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It ain’t all Demi

Claire looks at Buddhism and Hinduism in her ongoing series of booklists on world religions.

A semi-related question: people who went to college a generation after I did swear that Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is the greatest book they ever read. Is it hard?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Lucy Pearson says:

    >Hard as in difficult to read? I don’t think so. I read it when I was about twelve or thirteen, and really enjoyed it. Most of the actual content went right over my head, but the writing was beautiful and the story was fascinating. I haven’t reread it as an adult, but I’m guessing that it’s one of those books which works on different levels, so it’s not so hard to get something out of it.

  2. Monica Edinger says:

    >I’m a tad older than you and loved Midnight’s Children when I read it. I didn’t find it hard at all. I also enjoyed The Satanic Verses and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

  3. >I read MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN when I was in high school and enjoyed it very much. However, when I re-read it after college–after I knew much, much, MUCH more about South Asian history–I was blown away. (Knowing Hindi/Urdu also helped–there are a number of puns/wordplay that would have flown over my head had I not been fluent/familiar in these languages.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    >Midnight’s Children is an amazing novel and a very enjoyable read!

  5. J. L. Bell says:

    >I loved Midnight’s Children. Yes, it’s more complex than Haroun and the Sea of Stories. But it’s no more challenging than One Hundred Years of Solitude. Best of all, for designated good literature it’s actually funny and entertaining!

  6. Uma Krishnaswami says:

    >It’s nice to see Anjali Banerjee’s Looking for Bapu, Aaron Shepard’s Savitri, and my Broken Tusk (now back in print from August House) on that list.

    Midnight’s Children is an astonishing book, funny and moving and incisive all at once. It opens history up in new ways. I read Haroun and the Sea of Stories to my son when he was ten, and it was clear that I got some jokes that he didn’t, but that didn’t stop him from loving the book. Rushdie’s brilliant at speaking to readers of all backgrounds while still seeming to hold a sort of conspiratorial insider conversation with those for whom these stories have particular meaning.

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