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Reviews of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)

Review by popo (2006-07-04)
Extremely dull and dry. Seems like Rushdie pretty much forced himself to write it. It has no depth and is barely entertaining. Really didn't show any amount of planning or thought on the writer's part, seemed as if he made it up as he went along. I really expected more from such a famous author. Some scenes are so dull and trite that I felt like I was reading a fairly rated short story online by some bored kid in their summer break.

Review by mojosmom (2004-08-19)
Haroun Khalifa is the son of the storyteller, Rashid and his wife, Soraya. They live in the country of Alifbay, in a city so sad it has forgotten its name. When Soraya runs off with a neighbor, Rashid loses the gift of storytelling, cancelling his subscription to to the invisible Tap, installed by Water Genies, from which he obtains the warm Story Waters.

But all ends well, with many adventures in between. A princess is rescued, a villain defeated, harmony is restored. Along the way, Haroun meets talking mechanical birds, Plentimaw fish in the sea, not to mention the water genie.

On one level, this is a lovely fairy tale for children. But on a deeper level, it is a story about the value of communication, and the need for balance, beauty and imagination in our lives.

And what gorgeous language! Full of humor and puns, graceful and elegant. Rushdie is having a love affair with words in this book.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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