Saturday, May 12, 2012

Luka and the Fire of Life, Salman Rushdie

 There was once, in the city of Kahani, in the land of Alifbay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out, "Dog!" the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted "Bear!" the dog bounded toward him, wagging his tail.

This was another great novel by Salman Rushdie. Luka and the Fire of Life, set in the same world as Haroun and the Sea of Stories, tells of Luka, Haroun's younger brother, who must try to rescue his father who has fallen into a deep enchanted sleep by stealing the legendary Fire of Life. He goes to the Magic World with Bear, the dog and Dog, the bear, and is joined by a whole host of other characters in his quest. The writing in this book reminded me more of a children's fable or something of that nature; it had a very different tone from The Satanic Verses and The Enchantress of Florence.

I just loved the various landscapes that make up the Magic World, and the bizarre characters and creatures that inhabit it. I was kept on my toes throughout the book, always wondering what would happen next. The one thing that didn't quite work for me was that the Magic World was like some sort of video game with "lives" where you can save your levels. That's not the way real life works, but maybe that's the whole point: the Magic World is not like real life. So I'm still giving it a five star rating. And it had interesting cover art.

Read Luka and the Fire of Life:
  • if you like Salman Rushdie
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like books with bizarre characters and places
  • if you like books that feel like old tales
218 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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