Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

The tale of Saleem Sinai who is born at midnight on August 15th, 1947 at the precise moment of India's Independence linking his fate forever with his country's. The story begins with Saleem's grandfather and how he met his grandmother and continues until the beginnings of the generation after Saleem. As Saleem was born at midnight, he has been given special powers which he shares with his nemesis born at the same time in the same hospital. The other children born throughout India born in the midnight hour also have powers and they come together to form the Midnight Children's Conference which Saleem hopes will better the world.

The story is epic covering so much history and it becomes even more soas events unfold and small incidences come back to haunt Saleem and lead to much bigger events. It is very hard to review this book without giving much of the plot away so I appologise that this is a little vague. It did take me a little while to get into Rushdie's writing style as it is very disjointed with the narrator (Saleem) skipping forwards and backwards in time often within the same sentence. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed it and loved the language and style. I warmed to many of the characters despite their many flaws which are discussed at length in the story.

Just to give you a little taste of his writing style here are a couple of extracts:

"I was born in the sity of Bombay... once upon a time. No, that won't do, there's no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor Narlikar's Nursing Home on August 15th, 1947. And the time? The time matters, too. Well then: it was at night. No, it's important to be more... On the stroke of midnight, as a matter of fact. Clock-hands joined palms in respectful greeting as I came. Oh, spell it out, spell it out; at the precise moment of India's arrival at Independence, I tumbled forth into the world."

"No colours except green and black the walls are green the sky is black (there is no roof) the stars are green the Widow is green but her hair is black as black. The Widow sits on a high high chair the chair is green the seat is black the Widow's hair has a centre-parting it is green on the left and on the right black. High as the sky the chair is green the seat is black the Widow's arm is long as death its skin is green the fingernails are long and sharp and black."

I do recommend it if you can get past the first 50-100 pages and I will definitely be reading more by Rushdie in the future. I can see where Zadie Smith gets some of her inspiration after reading this novel.