Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 134: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

by | Feb 5, 2024 | 2024 Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Marion's Reading Life Blog, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

Sometimes when you dive into a highly praised novel with certain expectations for the storyline, only to swiftly realize it takes an entirely different direction. This is the case with Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. Spending the entire first month of 2024 reading Rushdie’s second published novel, I can see why it is regarded as his masterpiece.

The narrative of Midnight’s Children revolves around story of Saleem Sinai, who was born at midnight on the day of India’s independence from England. He has the extraordinary power to read minds of the 1,000 children who share his birth time. Saleem’s coming-of-age journey is chronicled in the story, which also explores his eccentric family members and India’s transition from colonization to independence.

I expected the novel would delve deeper into Saleem’s telepathic gift and its consequences for those in his life. To a certain extent, Rushdie emphasizes Saleem’s internal thoughts on possessing such a supernatural ability. Yet, the true essence of the novel lies in India’s transition into a nation and its profound influence on its inhabitants.

Saleem’s story left me sadder than expected, but Rushdie’s storytelling brilliance kept me captivated. The reputation of Midnight’s Children as one of the best novels in modern literature is well-deserved. Although it will not be one of my personal favorites, Midnight’s Children is undeniably one of the best novels I’ve ever read. All lovers of literature should read Rushdie’s magnum opus.


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