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Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earthquake and never seen again. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks and again finds her, over and over, throughout his own extraordinary life in music. Set in the inspiring, vain, fabulous world of rock'n'roll, this is the story of a love that stretches across continents, across Vina and Ormus's whole lives, and even beyond death.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099766018
ISBN-10: 0099766019
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 35mm)
Pages: 592
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » This is Rushdie back at his grandest, writing with an epic sweep. He tells a vast and flowing story that starts, historically, in his much-loved, deeply populated pre-Independence Bombay, spreads across Britain, the USA and Latin America, and deals with the vastness of modern international culture and the world pop scene. It also explores the insecurities that underlie our era: the earthquake-ridden, ever-cracking ground we feel beneath our very modern feet. The story is built around an international pop star and grand celebrity, Vina Apsara, elusive and mythic, who is loved by Ormus Cama, and who at the book's beginning disappears from the Earth. The book is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but that is simply the beginning: Rushdie's stock of mythic, literary and cultural reference is vast, and his kitty of stories endless. His prose bubbles frantically, wonderfully, taking in a wealth of remembered times and places, a mass of characters, a huge stock of tales. Rushdie is one of our hugest storytellers, and though some of his scenes and characters have become familiar types and tropes, his literary distinction is evident in The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Review by MALCOLM BRADBURY Editor's note: Malcolm Bradbury is the author of several novels, including Eating People is Wrong, and was also co-founder of the trailblazing creative writing course at East Anglia. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » The blessings and curses of fame, the seismic character of sociopolitical change, and the dream of transcending our earthbound natures are the commanding - though scarcely only - themes of this brilliant epic reimagining of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, by the internationally acclaimed and reviled author of The Satanic Verses. Photojournalist (and "event junkie") Umeed, a.k.a. "Rai" Merchant relates in a stunningly flexible, observant, and wry narrative voice the story of the volatile enduring love binding two Indian-born musical superstars: coloratura rock singer Vina Apsara and composer-performer Orpheus Cama. That story begins in the late 1980s when Vina perishes in an earthquake (one of this novel's recurring symbolic events); backtracks to describe, in luscious comic detail, Vina's violence-haunted American childhood, Orpheus's youth among a prominent Parsi family ruled by his Anglophilic scholar-athlete father "Sir Darius" (a magnificently drawn character) and shaped by the contrary fates of two sets of twin sons (one of whom becomes a notorious mass murderer), and Rai's own confused relations with them both. The narrative then surges forward to 1995, after Vina's apparent "reincarnation" has ironically confirmed Orpheus's messianic conviction that "There is a world other than ours and it's bursting through our own continuum's flimsy defences," and, in a way Rai could not have foreseen, this Orpheus and Eurydice are reunited. No brief summary can accurately convey this astonishingly rich novel's historical, religious, mythological - and, not least, pop-musical - range of reference, or the exhilaration of Rushdie's mischievous transliterations of world history (Oswald's gun jammed; Borges's Pierre Menard really did write Don Quixote). It's a brash polyglot symphony of colliding and cross-pollinating "worlds"; a vision of internationalism that echoes and amplifies the plea for obliterating our differences so prominent in Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh (1996). An unparalleled demonstration of a great writer at the peak of his powers. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven novels, one collection of short stories, three works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the Best of the Booker, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its forty year history. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

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