A rickshaw driver dreams of being a Bombay movie star; Indian diplomats, who as childhood friends hatched Star Trek fantasies, must boldly go into a hidden universe of conspiracy and violence; and Hamlet's jester is caught up in murderous intrigues. In Rushdie's hybrid world, an Indian guru can be a redheaded Welshman, while Christopher Columbus is an immigrant, dreaming of Western glory. Rushdie allows himself, like his characters, to be pulled now in one direction, then in another. Yet he remains a writer who insists on our cultural complexity; who, rising beyond ideology, refuses to choose between East and West and embraces the world.
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by Salman Rushdie
"Narrator Sunil Malhotra tackles the three "East" stories, and narrator Steven Crossley delivers the three "West" stories. Both share the "East, West" stories in separate narrations. With the challenge of delivering more accents and impersonations, Malhotra has, arguably, the harder assignment. But both successfully navigate these works, which move between Eastern and Western culture as well as the real and unreal. Stories as densely packed with references and inferences as these require close attention. Listeners may find themselves replaying passages to get their full flavor, but this is not a criticism. While these multicultural stories of isolation and companionship are not autobiographical, recalling that Rushdie wrote them while in hiding lends a certain intimacy to the listening experience. K.W. 2017 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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