Haroun and the Sea of Stories

I’ve always wanted to try Salman Rushdie, so I included him in my list for the A-Z Challenge. I have a bunch of his books in my perpetually insurmountable TBR pile, and I’m falling behind in the challenge, so I resolved to pick up the pace so I can finish by the end of the year. Having not read any of Rushdie’s books before, I decided to go with Haroun and the Sea of Stories first, so I can take on his more complex works later on (maybe next year?).

Written in 1990, Haroun and the Sea of Stories was Rushdie’s first novel after his highly controversial Satanic Verses (earning him an Islamic death sentence and causing multiple deaths from violence related to the book). Told from the point of view of a young boy named Haroun, the novel is an allegorical children’s book dedicated to Rushdie’s son, Zafar.

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Beatrice and Virgil

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel will always be a memorable book for me, after we read it for the first Flips Flipping Pages book discussion in 2008. I was really sad when my brothe r borrowed my copy of the book and it ended up getting eaten by termites at his college dorm, but I got a surprise from bookish friend Triccie who gave me a deluxe illustrated edition for my birthday last year.

I enjoyed Life of Pi for its rhetoric on perception and Martel’s intelligent humor, which came unexpected for me — I wouldn’t have picked it up if not for my book club’s discussion. I also enjoyed Tomislav Torjanac’s vibrant illustrations.

I got to review Martel’s new novel Beatrice and Virgil recently, and found that I really enjoy Martel’s writing. Read on for my review, first published on Manila Bulletin.

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