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Whitbread Novel Award, 2005 shortlist
Max Ophuls’ memorable life ends violently in Los Angeles in 1993 when he is murdered by his Muslim driver Noman Sher Noman, also known as Shalimar the Clown. At first the crime seems to be politically motivated–Ophuls was previously ambassador to India, and later US counterterrorism chief–but it is much more.
In this stunningly rich book everything is connected, and everyone is a part of everyone else. Shalimar the Clown is a true work of the era of globalization, intricately mingling lives and countries, and finding unexpected and sometimes tragic connections between the seemingly disparate. Enthralling, comic and amazingly abundant, it will no doubt come to be seen as one of the key books of our time.
“Rushdie has written an intensely political novel, infused with recent events, but its emotional scope reaches so far beyond our current crisis and its vision into the vagaries of the heart is so perceptive that one can imagine Shalimar the Clown being read long after this age of sacred terror has faded into history.”
–The Washington Post
“Rushdie has done what he has set out to do. In Shalimar the Clown, he has written a vast, richly peopled, beautiful and deeply rageful book that serves as a profound and disturbing artifact of our times.”
–San Francisco Chronicle