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The Ground Beneath Her Feet Kindle Edition
Preloaded Digital Audio Player, Unabridged, Import
'The first great rock 'n' roll novel in the English language' The Times
On Valentine's Day, 1989, Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, disappears in a devastating earthquake.
Her lover, the singer Ormus Cama, cannot accept that he has lost her, and so begins his eternal quest to find her and bring her back. His journey takes him across the globe and through cities pulsating with the power of rock 'n' roll, to Bombay, London and New York.
But around the star-crossed lover and his quest, the uncertain world itself is beginning to tremble and break. Cracks and tears are appearing in the very fabric of reality, and exposing the abyss beyond. And Ormus has to confront just how far he is willing to go for love.
Rushdie's cunning musician is Ormus Cana, the Bombay-born founder of the most popular group in the world. Ormus's Eurydice (and lead singer) is Vina Apsara, the daughter of a Greek American woman and an Indian father who abandoned the family. What these two share, besides amazing musical talent, is a decidedly twisted family life: Ormus's twin brother died at birth and communicates to him from "the other side"; his older brothers, also twins, are, respectively, brain-damaged and a serial killer. Vina, on the other hand, grew up in rural West Virginia where she returned home one day to find her stepfather and sisters shot to death and her mother hanging from a rafter in the barn. No wonder these two believe they were made for each other.
Narrated by Rai Merchant, a childhood friend of both Vina and Ormus, The Ground Beneath Her Feet begins with a terrible earthquake in 1989 that swallows Vina whole, then moves back in time to chronicle the tangled histories of all the main characters and a host of minor ones as well. Rushdie's canvas is huge, stretching from India to London to New York and beyond--and there's plenty of room for him to punctuate this epic tale with pointed commentary on his own situation: Muslim-born Rai, for example, remarks that "my parents gave me the gift of irreligion, of growing up without bothering to ask people what gods they held dear.... You may argue that the gift was a poisoned chalice, but even if so, that's a cup from which I'd happily drink again." Despite earthquakes, heartbreaks, and a rip in the time-space continuum, The Ground Beneath Her Feet may be the most optimistic, accessible novel Rushdie has yet written. --Alix Wilber--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B008KYWJNE
- Publisher : Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (24 August 2012)
- Language : English
- File size : 1549 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 594 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #157,620 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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He revels in stretching the artistic license to the snapping point. At his command is not just the floodforce of the English language, but a trove of encyclopedic knowledge of the arts, sciences, history and mythology, the trove in which he digs like a magician into a top hat to pull out a tale that perpetually dances between fact and fiction, reality and magic.
Rushdie’s Orpheus in The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a Parsi boy Ormus Cama, a musical prodigy who hears in his head the voice of his dead twin singing songs from the future. Rushdie’s Eurydice is a parentless girl, a singing prodigy named Vina. She is nobody’s fool. She is high on confidence but low on sexual fidelity. Which brings into the picture Ormus’s friend Umeed Merchant aka Rai, a photographer with a severe crush on Vina.
The novel is essentially a tangled love story between these three, spanning fifty years of their lives, three continents, and many historical events that Rusdhie, given his irrepressible urge to play around with facts, gives a new spin.
Here’s how: In the novel, JFK survives the Dallas shooting but is gunned down alongside his brother Robert. Indira Gandhi and her whole family is assassinated in the bloody October of 1984. Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 is Catch 18 (which by the way was that book’s initial title). This apart, Rushdie models various characters in the novel on real-life figures. Ormus himself seems inspired from John Lennon. Rai is apparently modeled on Indian photographer Raghu Rai. German filmmaker Wim Wenders is Otto Wing in the book. Andy Warhol is Amos Voight. Henri Cartier Bresson is Mr. Hulot. And there’s a whole assortment of such characters that will have you playing who’s who for the better part of the book’s second half.
But The Ground Beneath Her Feet runs deeper than such trimmings. In part it’s a collation of Indo-Greek mythologies, in part a meditation on the nuances of photography and music. It’s a love letter to Bombay’s lost glory and it’s a commentary on the volatility of times. The ground we stand on, the author tells us, is unsteady.
Two parallel universes are in collision in the novel and there are slits and gashes through which one can peep from one into the other. Just like Orpheus who goes into the afterworld to bring his deceased lover Eurydice back to life. Is he a coward to not choose death himself to be united with her in the hereafter? the book contends. Our hero Ormus follows the same path after Vina is taken away by the cleaving earth, just like Queen Sita was in the Indian epic Ramayana or Sassui was in the Sindhi love story of Sassui-Punhoon. Is Ormus, too, a coward like Orpheus? Should the willingness to die to be united with the deceased lover be a test of true love?
The Ground Beneath Her Feet leaves you with such thoughts and much more. If only the book wasn’t overly self-indulgent and repetitive, it might have ranked among the best works of Rushdie’s.