Thursday, February 7, 2013

My review of Joseph Anton written sometime back on good reads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had pre-ordered this book even before its release and finished in less than a fortnight. It is a page turner -- Rushdie gives a personal account of the nightmarish decade of the fatwa as he fought battles at various ends. Some of the pre-release reviews said that the book provides the reader the required tools of understanding and the urge to go back to his books once again and take another look. However, for me, as I made my way deeper and deeper into the world that became less Rushdie and more Joe, it let inside the head of not Salman but any 'Joe' whose right of expression is curbed by the narrowed vision of a clique of fundamentalists, powerful enough to force the British intelligence to assess and rate the risk factor at Level 2. The book is an honest account of an author who has mostly been misunderstood. The author however never cries out so but the note of honesty rings loud and clear in every page that provokes in the reader a sense of respect and adoration. Writing in third person under the identity that rancorously stuck to him for an entire decade or more, this book was more of an exercise to shed the last shreds of that fake identity and his return to the world as the Salman he always wanted to be.