Reviews of Midnight's Children: The New Republic

C. R. Larson

From the first paragraph it is clear that although the tone of much of this novel is comic, even glib, the trajectory of Saleem's narrative is pessimistic, tragic. Saleem's (sic) Sinai, spokesman of reason and forbearance, born at the moment of hope and expectation, is slowly overtaken by history. Yet, as he tells us later in the story (after he has chronicled much of his country's loss of innocence), 'Men of worth have always roamed the desert.' . . . Salman Rushdie has written a dark and complex allegory of his nation's first 31 years. The narrativve conveys vindictiveness and pathos, humor and pain, and Rushdie's language and imagery are brilliant. Although his collapsed first- and third- person ppint of view is reminiscent of recent works of Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, his closest affinities are with V. S. Naipaul. It is as if he had fused that writer's early comic vision (A House For Mr. Biswas [BRD1962]) with the dark pessimism of his more recent works (A Bend in the River [BRD1979]), India: A Wounded Civilization [BRD 1977,78]). Not bad company for a young writer." C. R. Larson (New Republic May 23, 1981)

Postcolonial Web Pakinstan OV Rushdie OV Midnight's Children