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Check It Out: Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

This is Ben Bemus with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check it Out.

Today, I am recommending Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie. This is the story of a 1001-night war between the worlds of humanity and the jinn, during which the rationality of the modern world is unraveled by magical chaos and the human descendants of a jinn princess are called to be heroes of the resistance.

The narrator, a historical chronicler living 1001 years after the events of the novel, tells us the war began with “the strangenesses.” A gardener discovers he is hovering off the ground, a portal opens in a graphic novelist’s bedroom through which his own character appears, an orphaned baby reveals the inner corruption of politicians been bribed by infecting them with a disfiguring skin disease. All these people have one thing in common – missing earlobes – which mark them as the Duniazat, descendants of the Lightning Princess Dunia.

Meanwhile, Dunia returns to earth and reawakens her long-dead human lover, the philosopher Ibn Rushd. She encourages him to resume a philosophical debate with his lifelong rival, Al-Ghazali, about whether the natural progression of humanity leads towards reason or faith. Al-Ghazali, believing that reason is corrupting humans away from God, summons the Grand Ifrit Zumurrud to terrorize the world so that people are made humble in their powerlessness and return to faith. Thus, begins the war of the worlds that will determine the fate of humanity in 1001 nights.

Check out Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie, and other highly imaginative reads like it, at the Sioux City Public Library.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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