Fury by Salman Rushdie
Book Review by Gulnaz Brennan
Fury, Rushdie’s eighth novel is a love story. It is a novel of an old, deep love gone wrong, of a second, twisted passion rooted in wrongness, and of a third, passionate love that might just turn out right. It is also a murder mystery! Ex-Professor, historian of philosophy and maker of dolls Malik Solanka leaves his wife and London for New York without an explanation. An escape to America, ‘to erase himself’ where he unwittingly falls in love with a tall, green-eyed, slanting cheek-boned blonde and later on with a tall, dark, smoky eyed journalist who is ‘one of his’. ury is also about America, the America
in the ‘highest hour of its hybrid, omnivorous power’.
The use of the metaphor ‘ uries of Athens’ for the trio of Eleanor, Mila and Neela might give an insight into their portrayal. Malik’s wife Eleanor who explains the tragedy in Othello as ‘Desdemona’s death is an “honour killing”,’ is clueless about the tragedy in her own life; Mila, the intelligent blonde who takes it upon herself to restore the restorer of dolls with a vengeance; and Neela, the beautiful Indian journalist who knows the power of her beauty but feels imprisoned by it. Malik himself is portrayed as a man undergoing midlife crisis.
Rushdie writing in the genre of magic realism, makes profound use of Greek and Indian mythology as well as myths of his own invention. There is a deep symbolism and the real merges with the mythical. The post-colonial author uses a lexicon which is enriched with words and expressions from the subcontinent. Rushdie employs allegory and sarcasm to make powerful political statements.
Fury comes across as being autobiographical at places. Malik Solanka going through a midlife crisis and finding in the beautiful Neela his muse sounds nearer to real life. The book lives up to the style; however, it does not compare favourably with Rushdie’s other works. ury is an average novel from a great novelist.