Heads and Tales Book Group – Midnight’s Children

Nine members of Heads and Tales met on 13 December to discuss Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

Saleem Sinai, the narrator of Midnight’s Children, opens the novel by explaining that he was born on midnight, August 15, 1947, at the exact moment India gained its independence from British rule. Now nearing his thirty-first birthday, Saleem believes that his body is beginning to crack and fall apart. Fearing that his death is imminent, he grows anxious to tell his life story. Padma, his loyal and loving companion, serves as his patient, often sceptical audience.

Midnight’s Children won both the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981. It was awarded the “Booker of Bookers” Prize and the best all-time prize winners in 1993 and 2008 to celebrate the Booker Prize 25th and 40th anniversary. In 2003, the novel was listed on the BBC’s survey The Big Read. It was also added to the list of Great Books of the 20th Century, published by Penguin Books.

Most of us enjoyed the book and, although would not describe it as an easy read, did agree that it was worth reading and had it not been for the book club would not have picked it up.

– Janice Sless

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