Read more about the article Words Vanquish Swords Again
Rushdie's 15th Novel Victory City is a triumphant return to form

Words Vanquish Swords Again

In the final section Pampa Kampana, coming to terms with the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, reflects that “words are the only victors.” Rushdie is alive to that scruple and will not let the moralising impulse detract from the power of words. Let those who want to learn something from fiction be content to be entertained and edified. Those who, like humourless ayatollahs, can’t manage this are ineducable.

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Read more about the article Review: Hari Kunzru (2019) Red Pill. Knopf.
Hari Kunzru. Colour pencil portrait by Cain S. Pinto.

Review: Hari Kunzru (2019) Red Pill. Knopf.

Kunzru is clever and modest enough to recognize that his protagonist would be readily, and appropriately so, categorized as a Soyjak with his “eyes wide” and his “mouth hanging open in an idiotic ‘o’” of outrage (p.182) and has some groypers depict him that way in a meme. The humanely painted characters fail to make much happen in their lives or the narrative given the soaring ambition of the novel and relative sparsity of the plot. In a better novel the loss of the fundamentally decent to the vagaries of time and chance would've been less pathetic, perhaps even galvanizing. In the novel as it is, however, one sees that the world is unfair but delights in the abasement of the Soyjak. Read it for the lyrical prose, and abandon all hope if you yearn to see neoreaction effectively satirised. It is deserving of a respectable 2.5/5. 

Continue ReadingReview: Hari Kunzru (2019) Red Pill. Knopf.