Rock of Ages

Martyrs and exiles are one thing, but these characters are also practically pantheistic deities. They're exempt from the problems of just plain folks. Again and again Rushdie makes it clear that for Cama and Apsara the only real obstacles lie within; for these titans mortal dilemmas are shrugged off as easily as their thousands of discarded lovers. Maybe the photographer-narrator was meant as an audience surrogate, a paparazzo to play off against Princess Di. If so, Rushdie blew it by making him nearly as famous and as much a genius as his subjects.

The man who fell to Earth: Salman Rushdie resumes his fall toward Western pop culture.
meg handler
The man who fell to Earth: Salman Rushdie resumes his fall toward Western pop culture.

Details

The Ground Beneath Her Feet
By Salman Rushdie
Henry Holt, 575 pp., $27.50
Buy this book

The novel form, baggy and panoramic as it may be, thrives on privacies, on moments of humble particularity that play against the banners of history and legend. In Rushdie's breathless vision of worlds in collision his players touch gritty earth too infrequently, and his wide-screen spectacular finally has not quite enough in focus in the foreground. Earthquakes and the history of rock and roll: their scale ultimately defies fiction, unless tempered by the worm's-eye view—or the ignominious fan's. In The Ground Beneath Her Feet, as in the real world, the hits (of various kinds) just keep on coming, but we're left yearning for the story behind the top 40.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...