Having go to the end of what has been a real marathon I’m not sure how I feel. It is going to take a bit of time I think for the impact of this novel to sink in.
Some of that is because of the length and ambition of this story and the fact that some of the themes only become clear towards the very end with the spittoon and the chutney key links to both the past and the present.
The years of emergency rule are also ones that end the role of the midnight children as they are rounded up and stripped of their powers. But that comes after a war between Pakistan and India that sees Saleem retrieve his memory after bumping into one of the other midnight children.
The movement towards the climax is also a movement towards the death of the dream of an India that could really change after independence. That is the message I am going to take away from this, that the dreams and the waves of optimism led to war, semi-dictatorship with the emergency years and for those in the slums and the poor sides of the track nothing but roughly the same as there was before. A country of two worlds, rich and poor, continues to the end.
A review will follow soon…