- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Penguin India; New edition edition (14 October 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140140433
- ISBN-13: 978-0140140439
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.3 x 12.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Haroun and The Sea of Stories Paperback – 14 Oct 2000
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About the Author
Salman Rushdie was born in 1947 and has lived in England since 1961. He is the author of six novels: Grimus, Midnight's Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981 and the James Tait Black Prize, Shame, winner of the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, The Satanic Verses, which won the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which won the Writer's Guild Award and The Moor's Last Sigh which won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award. He has also published a collection of short stories East, West, a book of reportage The Jaguar Smile, a volume of essays Imaginary Homelands and a work of film criticism The Wizard of Oz. His most recent novel is The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which was published in 1999.
Salman Rushdie was awarded Germany's Author of the Year Award for his novel The Satanic Verses in 1989. In 1993, Midnight's Children was voted the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. In the same year, he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He is also Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books have been published in more than two dozen languages.
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The story begins in a city that is 'so ruinously sad that it has forgotten its name'. In a city full of gloomy people, 11-year old Haroun Khalifa and his parents are the only cheery folks. Haroun's father Rashid is a master storyteller, much in demand across the country for his almost-magical talent to weave enthralling yarns . His mother Soraya is a happy soul who sings all day...till Rashid becomes too busy to pay any attention to home and family, and their sneaky oily snivelling neighbour Mr Sengupta persuades her to ditch her useless husband and elope with him.
Haroun blames his father for this tragedy and asks him the fateful question- what's the use of stories that aren't even true? What a terrible question to ask a storyteller! Rashid is quite literally dumbstruck by its brutality- he loses the gift of gab.
Haroun, guilty at having robbed his father of his gift, is determined to set things right. He discovers that Rashid was a longtime subscriber of the magic story water service from Kahani, Earth's secret second moon, but now his subscription has been cancelled. How does the second moon stay hidden? How does warm story water from the Sea of Stories on Kahani reach Earth? How did the subscription get cancelled? By P2C2Es, of course- Processes Too Complicated To Explain! :)
Haroun flies to Kahani to restart Rashid's subscription- on the back of a mechanical hoopoe bird called Butt, with a Water Genie called Iff. But once he reaches Gup City (the capital of Kahani, inhabited by talkative chatterboxes of all sizes, shapes and species, called Guppees) he discovers that the city is about to go to war with the deadly Khatam Shud. Khatam Shud has kidnapped Princess Batcheat, the princess of Gup City, the daughter of King Chatterjee (!) Power-hungry Khatam Shud (aka The End) is the enemy of speech and stories because in every story is a world that he cannot rule. What's worse, Khatam Shud and his henchmen are creating and releasing poisonous anti-stories in the sea so that all stories in the world are destroyed.
Can the Guppees defeat Khatam Shud and end his reign of silence? Can the Sea of Stories be saved from the vile poison of hateful propaganda that Khatam Shud is spewing? Can Princess Batcheat be rescued? (Though with her terrible voice and ridiculous poems, she is best left unrescued!) You have to read the book to know all this and more!
Mandatory reading for everyone above the age of 11 years who loves stories.
P. S.- The dedication on the first page is heart-breaking if you can decode it. Try it.