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Rushdie's finest novel for years

Los Angeles, 1991. Maximilian Ophuls is knifed to death on the doorstep of his illegitimate daughter India, slaughtered by his Kashmiri driver, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the Clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former United States ambassador to India, and subsequently America’s counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination but turns out to be passionately personal.

This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter – and of a fourth character, the woman who links them all. The story of a deep love gone fatally wrong, destroyed by a shallow affair, it is an epic narrative that moves from California to France, England, and above all, Kashmir: a ruined paradise, not so much lost as smashed.

Reviews

Salman Rushdie has earned the right to be called one of our great story tellers

Observer

There can seldom have been so robust and baroque an incarnation of the political novel as Shame. It can be read as a fable, polemic or excoriation; as history or as fiction... This is the novel as myth and as satire

Sunday Telegraph

Shame is every bit as good as Midnight's Children. It is a pitch-black comedy of public life and historical imperatives

The Times

Salman Rushdie is a magnificent writer. He has a free-ranging imagination and a coarse, strong wit. He attackes language with energy and without constraint

Independent

Shame is and is not about Pakistan, that invented, imaginary country... The theme is shame and shamelessness, born from the violence which is modern history. Revelation and obscurity, affairs of honour, blushings of all parts, the recession of erotic life, the open violence of public life, create the extraordinary Rushdie mood

Malcolm Bradbury, Guardian

Every bit as good as Midnight's Children

The Times

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781409058823

    August 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    288 pages

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  • Paperback

    9780099578611

    July 4, 1995

    Vintage

    288 pages

    RRP $28.99

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