Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Haroun and the Sea of Stories

By: Salmon Rushdie


Penguin Books 1990

A middle grade fantasy adventure review

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is an adventure story, an exploration of the inner-workings of tales, a romantic quest, and a very simple book.  Rushdie’s words dance as they paint images in your head.  Finding yourself taken to a foreign world, with different rules, is rarely so illuminating, or so much fun.  Like the heroes of most such tales, Haroun Khalifa finds himself confronting opposites: the dark and the light, silence and gab, what others accept as real versus what he knows to be somehow true.

As the son of a storyteller, Haroun often finds himself facing the question: what use are stories?  When his mother leaves the family to lead a more serious and sober life than she led as the wife of the cheerful Rashid, the Shah of Blah, Haroun finds this question almost unbearable.  Fortunately, all it takes in order to sort out this problem (not to mention other twists and dilemmas in the plot), is to meet the right people, make the right observations, and of course, perform actions out of love.  Luckily for us, Rushdie’s youthful character manages to accomplish all this without leaving the readers behind, letting humor out of sight, or allowing a moment to be dull.

This story, like the Sea of Stories, has so many colors and threads that it appears like one big, gleaming, rainbow treat.  If you like nightshirts with purple patches, or armies made of volumes and pages, or genies with colored whiskers, or boys that stand up for their fathers, or really, anything at all, this is a book for you.  As an incredibly smart man named Sheldon Cooper once said, “What’s life without whimsy?”


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. turtlephoenix
    May 06, 2012 @ 18:48:23

    Your posts are one big, glimmering, rainbow treat.


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