Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

By Salman Rushdie

The Short Take:

This delightful, engrossing novel is a Chinese Box of stories — one inside the other inside the next. Fantastical yet also deeply philosophical there are reflections of  Rushdie’s personal experience as well as our current chaotic society. Not to mention magical jinn (genies).


This book is a few years old (I nabbed my copy from a remains discount table) but so excellent I wanted to give it a few extra pixels of attention than my “What Else I’m Reading Now” page.

Humorous, bawdy, satirical, insightful — this spellbinding a novel has it all plus. More fairy tale than magical realism, the novel’s roots reach 1001 years into the past, its epilogue takes place 1001 years in the future and the War of the Worlds is right now.

However, all the madness of people suddenly floating and jinn appearing in our world is actually about the battle between reason and unreason. From the arguments of two genuine, ancient philosophers (Ibn Rushd and Ghazali) to the bizarre battle for earth that takes place between the dark Ifrit jinn and one human-loving jinn queen, greater  themes are presented and explored.

It doesn’t get much better than this. But that’s what I expect from Rushdie.

A Little Plot:

The powerful princess jinn Dunia loves the mind of the great Ibn Rushd and becomes human to give him lots of children. She returns to her kingdom of Peristan and the passage between the two worlds is blocked, until 1001 years later when the “strangeness” begins.

For more about Salman Rushdie and his work, click here.

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