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Summary

Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked aeroplane blows apart high above the English Channel and two figures tumble, clutched in an embrace, towards the sea: Gibreel Farishta, India’s legendary movie star, and Saladin Chamcha, the man of a thousand voices. 

Washed up, alive, on an English beach, their survival is a miracle. But there is a price to pay. Gibreel and Saladin have been chosen as opponents in the eternal wrestling match between Good and Evil. But chosen by whom? And which is which? And what will be the outcome of their final confrontation?

©1988 Salman Rushdie (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Satanic Verses

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Irreverent, mischievous study of "what is real?"

Very well read. I could pick bones with Arya's regional British accents but that takes up such a minor part of the novel. Anyway, hats off to anyone who can pronounce Ecclefechan, regardless of where they're from.

I can see why it seems to get such good reviews from those who have lived as emigrants from the sub continent in the West, and perhaps it is because this is not my background that I struggled to empathise much with characters and general plot in the present day sections. However I found the various dream sections to be more vivid and engaging, which I suppose is to be expected with the author's surreal style.

I preferred Midnight's Children.

As for the controversy, I think someone approaching the book with anti-"submission" sentiments will find sections of the book quite gratifying. If I could sum up the book in one word it would be "mischievous". Bad language, cultural subversion and the author's penchant for punctuating significant events with scatological references adds to the irreverent nature of the novel. Full of brilliant imagery and self-reference, in particular I thought the image of the metropolitan police helicopter "urinating" its beam of light on the crowd of protesting immigrants was about as Rushdie-y as it comes.

At its heart I think it's a study into the struggle in the human soul between the eternal spiritual and the temporal material, whether in 4th century "Jahilia" or in 20th century L-O-N-D-O-N.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely annoying

I have always wanted to listen to this book but I am extremely disappointed with this annoying way of reading. It sounds like an idiot reading it for stupid people. The narrator might think his acting but he is like a nightmare.
Please re-do it without this unnecessary pretentious way of reading.

7 people found this helpful

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Will never get this time back

Very poor storyline. Jumps here and there. lost track by chapter three and refuse to start again. Not sure what all the fuss was.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I couldn’t stand the performance

The way it is been read by the actor is so bad that I couldn’t t stand more than an hour. Shame for the nook!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant delivery bringing out the humour

I had reservations about reading this book but eventually took the plunge and was so glad that I did. What a marvellous writer and such an incredible read darting between fantastic and somewhat dark situations and humorous incidents such to make one laugh out loud. The delivery is exceptional by Sagar who makes the almost impossible task of understanding the book's drifts and turns which often distort reality into a comprehensive and cohesive narrative emphasising its great wit. I am tempted to listen again but will have a pause before I do so. The visual memories of butterflies and the horror of immigration controls will remain with me for ever.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An absolute masterpiece...

The greatest work of factual and truthful literature on Islam and its violent, evil, and contradictory teachings, never before less relevant to mankinds progress and spiritality than it is today.

Undisputed in its accurate portrayal of how this mental illness has through violent, abusive and despicable acts of indoctrination, is essentially considered a cancerous virus upon humankind, and deserves nothing less than total and definitive erradication from our world and soceity before it consumes our beautiful but fragile world.

So, just like an aggressive cancer or virus, islam viciously spreads out, irresponsively consumes, destroys and then moves on.
Its the only proof ever needed that
the Islamic faith is nothing more than a satanic plague.
the Islamic texts specifically the Quraan are nothing other than "satanic verses"
that are proven by their own contradictions, are complete and utter fabrications imagined and enabled via a backward and inferior soceity, simply put the ramblings of a mentally disabled preacher or "prophet mohammed".

The satanic verses highlights the vile cultural traits and "religious beliefs" that predominantly encorages child molestation, the rape, murder and suppression of women, excessive violence and exploitation of the most vunerable in soceity, skillfully exposed through this majestic work of literature by a valid real modern day prophet - the respectable Mr. Salman Rushdie.

A must read for all, especially those affected by the mental disability that is Islam and anything it represents. If you value truth, wit, knowledge, and enlightenment...This is the must have and must read for all Muslims aswell as the rest of humanity not infected by Islam.


5 star all the way.
Thank you
Mr Rushdie

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Big investment, little reward

Similarly to Catch-22 & Slaughterhouse-5, I found no reason to take an interest in the fate of the story's characters. The book is relatively long at 550 pages, the writing an effort to parse, and, again like Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-5, the plot thin and not always especially coherent.

On the positive side, the language is rich like the imagery it evokes - and the narration bySagar Arya is among the best I've ever experienced. But in the end - unless you enjoy a long and meandering distraction from reality for it's own sake, and have the time to spare without regret - then this novel is ultimately unrewarding.

There are a few nuggets of wisdom sprinkled over a thin veneer of moral story, and it is nice to experience some culture from the Indian sub-continent; but with that being said it is a gaggle of smaller - potentially interesting - stories tied together unconvincingly with peculiar dream sequences and tangential associations.

The story ends - with the reader anxiously waiting to finally discover what its all about and what the big ending will be which makes all that came before have a point - underwhelmingly and suddenly.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply Outstanding

Why have I not experienced this book sooner. It is amazing - beautifully written and narrated.

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The Satanic Verses

I have wanted to read this since I was a teenager, when it was first published. What an inspiration! Provocative, mischievous and bursting at the seams with insights. Finishing this is a loss. The performance is as masterful as the writing. The book demands a lot of attention and is very challenging but is also rewarding.

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Very well written, surprising, sometimes insane

The book requires a second listen but overall I was satisfied with the story. It turned into something I did not expect and at times I struggled but was glad I made it through. Narration was brilliant.