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Read Along

End of Midnight’s Children Read-along, waiting for your reviews and some polling (Non-participants can vote!)

Midnight’s Children Read-along officially ends today. Wow, what a journey…

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.

Wilfrid has his final book review here and part 2 review here.

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:

Which book titles would you like to see in the next Read-Along?

How would you rate this book, The Midnight’s Children?

To read reviews of past weeks, here they are:

Midnight’s Children Read-along Week 1

Midnight’s Children Read-along Week 2

Midnight’s Children Read-along Week 3

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.

Discussion

19 thoughts on “End of Midnight’s Children Read-along, waiting for your reviews and some polling (Non-participants can vote!)

  1. I wish I’d seen this when it first started I really need to reread this. I’ve read it once, I had one day for the whole thing when I was suddenly placed on a university module that was mt second choice – amazingly uni didn’t let you know your classes till the week before term started! I hated it as I read it, mainly because it was diificult and needed time and not a rush. But by the time I had discussed it I loved the book, I couldn’t stop thinking and pondering sections, and still have vivid pictures in my head created by some of the scenes.
    I look forward to seeing what you are reading next, I may come and join in.

    Posted by katrinadidn't do anything else | December 19, 2010, 9:48 am
    • Katrina, your experience is a perfect example why sometimes we need an expert (like your uni professor) or good blogger friends to help us see the beauty of a difficult fiction. If you and I were to read this alone, we might have flung this book out of the window! 🙂

      Did you take a vote on the poll? it will be interesting to see what people like to read next.

      Posted by JoV | December 19, 2010, 10:59 am
  2. Here are my thoughts

    http://pbbookends.blogspot.com/2010/12/midnights-children-by-salman-rushdie.html

    Its certainly been an experience and I am very glad Ive read it. I wouldn’t read a different book by this author but I would read Midnight’s Children again.

    Thank you for hosting this read-along.

    Posted by Jessica | December 19, 2010, 11:25 pm
  3. Thank you thank you thank you for including me in this lovely journey! And I love your humor in the beginning of this entry. Yes, I can tell people that I have read Midnight’s Children and here is what I think … ha ha ha.

    But on a more seriously note, applause to your effort in pulling this together and collating the entries over the weeks, encouraging us, while during the same period, you are doing other things in life too! *Bow*

    I have taken a brief look at your list (heading out to work very soon!). 2666 sounds interesting because it is a number. I am always attracted to titles with numbers. And then I found out that it is written by a Spanish writer just before his death! BUT, the book is close to 900 pages long … ha ha ha. Let me think deeper first. I will certainly vote and get back to you.

    I would very much love to suggest “Against the Day” by Thomas Pynchon. It is one tough book to read. Very thick (1,104 pages). But the reviews have been very positive. I do have a copy in my bookshelf since … 2007? However, I think it is a bit too heavy for a read-along. This sort of pain and torture has to do it alone … hahahah.

    Posted by Wilfrid | December 20, 2010, 12:27 am
    • Wilfrid, LOL… ok ok enough bowing…. It’s been a joy to have you all with me. I love books, and what better way to celebrate reading by reading a book together? I think we are thinking on the same page.. I love titles with numbers. Although 2 years ago, some readers have hosted this before but wouldn’t hurt to host a number title read along. As we speak, my 2666 arrive in my mailbox today!! Yippee!! it’s heavy, it’s chunky and looks awesome!! 😀

      Posted by JoV | December 20, 2010, 9:00 pm
    • Wilfrid, “Against the Day” by Thomas Pynchon looks interesting… if you are not sick of Indian history yet (and if you look at the poll results), the most vote goes to “A Suitable Boy” which runs at 1474 pages long. *aghast* but many people I know, bloggers and non-book bloggers alike, said this book is a true masterpiece. So we will see. I am inclined to go with the public vote but I’m so intrigue with 2666!! 😉

      Posted by JoV | December 20, 2010, 9:19 pm
  4. I am ready to do sa final post on his but my primary internet providor Sky Cable is once again down metro Manila wide-we also have a dsl line that comes free with out phone almost but it i to slow for me to want to submit report for now-as soon as it is back up I will post on Midnight’s Children which I tjought a marvelous comentary on Indian history-sorry to be late posting

    Posted by Mel u | December 20, 2010, 3:27 am
    • Mel U, don’t worry Mel. Happy to have you with us. Share when you get connected to the Internet again. 🙂 I can keep doing special feature for your post and other reviews that to come in the future.

      Posted by JoV | December 20, 2010, 9:03 pm
  5. Ok – I failed at Midnights Children again. I just couldn’t get through it – I do intend to finish but probably over my upcoming vacation when I have more “mindshare” to devote 🙂

    Great job on ten read along – I like how you linked to and quoted from participant’s posts!

    Posted by Colleen | December 20, 2010, 4:58 am
    • Thanks Colleen. We have one of those moments some time. I am a bit fickle with what I am reading next, when I think I would read one book, I ended up reading another. 😦

      Posted by JoV | December 20, 2010, 9:04 pm
  6. I am glad I participated in the ReadAlong but now I know that I cannot read Rushdie 😦 At least Midnight’s Children. I attempted it some 4 times and each time my mind wandered after a few sentences. I just could not get into the skin of the book. MC has been compared to Marquez’s A 100 Years of Solitude in tone and style. But I did not find that very alluring either, so maybe I am discovering a pattern here!

    Thanks for hosting the Read Along, I hope to finish the book chosen in the next one! 🙂

    Posted by Birdy | December 20, 2010, 8:11 am
    • Birdy, you are most welcome. Always good to know what you like and don’t like. Life’s too short to sit through a book you didn’t like. 😉 I hope we will choose a book that we would like to read together soon! 🙂

      Posted by JoV | December 20, 2010, 9:06 pm
  7. Because of internet issues here in Manila I am a week late with my post and decided just to do a very brief final post-thanks so much for hosting this challenge and to all the great participants

    http://rereadinglives.blogspot.com/2010/12/midnights-children-by-salman-rushdie.html

    Posted by Mel u | December 27, 2010, 8:21 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Midnight’s Children – The Result of Your Voting « Bibliojunkie - January 2, 2011

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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