Say his name like this: Key-shot. His quest is a long shot, and there’s a gun involved. (Trigger warning: The gun talks.) Quichotte needs more than one key to more than one door, although, at last, because this is a fairy tale, the final door opens by itself ... How we see the world—and how the world sees us—are the big themes of Cervantes’s epic. Rushdie’s version holds true to that tale, but because we are post-Freud, the matter of identity is also at the heart of Quichotte. Identity includes race. What does it mean to be brown and not white? What do white people see when they see brown people? ... Rushdie has always written as though the impossible and the actual have the same right to exist ... The lovely, unsentimental, heart-affirming ending of Quichotte...is the aslant answer to the question of what is real and what is unreal. A remembrance of what holds our human lives in some equilibrium—a way of feeling and a way of telling. Love and language.
Quichotte is one of the cleverest, most enjoyable metafictional capers this side of postmodernism ... A glorious 21st-century riff on Cervantes’s 17th century classic Don Quixote ... In Quichotte, Rushdie brilliantly demonstrates the way that a writer’s life seeps into their work, sometimes deliberately, sometimes less so ... The narration is fleet of foot, always one step ahead of the reader — somewhere between a pinball machine and a three-dimensional game of snakes and ladders ... We are a long way from the fertile lyricism of Midnight’s Children, and there is nothing here approaching the death of Changez Chamchawala in The Satanic Verses. But we are still watching a master at work ... Rushdie has taken bits of our shared lives, scraps of our language, and constructed a vehicle as wondrous as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This novel can fly, it can float, it’s anecdotal, effervescent, charming, and a jolly good story to boot. I almost found myself wishing that it were Rushdie’s last book — because if so, it would be one of literature’s coolest sign offs, as Puckish as Prospero’s final soliloquy. But I don’t think anyone who reads Quichotte will want to release Rushdie from his bonds just yet. Applause, certainly, but also: Encore! Encore!
The novel begins promisingly...And then [Rushdie's] omnivorous imagination gets the better of his storytelling skills and it comes a bit unsprung ... by turns audacious, ridiculous and perceptive. Rushdie aims to encompass not just politics and culture in the U.S., but the U.K. and India as well. His text is a thicket of song lyrics, literary references, pop culture totems and factoids. But in attempting to include so much, everything suffers. Plot threads are dispatched cursorily. Incisive analysis boils down to correlation equals causation. Social commentary turns cartoonish ... Rushdie isn’t totally to blame, however, as reality today has become so implausible that true satire is difficult to conceive without pushing the boundaries into the realm of folly.
Quichotte...is a beautifully executed move. The writing isn’t perfect: there is little of the observational brilliance that enriched Rushdie’s early novels, and it suffers from some of the faults of excess to which, in his garrulous exuberance, he is always prone. The open-armed prose has a very annoying habit of accommodating meaningless lists ... There is clutter and occasional cliché, a weakness for ponderous explanation and a kind of jumpy, high- frequency bathos when the author seems to realize it, and tries to keep things brisk and light. But...Quichotte is cleverly plotted and compellingly paced, a constant reminder that precious few writers can maneuver a sentence like Rushdie, and a moving story about love and the importance of family too. It is the antithesis of unreadable ... Quichotte’s experience builds delightfully on Quixote’s ... Rushdie’s real inheritance from Cervantes is a fascination with the porous boundary between reality and fiction ... despite the visible scaffolding, you won’t fail to be convinced. Its fully drawn characters will spill over into your consciousness, and, just as the world around him mourned the death of mad old Quixote, for all Quichotte’s absurdity, you’ll miss him when he’s gone.
The novels [of Rushdie] are imaginative as ever, but they are also increasingly wobbly, bloated and mannered. He is a writer in free fall ... Rushdie’s narrative impulses are centrifugal; they lie in tossing in celebrity cameos and literary allusions, in sending new plots into orbit in the hope they might lend glitter and ballast to a work sorely in need of both, sorely in need of tethering to the world, the concerted thinking and feeling of realism, not magic. As Cervantes’s Don Quixote tells Sancho: Teeth are more precious than diamonds.
It is, on the one hand, a gutting satire of America right now, India right now, the U.K. maybe five minutes ago (things change so fast...) ... It is a road trip story that lives on a steady diet of pop culture references which, rather than broadening its appeal, narrows its targeted audience almost exclusively to recent retirees who will catch all its glancing, rapid-fire mentions ... It is a novel of magical realism that bends the notions of 'magical' and 'realism' so far that it's like China Miéville trying to rewrite Roberto Bolano ... A comedy where every single joke fails to land completely. It's got so much music in the words it almost demands to be read aloud. Its so inconstant you'd need one of those serial killer boards made of index cards and string just to unpack the plot ... Quichotte, as a book, is a mess. But it is a beautiful mess. A resonant mess. A daring mess. An absolute mess that somehow hangs together anyway through digressions and departures, looooong stretches of didactic, narrated passages on history and immigration and the opioid crisis, shifts in POV and, you know, reality ... It's a mess that makes noble (if misguided) heroes of total head-cases — just like Cervantes did. And that's not nothing. It could be argued that Quichotte is a novel that attempts to reflect back to us the total, crumbling insanity of living in a world unmoored from reality — that shows what happens when lies become as good as facts. But I won't make that argument here because I just don't think Rushdie entirely pulls it off. He has the crazy down solid, but fails in examining the consequences. Or chooses to ignore them. Or simply does not care. B
...an updating of Cervantes’s story that proves to be an equally complicated literary encounter, jumbling together a chivalric quest, a satire on Trump’s America and a whole lot of postmodern playfulness in a novel that is as sharp as a flick-knife and as clever as a barrel of monkeys ... Barely a paragraph goes by without little tears appearing in his writing and other voices crowding in: Shylock, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy...Moby-Dick, Hannibal Lecter, Jiminy Cricket, WB Yeats, Chinua Achebe...and dozens more ... Quichotte marks a welcome return to form. More than just another postmodern box of tricks, this is a novel that feeds the heart while it fills the mind. It has already been longlisted for this year’s Booker prize; anyone who enjoys a literary flutter could do worse than place a bet on it to win.
Quichotte, the Booker Prize long-listed 14th novel from Salman Rushdie, is pitched as a 'Don Quixote for the modern age,' but the book–a brilliant, funny, world-encompassing wonder–is a far more ambitious exercise than mere homage ... in Rushdie’s hands all borders are indeed porous: between author and subject, reality and magic, hope and folly. As he weaves the journeys of the two men nearer and nearer, sweeping up a full accounting of all the tragicomic horrors of modern American life in the process, these energies begin to collapse beautifully inward, like a dying star. His readers realize that they would happily follow Rushdie to the end of the world, which it turns out they will have to do ... Like any serious book, this one is written with a long view toward the apocalypse, and the one written here is shared evenly: the end of the book, the end of Quichotte, the end of the author, and the end of the world. And yet somehow, a glimmer of hope, like an impossible dream, is left for us.
It’s a layered metafictional take on the tale, a story that succinctly blends the modern with the postmodern as well as a deft use of a classic touchstone to explore a much more current cultural landscape ... Rushdie keeps every plate spinning, moving swiftly but smoothly from idea to idea. There are numerous places where it seems as though one or more of these plates might drop—that they MUST drop—yet the author always arrives in the nick of time, ensuring that everything remains in constant motion, always advancing toward the shared conclusion. Even as the pace accelerates toward a raucous, over-the-top conclusion that is nevertheless somehow perfectly logical, the story stays the course. The story-within-story writer-as-character trope has long been a mainstay of postmodern fiction, but Rushdie manages to give the conceit some fresh heft ... Quichotte is an exceptional work, one that searches for hope even against a deeply cynical belief that nothing matters. If it’s possible for a book to be optimistically nihilistic, then that’s what Rushdie has given us with this one.
... an alternately cerebral and goofy novel ... [a] chronic lack of restraint. Rushdie’s style once unfurled with hypnotic elegance, but here it’s become a fire hose of brainy gags and literary allusions — tremendously clever but frequently tedious ... Unfortunately, Quichotte is such a brittle pinwheel of parody that its sharp edges never cut very deep. Much of the novel is a satire of TV stars and by extension the easily manipulated country that adores them. Meanwhile, racism, the opioid crisis, Brexit, gun control, immigration, assisted suicide, corporate fraud, the existence of God, sexual abuse, cyberterrorism — these issues rumble by just as fast as that old Chevy Cruze can drive. Then Jiminy Cricket pops up — yep — and another town is overrun with mastodons. A statue of Hans Christian Andersen talks. Whatever ... I barely have the heart to tell you that this modern-day take on Don Quixote is merely a story within another story ... Even as its various subplots shamble on, the novel keeps reminding us about the rising conflation of reality and fiction ... It would be easier to step over these thematic bricks thrown in our path if the novel’s characters offered any emotional substance, but by design they’re just constructs in this literary game. And so we die-hard fans of Salman Rushdie keep turning the pages, hoping for a reward commensurate to the journey.
Rushdie’s decision to frame his Cervantes homage as a fiction by no means resolves the problems established in the early chapters. The Brother passages do not afford, as they might, a richly illuminating and paradoxical vision of the creative temperament. It’s more a case of like for like—and, for the reader, of two defective novels in one—ith almost every detail in the manuscript having a counterpart in Brother’s experience ... Creative freedom translates simply as a lack of rigor—a refusal to select or choose. If Rushdie wishes to promote the novelistic spirit as the last outpost of Enlightenment sanity and clarity, and to do for 'our time' what Cervantes did for the late 16th century—which is how Brother phrases his own ambition—he needs to do considerably better than this.
Questions about fiction are everywhere in the book, and this is the deep connection to Cervantes, to the realm of conceptual play, of worries about reality and the imagination, and the reason neither wants to behave in an orderly way ... Faced with a world in which truth seems to be dead or dying, Rushdie like Cervantes raises the stakes, lets the imagination loose as a form of inquiry, and refuses to simplify the question. Truth is not dead but it was never flat or neat, a quick response to packs of lies. It includes lies, and we need to know where they are and what they look like. Rushdie makes great pictures of how fiction can ‘become real’, and of ‘the dizzying union of the real and the imagined’. And I’ve left his real tour de force till last, the fiction about fiction that takes the breath away ... Rushdie’s Sancho is not an example of the power of fiction to turn fantasy into reality, even within the story, although that is how we have to see him at first. He is an instance of fiction telling truths we can’t get at otherwise. Novels do this all the time, of course, and Quichotte expertly does it again. But it does it strangely, for a strange time. At one point the author of the Quichotte story (and Sancho’s ‘real’ father) is ‘deafened by the echo between the fiction which he had made and the fiction in which he had been made to live’ – the first is a fantasy and the second is a lie. Sancho is not deafened by anything, and because he is not entirely real, he can read reality, and defend it, better than anyone else in the book.
...Rushdie’s most personal novel for years, perhaps indeed since Midnight’s Children ... It has, admittedly, some of the characteristic faults that have marred other novels, notably the self-indulgence of extravagant language and the dissociation of his fiction from any experienced reality. Here, however, perhaps by siting everything in this book in his Age of Anything-Can-Happen, what does happen, paradoxically, comes closer to probability than has often been the case. One has the impression that Quichotte is less a work of extravagant fancy, as so many of his novels have been, than a truly imaginative response to his own experience of exile and dislocation ... Those readers who have stuck with Rushdie will surely be delighted. Others who, weary of his extravagance and verbosity, have abandoned him, might be advised to return. There are passages, especially those in which he tracks back over Brother’s family story, which are as good as anything he has written. Meanwhile, even the sternest of critics should acknowledge his commitment to the art and craft to fiction. Quichotte is, to me, a surprisingly enjoyable novel.
Fentanyl, gun culture, mastodons and a portal to an alternative universe all figure in the plot, though like puzzle pieces from a missing box, they’re difficult to connect ... Rushdie’s path through this brokenness involves strata of shaggy-dog storytelling ... Quichotte...is uncertain of its direction, as distracted as the distraction it aims to critique. Rushdie is too busy zipping among outrages to humanize the brokenness he insists was so motivating ... like the world it imagines, Quichotte wheezes its way to the finish line.
Rushdie confronts the reader with a multiplicity of plots. It’s like a Marx Brothers movie, easier to enjoy than to analyze. Quichotte could be Pynchon on acid, except that Pynchon was on acid. This is the America of Gore Vidal’s comic novel Duluth, in which characters appear, disappear, and reappear as characters in the television series Duluth, written by one Rosemary Klein Kantor, who calls her plagiarism of other works 'creation by other means.' Rushdie’s Quichotte lives in 'The Age of Anything-Can-Happen,' and pretty much everything does ... Rushdie’s Quichotte is less mad than the humans-become-mastadons who are as incomp and Ariel Dorfman's Cautivos], like their model, are riddles to be deciphered in myriad ways.
Rushdie’s Booker-longlisted 14th novel is certainly the work of a frisky imagination. We end up in a literary hall of mirrors, as he flirts with every genre he’s ever clapped eyes on ... The prose is dense with cultural allusions, too: Candy Crush Saga, The Real Housewives of Atlanta the model Heidi Klum, Men in Black, etc. The novelist’s natural bent has always been towards the encyclopedic, but now he has graduated from encyclopedia to Google. Quichotte ends up suffering from a kind of internetitis, Rushdie swollen with the junk culture he intended to critique ... While Quichotte is funny, it’s rarely as funny as Rushdie thinks it is. Sometimes, it reads like the work of a man trying to have the final word on everything before the world ends. Or at least before he ends. Still, even if you feel overwhelmed, you can’t help being charmed by Rushdie’s largesse. Let’s not get into whether the four-times divorced novelist who drooled over various 'hot' women in his memoir is a bit of a horn dog. Let’s just say he is. But he is also the best of his generation at writing women. Both Salma and Jack are witty, opinionated and complex ... I suspect Quichotte will make readers like Rushdie more. When he tones down the boisterousness, he is capable of beautiful, lucid prose. If only there were a way to disable Google on his computer.
While it’s more doomsday-driven than character-driven, it does have moments when Rushdie, now 72, seems to reckon with personal losses and failures as urgently as he handles the loss of all common sense and civility in our 21st-century world ... It would be a stretch to call Quichotte a masterpiece, but it’s certainly a novel for our times—a flailing, despair-fueled picaresque in which few of the usual rules of fiction apply ... a lot to chew on, and Rushdie masticates it with his usual maximalist exuberance ... There’s no such thing as overkill in a Rushdie novel, and sometimes he simply swamps readers with the contents of his pop-culture-packed mind. (Do we really need a contestant-by-contestant recap of 13 seasons of The Bachelorette?) The racist attacks that Quichotte and company face would feel like heavy-handed plot ploys, if they didn’t so accurately reflect the racist violence that engulfs our nation with greater intensity every week ... Rushdie doesn’t offer much hope for our dispiriting times. But in a frayed and feverish way, he captures their flavor exactly.
Combining satire, magical realism, and Salman Rushdie’s signature vibrant prose, Quichotte has twists and turns that linger long after the final page ... Quichotte’s encounters range from magical—a son conjured from a falling star and a wish; to violent face-offs with racial intolerance; to the fantastic, including people morphing into mastodons. Yet the reader is so enamored of Quichotte’s hopeless quest that we accept everything, even as Quichotte accepts it as he topples over the fine line between reality and insanity ... a richly textured, tightly woven tapestry of a novel ... Fans of Rushdie’s lush prose and capricious plotting will definitely want to schedule uninterrupted time to savor his latest, Quichotte.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for Quichotte to seem heavy-handed and laborious by comparison [to Don Quixote]. The plot of Rushdie’s novel is convoluted and often inclined to trip itself up while reaching for a necessary piece of clarification ... none of [the themes] is investigated with any depth and the fluctuations in interpersonal relationships never achieve the emotional resonance that might be expected ... As the novel proceeds, the links to Don Quixote weaken and become, at best, a superficial guide to how Quichotte might see himself and order his life. But what Quichotte the book lacks is, above all, the attention to language that Cervantes brought to his sublime work and the charm of his main character, however deluded he became. Quichotte can only strive for a magnificence that Don Quixote has in abundance.
...an uneven but diverting and occasionally brilliant novel ... The maudlin, tragicomic cast of Quichotte, which is longlisted for this year’s Booker, works in [Rushdie's] favour ... Stylistically, Quichotteputs both Rushdie’s vices and virtues on display, with the balance tilted toward the latter. There are majestic paragraphs composed of cascading sentences with not a beat off. Rushdie’s prose still has a flow to match his friends Martin Amis and the late Christopher Hitchens in their prime. Yet often as not, because he saturates his stories with pop culture ephemera, those sentences are full of trivia; the sort of trivia you probably already know ... there’s a strange contradiction at work when a book whose declared metafictional mission is to combat 'junk culture' is also overloaded with cultural detritus ...Quichotte is also the story of Muslim migrants passing through hostile territory, a tale of rescue and escape. In this case, Rushdie’s maximalist mode is a perfect fit for a moment of transcontinental derangement.
This rambunctious reworking of Cervantes’s Don Quixote judders between inland America and downturn Britain, euphoria and grief, picaresque and satire, postcolonial melancholia and posthuman futurism – often on the same page. It’s a novel less to be read than to be scrolled through, a seemingly endless feed of gags, thought spasms and larger-than-life happenings ... In Quichotte, [Rushdie] defends his roaming, sometimes befuddling storytelling ... But he also seems to hanker for a centre that can hold, worrying that fiction and cyberwar are two sides of the same coin ... This is not uninteresting territory for a writer to delve into, but Quichotte is too restless and in love with itself to be anything other than a symptom of the malaise it laments ... Bombastic and busy, always in control even when his story is meant to be spiralling out of control, in this novel Rushdie resembles a highbrow Robin Williams. Rarely does he give readers time to breathe ... This is lazy writing for lazy readers, eyeball-grabbing anti-prose for distracted device-users. It makes his attempts to craft more contemplative or lyrical passages particularly jarring ... In the end, [Quichotte mimics rather than offers an antidote to the 'flat caricature of the instant' that it says it laments.
Rushdie’s novel is many things beyond just a Don Quixote retelling. It’s a satire on our contemporary fake-news, post-truth, Trumpian cultural moment, where the concept of reality itself is coming apart. It’s a sci-fi novel, a spy novel, a road trip novel, a work of magical realism. It’s a climate change parable, and an immigrant story in an era of anti-immigration feeling. It’s a love story that turns into a family drama. It’s a fast-spinning postmodern double Catherine wheel – impossible not to be dazzled by, but also making a lot of choking smoke. Are you tired by this long list of descriptions? Believe me, it ain’t got nothing on Rushdie’s longlisted, long-listing actual novel, which is bogged down by fatiguing accumulations of examples and explanations ... while Rushdie may bring together the most astonishing array of button-pressing hot takes on contemporary culture, he never misses a chance to make sure the reader really, really gets it ... Quichotte is at its best when it deals in matters of the human heart, in fundamentals like love and death, rather than the self-satisfied satire of societal ills. Nonetheless, as it hurtles to its conclusion, the book does gather an enormous momentum. The final portion is a wild ride: characters, narratives and worlds collide and come apart in spectacular fashion, while Rushdie maintains an exhilarating control over it all. But it’s a long journey to get there.
Rushdie’s fans will find much to love in this hyperactive, technicolor satire of a cultural moment in which the permeation of junk TV, fake news, social media and Trump himself have so disrupted the borders between fiction and real life. Many balls are juggled here, but, somehow, Rushdie keeps them all gloriously in the air.
Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte is a behemoth of a novel, and with reason. A postmodern dystopian tale, it tackles everything from global warming to the rise of white supremacism to the opioid crisis – which is to say, most of the ills of contemporary society ... Odd to say, though, Quichotte, despite how well it captured the opioid crisis, felt at times a bit … well, dated. I couldn’t help but think, hasn’t social media supplanted daytime TV as smartphones have overtaken televisions? Or, if TV is the drug of choice, isn’t binging by streaming more addictive and of the moment? Even stylistically, Rushdie’s writing can seem to me a bit tired (Quichotte was shortlisted for England’s coveted Booker Prize for Fiction, so my opinion appears to be in the minority). But the conflation of a fictional author and character, which hints at the slipperiness of the relationship between the real author and the characters he invents … wasn’t this postmodern territory sufficiently mined in the 1980s? ... That said, there’s much that feels absorbing and true in Rushdie’s latest work ...The way Rushdie handles racial animus, too, is as incisive and complex as in his earlier fiction ... As is too often the case, what’s most disturbing is the way the craziness and violence of the actual world today can threaten to outpace even fiction like Rushdie’s.
It reminds me of some of my favorites among his books—Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh—in its postcolonial, cosmopolitan, exuberant and encyclopedic mashup of cultures, history, magic realism and family sagas. It fearlessly charges into scary territories like immigration, politics and sex, all in luscious prose. And it is LOL funny ... What of the power of storytelling? In Quichotte, it’s one of the questions that underlies all else. What’s the slippery line between a fiction and a lie? Does story give order to reality, create it or distort it? Or is this rambunctious and wise novel just a road trip to the end of the world?
It’s a long and lofty list, but Rushdie weaves together all of his subjects, sharply observed, with extraordinary elegance and wit (and, somehow, in fewer than 400 pages). With so many threads in place and such a bizarre journey to follow, Quichotte admirably stays on course; whenever the narrative might begin to go off the rails, Rushdie rights the Chevy Cruze effortlessly, always knowing where he’s going, and always having an extensive catalog of diverse cultural references to cite along the way. That said, what begins as a meandering journey seems to speed to its conclusion in the last chapters — though the final lines will make you gasp ... Cervantes’ hero, who is eternally modern perhaps because he is essentially anti-contemporary, couldn’t be a more inspired transplant into the mad reality of the present day, which Rushdie sends up in terms both universal and highly specific, tragic and hilarious, strange but hauntingly familiar ... At least here’s something worth reading as civilization crumbles around us, before we succumb to our fates. Right?
Salman Rushdie’s 14th novel, Quichotte, offers a familiar mish-mish of postmodernist self-reflexive preening and strenuously outlandish literary invention. The surprise is that it’s rather good ... The novel, longlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, crackles with wickedly effective pastiche and pages of broad satire. Both Left and Right are ribbed by Rushdie for their harping on identity politics ... This is very much a Don Quixote for our times, made up of a dizzying multiplicity of half-finished fictions ... The novel flaunts its own cleverness, as one might expect from the author of The Satanic Verses, but it’s a wild, enjoyable ride.
Evoking [a] sense of universality becomes...difficult when you’re telling a story that’s an open homage to one of the most famous and influential works of literature in human history, but in his insightful and wickedly funny way, Salman Rushdie pulls it off with Quichotte ... By structuring Quichotte as a narrative within a narrative, [Rushdie's] given himself an inventive way to say something about a world obsessed with everything from reality television to hacktivism. Quichotte is a story of breathtaking intellectual scope, and yet it never feels too weighty or self-serious. Like Cervantes, Rushdie is able to balance his commentary with a voice full of tragicomic fervor, which makes the novel a thrilling adventure on a sentence-by-sentence level and another triumph for Rushdie.
The novel’s time is virtually the present, post-2016, and who better than Rushdie with his well-known exuberance and inventiveness to attempt to give fictional life to this crazy, scary era in which we all find ourselves ... These dual narratives offer a challenge to Rushdie: how successfully will they be integrated within the book as a whole? Rushdie rises to the occasion with skill and panache and produces a tightly controlled plot line, something that has sometimes been a weakness in his previous novels ... Just as Cervantes used Don Quixote as a means for exposing the dirty underside of Spanish society, so Rushdie offers a satiric and humorous portrait of America in the age of Trump ... a typical Rushdie mélange: partly a mess, yet spilling over with invention and defying narrative conventions with glee ... another marvelous concoction by a masterly writer.
...while Cervantes provides a panoramic view of Spain’s transition from feudal to mercantile (and the questioning of traditional hierarchy that accompanies it), Rushdie focuses more pointedly on a particular group: Indian immigrants in an America he depicts as a uniformly vacuous, racist, consumption-obsessed, opioid-drenched nation ... Although Quichotte starts out with a bang (the portrayal of the television-obsessed Ismael Smile is truly hilarious), in the end, it is not completely satisfying, not because it deviates so radically from Don Quixote, but because it fails to live up to its own potential ... After the brilliant first few chapters, Quichotte too often slips into silliness ... Although elements of the novel can be off-putting, Quichotte is nevertheless a thought-provoking and at times highly entertaining book. It is perhaps not Rushdie’s best, but it is worth a read.
...an exuberantly imagined and lacerating homage to the revered satire, Don Quixote ... This spellbinding, many-limbed saga of lives derailing in the 'Age of Anything-Can-Happen' is a wily frolic and a seismic denunciation. Rushdie meshes shrewd, parodic humor with intensifying suspense and pervasive sympathy, seeding this picaresque doomsday adventure with literary and television allusions and philosophical musings. As his vivid, passionate, and imperiled characters are confronted with racism, sexism, displacement, family ruptures, opioid addiction, disease, cyber warfare, and planetary convulsions, they valiantly seek the transcendence of love ... Rushdie’s dazzling and provocative improvisation on an essential classic has powerful resonance in this time of weaponized lies and denials.
A contemporary retelling of the story of the self-styled knight’s exploits and his utter devotion to his romantic convictions in the face of dark times and unkind opposition is an entertaining and surprisingly effective framework employed in Salman Rushdie’s latest novel ... Quichotte and Sancho’s trying progress across America in this road novel allows Rushdie to tackle some difficult subject matter, including the racism and violence the two men of Indian origin encounter ... Much of the novel is, in fact, convincingly concerned with the ways in which, as the world begins to come apart at the seams, white supremacy rears its ugly head, and political and social chaos reigns in the era of Trump ... A frequently bewildering read befitting our equally bewildering times,Quichotte is ultimately and hopefully about connection and love as the path forward[.]
Mix Rushdie’s last novel, The Golden House, with his 1990 fable, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and you get something approaching this delightful confection ... It’s a splendid mess that, in the end, becomes a meditation on storytelling, memory, truth, and other hallmarks of a disappearing civilization: 'What vanishes when everything vanishes,' Rushdie writes, achingly, 'not only everything, but the memory of everything.' Humane and humorous. Rushdie is in top form, serving up a fine piece of literary satire.
Rushdie’s rambunctious lates...hurtles through surreal time and space with the author’s retooled Don Quixote on a quest for love and redemption in an unloving and irredeemable U.S.A ... Allowing the wild adventure to overwhelm oneself is half the fun. Rushdie’s extravagant fiction is the lie that tells the truth, and, hilariously, it’s not lost on the reader that he shares this Falstaffian and duplicitous notion with none other than Trump (who is never named). Rushdie’s uproarious comedy, which talks to itself while packing a good deal of historical and political freight, is a brilliant rendition of the cheesy, sleazy, scary pandemonium of life in modern times.