Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-eight Nights

A Novel

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding novel that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush modern fairytale in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling"-- Provided by publisher.
"Once upon a time, in a world just like ours, there came "the time of the strangenesses." Reason receded and the loudest, most illiberal voices reigned. A simple gardener began to levitate, and a powerful djinn -- also known as the Princess of Fairyland -- raised an army composed entirely of her semi-magical great-great-great-grandchildren. A baby was born with the ability to see corruption in the faces of others. The ghosts of two philosophers, long dead, began arguing once more. And a battle for the kingdom of Fairyland was waged throughout our world for 1,001 nights -- or, to be more precise, for two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a masterful, playfully enchanting meditation on the power of love and the importance of rationality, replete with flying carpets and dynastic intrigue"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2015]
ISBN: 9780812998924
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 18, 2017

This is a bit of a difficult book to review, as the phrasing and language are unquestionably beautiful, however, it was very challenging to get through. The plot was original, but the source of the originality was also the greatest issue I had with this book, which was that, rather than focusing on fleshing out any given character into which the reader could emotionally invest, this book focused heavily on world building. It was refreshing, in a way, as this is an uncommon approach, but it is hard to get motivated about reading something you can't empathize with.

AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

This is my first foray into Rushdie and I have been pleasantly surprised! This modern mythological tale compiled by a future utopian civilization is very clever, humourous, thoughtful and philosphical. I flitted between 3-4 stars but I gave it a 4 because I felt it had been a long time since I actually had to think while reading! I will definitely read another Rushdie... I like his style.

May 26, 2016

I really wanted to like this Rushdie novel more but had a hard time getting invested. There are definitely some interesting sections and plot points and general philosophy but it never completely clicked for me. Still a great author and worth checking out!

Apr 02, 2016

Rich, interesting and challenging. Pokes fun at things we are familiar with and tells an unusual story as well.

Mar 16, 2016

I enjoyed the witty and always amazingly intellectual imaginings of the first part of this novel, however I found the end the same predictable woes that seem to emanate from Salman's writing. He can't seem to recover from his own many failed relationships and I think the children are a challenge, as they are to all.. Undoubtedly a brilliant mind occupied with presenting the reader with clever coincidences; and historical and philosophical snippets; but I have to confess that I am tiring of Salman. Oh dear. I feel the fabric tearing and I am being pulled into Fairyland.

Feb 03, 2016

Loved it. He has such an imagination! Best read slowly, to keep track of all the characters and let all the details sink in.

Nov 13, 2015

Is it just me or is he unreadable?
Try The Satanic Verses. The fatwa was really for the writing. He has clever phrasing, references and observations, but he tries too hard at that. Again it's probably just me.

Nov 04, 2015

Although there are better fantasy books out there, this one is entertaining enough, if slightly overstuffed with characters. Its strongest points are the ties to current events and the comic details of Rushdie's writing (who knew jinn don't have earlobes?).

Oct 26, 2015

Salman Rushdie's atheist epic fantasy is a fast fun read that makes great use of history.

Jinn are a popular (and often-badly handled) trend in fantasy fiction right now, so it's a treat to see Rushdie use them in a way that isn't divorced from their Muslim cultural context, and uses of traditional legends about their powers. Following the Qu'ran, there are both devout and non-believing jinn, but here of course it's the unbelievers who are the heroes in his epic battle between "faith" and "reason."

As usual Rushdie sees no middle ground between fundamentalist faith and secular atheism (and shows noticeable male biases), but he tells his story well and weaves in a thread of ambiguity (how far are the heroic atheists justified in going?) that leads to a satisfying conclusion.

Along the way there is an epidemic of floating (an apt metaphor for the dislocations of immigration), a large cast of diverse characters, a box that poisons supernatural creatures with bad stories, and a magical duel with a great twist.

The story is told with more scope and distance than your average American fantasy reader (raised on the literary equivalent of the close-up) is used to, but that perspective (a great use of the involved author/omniscient narrator) is part of the fun. It gives the story an epic sense of scale larger than any individual character.

Is it in the same league as his masterpiece, The Satanic Verses? No, but it's leagues ahead of his other recent work—turkeys like Luke and the Fire of Life or The Enchantress of Florence. Unlike the latter (which imploded spectacularly halfway through after a strong start), this novel builds to a satisfying climax, and the constant cultural references--ranging from classical writers to Shakespeare to US & Indian pop culture--are hilarious and more accessible to a Western audience than your average Rushdie novel.

Recommended for those who enjoy different takes on fantasy, or who loved Haroun and the Sea of Stories and want to see Rushdie work in the same metaphorical realm.

Sep 10, 2015

Perhaps it’s just Rushdie’s awkward familiarity with the world of fantasy but there was something forced about the whole set-up, as if Rushdie decided to sprinkle some magical details here and there and hoped for the best. The result is a novel filled with canned fantasy tropes, most of the time used clumsily, and a world that is hackneyed and contrived. Detail is conflated with depth, and Rushdie seems to pile on the mythology as if he were following a template. Where this lack of sophistication is most evident is in the background we are given about the various dark forces threatening the world: Zumurrud, Shining Ruby, and the rest of the evil gang are all inflated in garish detail. It’s beyond silly and not in the least bit entertaining or compelling. Do we need the long-winded descriptions about the families and the clothes they wear and their philosophies in such tedious detail? Some writers can do this enviably well in seamless world-building, but Rusdhie splatters the canvas when he should be using a lighter hand. What’s neglected is the human element of the story. For all the flash of the various characters and their powers, they all seem so blah, so flat. It’s not elemental—it’s one-dimensional.

The saving grace (for some readers, I assume) is that it faithfully follows the classic Rushdie pattern of exploring those big, hefty arguments for and against religion. Faith vs. secularism. And the framework inspired by Thousand and One Nights is pretty ingenious—stories within stories.

Two Years wears its fantasy like throwaway fashion. Overall, I found the novel hastily stitched together, badly edited and organized, and disappointing. If you are new to Salman Rushdie's work, read this one with caution or look elsewhere.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at MCPL

To Top