sometime late next year, second half of 2011. I have a few titles in mind but I would like to hear what you think are some of the burning titles that you would like to include in the next read-along. Here are my polls:
To read reviews of past weeks, here they are: