Book #15: Haroun and the Sea of Stories

by Salman Rushdie

Haroun and the Sea of Stories

I often find Salman Rushdie hard reading — he writes in images more than he writes in words, to my mind — but it’s a technique that works to great effect in Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I re-read it recently, debating whether it should go into the Read To Five-Year-Old Kid pile. The answer is yes.

To borrow from one of the Amazon reviews:

It’s almost as if Rushdie has invented a new form, the meta-fable. Rather than retreating under the famous death threats, Rushdie reiterates the importance of literature, stressing not just the good of stories “that aren’t even true” but persuading us that these stories convey the truth. As Haroun realizes, “He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical worlds could easily be real.”

Adults will enjoy the meta-story, but for kids, it’s a great fairy tale, with lots of action, imaginative characters and a bunch of fun characters.