I was strolling mindlessly through my sister-in-law’s house when her bookshelf caught my eye. I had always been an ardent lover of novels but I never liked to associate myself with the word bibliophile, probably because of its overuse in phony, pretentious Instagram bios.
I remember reading Midnight’s Children when I was no less than a child myself. Honestly it bored me into sleep. But while I was surfing through the bookshelf, I came across Fury by Salman Rushdie. I don’t know why I picked it up when my previous adventure with Rushdie gave me a sound sleep.
Before reading Fury I had only read light, easy, dreamy literature. The kind that is nowhere close to reality. But something made me take Fury home. I’m not going to lie -it sat on my desk for a good two-two-and-a-half months before I actually immersed myself into it. The thing with writers like Rushdie is: you have to have the intellect to understand them.
“She had demonstrated that in affairs of the heart she was very like like the man that women always accused him of being. She was there until she wasn’t. When she loved you, she loved you one-hundred percent, with no holds barred; but plainly she was also an ax-murderer, capable at any moment of severing the head of a suddenly rejected love.”
No wonder this novel has received conflicting comments. People who enjoyed it, enjoyed it relentlessly but those who could not wrap their head around it, hated it, even called it “word-vomit”. While I don’t entirely disagree with the word-vomit part (trust me, some pages will make you want to bawl your eyes out), I just think the essence of the novel was entirely misunderstood.
Yes, it is a difficult read. It is not your usual-pickup at day, end by night- sort of novel , no. Yes, you will have a hard time keeping track of the backstories of almost every character. Yes, the narrative is barely linear. BUT! the characters are deeply real, the numerous layers they are arced with is amazing. The story explores human nature in its darkest perception. Not many will like where the novel will lead them but hopefully some will look past the insane verbosity and allow themselves to delve deeper into the mind of the protagonist.
Kudos to Rushdie.