Friday, April 23, 2010

The Satanic Verses, Gun Monkeys

I read Gun Monkeys by Victor Gishler.  I think that about covers everything worth saying about that book.

I'm still making my way through The Satanic Verses, and it continues to be an intriguing book, although it also continues to feel to me like a somewhat disconnected one.  Some more random thoughts:

  • There's a policeman named Stephen Kinch, and obvious reference to Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses.  But, other than a shout-out to Joyce fans, I'm not sure what the reference means.
  • Rushdie's narrator asserts that Gibreel is good because he's "authentic" and that Chamcha is bad because he's faking Englishness.  But if the narrator is Satan (as I still believe), what do his assertions mean?  Certainly Chamcha does some bad things (though, notably, after he sheds hoof and horn), but so does Gibreel.  Indeed, Gibreel is vulnerable because of his incredible jealous streak.
  • I'm not sure I like the magical realism.  I find the realistic parts of the book to be the most affecting, and the magical parts to be a bit pointless.  Chamcha comes to realize how cruel English society can be when he metamorphoses, but that seems like a really clumsy approach to prince/pauper scenario.

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