"Dazzling . . . Modern thriller, Ramayan epic, courtroom drama, slapstick comedy, wartime adventure, political satire, village legend–they're all blended here magnificently."
–The Washington Post Book World
This is the story of Maximilian Ophuls, America’s counterterrorism chief, one of the makers of the modern world; his Kashmiri Muslim driver and subsequent killer, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown; Max’s illegitimate daughter India; and a woman who links them, whose revelation finally explains them all. It is an epic narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France, and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. And there is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortally dangerous.
“A commanding story . . . [a] harrowing climax . . . Revenge is an ancient and powerful engine of narrative.”
–The New York Times Book Review
“Absorbing . . . Everywhere [Rushdie] takes us there is both love and war, in strange and terrifying combinations, painted in swaying, swirling, world-eating prose that annihilates the borders between East and West, love and hate, private lives and the history they make.”
“A vast, richly peopled, beautiful and deeply rageful book that serves as a profound and disturbing artifact of our times.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“Marvelous . . . brilliant . . . a story worthy of [Rushdie’s] genius.”
–Detroit Free Press