Professor Malik Solanka, retired historian of ideas, irascible doll maker, and since his recent fifty-fifth birthday celibate and solitary by his own (much criticized) choice, in his silvered years found himself living in a golden age. Outside his window, a long humid summer, the first hot season of the third millennium, baked and perspired. The city boiled with money. Rents and property values had never been higher, and in the garment industry it was widely held that fashion had never been so fashionable. - from Fury From one of the world's truly great writers comes a wickedly brilliant and pitch-black comedy about a middle-aged professor who finds himself in New York City in the summer of 2000. Not since the Bombay of Midnight's Children have a time and place been so intensely captured in a novel. Salman Rushdie's eighth novel opens on a New York living at break-neck speed in an age of unprecedented decadence. Malik Solanka, a Cambridge-educated self-made millionaire originally from Bombay, arrives in this town of IPOs and white-hot trends looking, perversely, for escape. He is a man in flight from himself. This former philosophy professor is the inventor of a hugely popular doll whose multiform ubiquity -- as puppet, cartoon and talk-show host -- now rankles with him. He becomes frustratingly estranged from his own creation. At the same time, his marriage is disintegrating, and Solanka very nearly commits an unforgivable act. Horrified by the fury within him, he flees across the Atlantic. He discovers a city roiling with anger, where cab drivers spout invective and a serial killer is murdering women with a lump of concrete, a metropolis whose population is united by petty spats and bone-deep resentments. His own thoughts, emotions and desires, meanwhile, are also running wild. He becomes deeply embroiled in not one but two new liaisons, both, in very different ways, dangerous. Professor Solanka's navigation of his new world makes for a hugely entertaining and compulsively readable novel. Fury is a pitiless comedy that lays bare, with spectacular insight and much glee, the darkest side of human nature.
Toronto, Ont. : Knopf Canada : 2001
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