Part of the problem is that Rushdie is erratic in his story telling and wanders all over before he gets to the main thread of the story. For instance, he will say that in this chapter he is going to tell about so and so, but before he does this, he has to tell about how his mother got the flu and as a result had to move in with her uncle-in-law for three months and found romance but was caught in the act and chased out of the house by her angry husband, and so the main character was without a mother for three months, and the resulting loss of his mother’s love has affected his personality in such a way as to alter his reaction to the sequence of events highlighted in this chapter substantially enough to require a full explanation and so on and so on--blah, blah, blah.
I have figured out how to skip over those bits without it affecting the main thread of the story. To look at the book at first and see 500 pages of his ramblings is rather daunting. On the other hand, his has an interesting writing style, and the parts about the history of India are good, so I have chugged on and now, having read over 300 pages, am getting into it. Tell whoever is also reading Rushdie [I told him someone I talked to recently is struggling with The Satanic Verses] that it took me over 200 pages to figure him out, but it becomes worth it. Besides, think what an attention-getter it will be at your next cocktail party when you drop into the conversation that you’re reading Rushdie!
What do we think? Should Bruce be assigned to read Proust over the winter?