Fatwa

This morning, over breakfast, Elizabeth was searching her i-pad for The Moon And Sixpence.  She had been trying to read it in bed last night when it disappeared.  This morning she can’t even trace the Amazon purchase record.  This led Danni to tell us she wanted a Kindle, so she could read trashy books without anyone knowing.  Which reminded me of a tube journey I had taken in about 1989.  This was the year after Salman Rushdie had published The Satanic Verses which earned him a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeni.  I was seated in a tube train, quietly reading my copy of the book.  An Eastern looking gentleman in a long raincoat sitting next to me leaned over and whispered in my ear.  ‘You should cover that up’, he said.  Hastily checking my flies, I looked puzzled, until I realised that the novel he was reading, wrapped in brown paper, was the very same offending piece of literature.  He meant my book jacket.  He explained that, having been too frightened to be seen buying the book in London, he had travelled to Brighton to obtain it.  Even to be seen reading it was considered offensive by some people.  Actually, I didn’t like the book.  Undoubtedly clever with words, I thought the author lacked human understanding.

This was the last day of our holiday inThe Firs.  Jackie planted more bulbs; cut the grass edges; and generally tidied up.  I finished the stepping stones.  We sat on the benches and watched the birds swooping to and from their feeders.  I printed a lot more of the blog posts for Mum’s present.  Jackie found something in the garden we could not identify.  Does anyone know what it is?

When we could tear ourselves away Jackie drove us directly to Wimbledon Tandoori to meet Becky, Ian, Flo and Claudia for Ian’s birthday celebration.  Kingfisher, Diet Coke and Apple Juice was drunk, followed by complimentary Baileys and brandy.

10 comments

  1. Ah Salman Rushdie! I read ‘Midnight’s Children’ long back and just about liked it. Let’s say I didn’t hate it. You have right – all clever words without human understanding. There’s too much fluff in him. I have tired to read him again but he loses me very quickly. He panders to the clique that loves to quote obscure references.

      1. My God I just noticed all the typos! Haha! Serves me right to dash off a comment without reading. I was too excited by the opportunity to slam Salman Rushdie. I started The Ground Beneath Her Feet after Midnight’s.. and promptly returned the book after 3 pages. 🙂

  2. Thanks for putting me onto this post, Derrick. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard mention of Salmon Rushdie.It reminds me of when I was reading “Suicide” by Durkheim for uni on the train and someone said that they hoped things weren’t so bad. I was studying crime & deviance at uni. xx Ro

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