I am in the final stages of Midnight’s Children and what a struggle it is. This is not a novel that will give itself over to me in any way. Just when I think I’m getting a grip, it slips away from me, like one of the frequent snake motifs scattered through the book, or indeed I fall down one of the ladders…
Just as I wrote the words above I realised what this reading experience is like for me. It’s like playing a game of snakes and ladders. I seem to make progress, then I slide back. (And I also just remembered you climb the ladders and slide down the snakes. I wish I had taken closer note as I went along of when I most experienced this sensation; next time I read it?) Is this what his intention was? I know that the snakes and ladders game is a deliberate reference but did Rushdie want the reader to have that emotion as they read? OMG how brilliant if so, and even if not deliberate this is now how I will think of it.
I’m wondering what my next read will be. I wonder whether I should ease off a bit with the full on literary works and I was thinking John Irving’s A Son of the Circus, knowing his words will be like a balm and I wouldn’t have to work so damn hard, but I’m not sure now. Shantaram is another, but I might stay in Rushdie territory and just stick it.
And is it just me or is this the WORST cover ever for MC? I know it’s a movie tie-in but really… So clichéd.