Enchantress of Florence

by Salman Rushdie | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780224082433 Global Overview for this book
Registered by FreePages of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on 10/27/2008
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, October 27, 2008
My contribution to Fleebos 2008 Booker list challenge

Bookring participants so far.

jubby (Sydney)
Fleebo (Sydney)
goodthinkingmax (Sydney)
miss-jo (Sydney)
Sujie (Kangaroo Valley)
star-light (Melbourne) Asked to be skipped
DrCris (Melbourne) Asked to be skipped
livrecache (Melbourne)
tqd (Sydney)
Elddau1 (Bungendore, NSW)<- Book is here
your name can be added here
..and back to Free Pages (Canberra)

Journal Entry 2 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Long-listed for the 2008 Booker Prize.

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."

My Thoughts
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.

Journal Entry 3 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Enchantress is going to start her journey to Jubby in the big city in the morning.
Enjoy :-)

Journal Entry 4 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Received in the post today. Thank you.

Journal Entry 5 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, January 12, 2009
Comments to come.

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.

Journal Entry 6 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, January 12, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (1/12/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Posting to Fleebo.

Journal Entry 7 by Fleebo on Monday, January 19, 2009
Received in the mail from Jubby, queen of recycled packaging. (She's gonna save the world all by herself! Go girl!)

Journal Entry 8 by Fleebo on Monday, April 13, 2009
I can now proudly say that I have read a Salman Rushdie book, after my abject failure to finish "Shalimar the Clown".
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.

Journal Entry 9 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Received from fleebo over pleasant drinks with Sydney Bookcrossers. We all tried to examine the cover art in the very dim light at the pub. I've just held it up to the light here and can see why we had the discussion! Joins the other 4 books on my Booker pile.

Journal Entry 10 by Fleebo on Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In transit between goodthinkingmax and miss-jo, via myself. I had a moment of panic when I found it among my books again after a night at the pub, thinking that I had picked up a book that was meant for tqd. But no, everything's peachy.

Journal Entry 11 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, September 27, 2009
Hmm. I actually finished this a week ago (well, mostly - I'm still about 20 pages from the end and I haven't been motivated to come back to it). I've also been trying to work out what to say about it, but I haven't had much luck with that either. I think it's because I really don't have much of an opinion on it one way or the other.

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.

Journal Entry 12 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So sorry...it hasn't moved for a while under unread newspapers in my studio....a mess to end all messes. Will try to read over the Christmas break and whatever happens get it posted by New Year.
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.

Journal Entry 13 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Apologies again. Rushdie just isn't my cup of tea. My mind starts wandering on the first page. This theatrical style of writing (Zusak's The Book Thief comes to mind) just leaves me feeling like a bystander, uninvolved...
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?!

Journal Entry 14 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Monday, January 25, 2010
No Cris doesn't want it. Perhaps livrecache? I've never had so much trouble moving a book on...

Journal Entry 15 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Thursday, February 11, 2010
Apologies: I received this book last week and have just now got around to journalling it. We're in the process of moving interstate, and there's a lot to organise.

Journal Entry 16 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Abject apologies. I've had this book for forever. I shan't list all my excuses. Moving to Tasmania is just one of them, as is organising my mother into a rest home and subsequently having to deal with her affairs is another, while still trying to run my business.
I'll send it off to TQD, assuming she hasn't read it in the interim. I'll check first.

Journal Entry 17 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Thursday, August 26, 2010
TQD has asked to be skipped so I'll contact the next person.

Journal Entry 18 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sigh of frustration (because I've been on BC so little of late). How do you release books now!

Anyway, this one is now on its way to Elddau1.

Journal Entry 19 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Sunday, August 29, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (8/29/2010 UTC) at Hobart, Tasmania Australia


On its way to another bookcrosser. I hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 20 by Elddau1 at Gundaroo, New South Wales Australia on Monday, September 06, 2010
Arrived safely on Friday, thanks livrecache. I'm looking forward to it - I'm in the mood for a good story.
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).

Journal Entry 21 by Elddau1 at Gundaroo, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I don’t know why but this took me an age to read. Because it’s very detailed I suspect and at the beginning I was impatient with all the labyrinthine stories that spin off from one another. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the Mogor dell’ Amore - but of course that’s the whole point. Like the princess in the Thousand and One Nights, the stranger had to ‘sing for his supper’. How well he could tell his tale would affect his future.
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!

Journal Entry 22 by Elddau1 at By hand, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (11/27/2010 UTC) at By hand, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases


Taking to the Christmas lunch for BXers & Friends at the National Library, Canberra, Australia on Sat 27 November
to return to FreePages with many thanks.
Jingle Cheers!

Journal Entry 23 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, December 24, 2011
The Enchantress has arrived home in time for Christmas after a very successful bookring around the country.
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.

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