It’s finally over. The last page is turned.
The Satanic Verses has bitten the dust.
It was like running a marathon, an endurance event, painful at times, needing gritty perserverance, but I got through its 547 sometimes tedious pages.
But at times it wasn’t so hard. Along the way there were a few refreshing sections to make some of the journey easier. And it DID feel good to read those last sentences.
It’s perhaps a book that would benefit from a second reading. But that’s a possibility I don’t intend to test, at least not in the short term. I’m sure I must have missed a lot of literary gems: jokes, cleverness and tricky wordplay that went over my head. Rushdie likes his language games – and cultural references that mostly missed their mark with this reader.
For me the problem was the lack of engagement with characters. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I found any emotional connection. Then there was one section that rang very true with a family face to face with death, so powerful and moving – maybe enhanced by the lack of emotion throughout the rest of the book.
But maybe I’m being unkind to Rushdie. Maybe I missed an important point and it was ME and not the book that was off target. Whatever the situation, I’m now free to move onto something else and after two decades I finally have “I read The Satanic Verses” bragging rights.