29 July, 2021

Rage, Rage Against The Dying Light

High on success and stardom, Rushdie's novel touches the low of banality

Rage, Rage Against The Dying Light
By now, the arrival of a new novel by Salman Rushdie is a bit like the return of a religious event. The devout prepare themselves for it because they are expected to. The faithful don't mind the spectacle in the least: the rituals are familiar, and, though they drag, it is understood that they will not last forever. You are there because the gesture matters. You are not necessarily looking for meaning.

Rushdie's latest novel, Fury, is set in the noise of New York City. The central character is a Rushdie lookalike, Malik Solanka, who was born in Bombay and educated in England. At the age of 55, he has moved across the Atlantic to America. In his new home, where his sleep is interrupted by phone calls from the wife and the child he has left behind, Solanka learns that New York City was teaching him a lesson: "There was to be no escape from intrusion, from noise. He had crossed the ocean to separate his life from life. He had come in search of silence and found a loudness greater than the one he left behind."

Unfortunately, the noise in the novel is such that the...

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