Enchantress of Florence
8 journalers for this copy...
Bookring participants so far.
Sujie (Kangaroo Valley)
star-light (Melbourne) Asked to be skipped
DrCris (Melbourne) Asked to be skipped
Elddau1 (Bungendore, NSW)<- Book is here
your name can be added here
..and back to Free Pages (Canberra)
Ripped straight from the Mann Booker Prize website.
"The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It brings together two cities that barely know each other - the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant emperor wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire and the treachery of sons, and the equally sensual Florentine world of powerful courtesans, humanist philosophy and inhuman torture. These two worlds, so far apart, turn out to be uncannily alike, and the enchantments of women hold sway over them both."
This is the first of Salman Rushdie's works that I've read, I've heard that it is a good introduction to his work and it is beautifully put togeather. Could seem a little confusing with fantasy being treated as real by the characters in the book (there is a perfect wife of the sultan, who is entirely imaginary, of course :-)
I love the two cities that are in the book and the period of history that Rushdie chose, and I thought it flowed quite well.
According to Wikipedia Salman Rushdies works are "often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world." Certainly applies in this case.
Very enjoyable, if you dont question it too closely and go with the flow.
28/9/09 - Now, it was the alert about Miss-jo's journal entry that got me thinking about this book. I really wanted her to like it as much as I did.
I did read the book sometime ago, and it was my first Salmon Rushdie (should I be blushing?) and I came to this with a little trepidation.
I also had no knowledge of Indian sub-continent history or society, so found all of this a wonderful romp and journey. Having said that I had read (or rather been made to study) many of the Italian and European texts and found the many references interesting and fun.
Light hearted, whimsical and a jaunt, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was just a romp of a story that I enjoyed deeply.
It may have had something to do with the time in which I read it (maternity leave, with sleep deprivation and wet nappies), and my then mental state, but I still have fond memories of this book, and look forward to attempting another of his books in future.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Posting to Fleebo.
This is actually a bit of fluff, in my opinion. Although the story is elaborate, the characters are all very foolish, from the emperor to Niccolo Machiavelli (yes, truly) right down to the Enchantress (who doesn't actually get much of a showing). There is nobody to feel for.
Rushdie has (thankfully) cut down on his half-to-full-page sentences, which, when combined with its lightweight subject and lots of entertaining vulgarity, makes it a lot more readable than "Shalimar". And check out the ancient artistic porn on the cover! How did they get away with that? If the booksellers had looked more closely they may have decided to sell it in a brown paper wrapper.
The story's interesting, as is the intertwining of fact, fiction, and something that could be either or both. It certainly evokes a different world, but the truth is that it was too alien and detached and I really couldn't care about anybody (see my previous comment about the last 20 pages). In fact, the only character I felt anything for was the one who didn't exist. She got a bit of a raw deal.
Thanks for sharing Freepages. I think that's all of last year's Bookers done now - just in time for this year! I'll pm sujie and get it moving again.
Have just read Camilla Gibb's "Sweetness in the Belly" which deals with two cities and some amount of fantasy, so should be interesting to compare, though I can't say I've been a big fan of Rushdie's.
Apologies for worrying you, Freepages and miss-jo.
So after far too long, I'm PMing tqd.
Thanks (and sorry) FreePages.
PS tqd inundated with rings so moving on to star-light...
star-light wants to be missed too so moving on to Dr Cris....can I get rid of Mr Rushdie?!
I'll send it off to TQD, assuming she hasn't read it in the interim. I'll check first.
Anyway, this one is now on its way to Elddau1.
Lucky you moving to Tassie! It's one of my favourite places.
Added 7/10: Sorry, I've stalled about half way through while I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (a bookray in progress).
In fact this book reminded me so much of the ‘Thousand and One Nights’ (or the Arabian Tales) which I fell in love with as a school girl. It has a similar feel of magic and the exotic. It’s parenthetical style of story-telling is the same but Rushdie adds another clever level of complexity where the actions of the present mirror many of the stories from the past in the multiple layers. So you jump from fable to ‘history’ to the ‘present’ events with echoes across the ages. There are several Mughals / Mogors and ‘princesses’, enchantresses and courtesans, and of course mirrors.
I would give this an 8* as it’s a very clever, beautiful read but I struggled to stay with it at times, so it’s a 7.5* for me. (Was it the wrong time for me?).
...Have a look at the bibliography to realise Rushdie’s cleverness in weaving his story with historical detail. … I can see why it made the long list of the Booker Prize.
So relax into it, sit back on your velvet cushions with a glass of hot chai and maybe some Turkish Delight, and enjoy the magic carpet ride!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
to return to FreePages with many thanks.
Thanks to Elddau1 for dropping her home and for everyone who participated in the bookring.
She might spend a bit of time with family members before taking another journey somewhere.