´╗┐

A Fable of Fury

On the very first page of Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie's new novel, the reader has a horrible presentiment that a literary disaster is in the making. Rushdie is trying to describe a woman speaking in her sleep: she is "like Sigourney Weaver channeling a demon in Ghostbusters." This is the kind of bathosŚthe desperation to prove his hipness by making asinine references to pop cultureŚthat helped sink Rushdie's last novel, Fury, generally acknowledged to be the worst he has written. After a first-page blunder like this, it requires a leap of faith simply to turn to page 2. But...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!