Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Harper’s Bazaar • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian • The Kansas City Star • National Post • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews

From Salman Rushdie, one of the great writers of our time, comes a spellbinding work of fiction that blends history, mythology, and a timeless love story. A lush, richly layered novel in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

Inspired by the traditional “wonder tales” of the East, Salman Rushdie’s novel is a masterpiece about the age-old conflicts that remain in today’s world. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is satirical and bawdy, full of cunning and folly, rivalries and betrayals, kismet and karma, rapture and redemption.

Praise for Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

“Rushdie is our Scheherazade. . . . This book is a fantasy, a fairytale—and a brilliant reflection of and serious meditation on the choices and agonies of our life in this world.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, The Guardian

“One of the major literary voices of our time . . . In reading this new book, one cannot escape the feeling that [Rushdie’s] years of writing and success have perhaps been preparation for this moment, for the creation of this tremendously inventive and timely novel.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A wicked bit of satire . . . [Rushdie] riffs and expands on the tales of Scheherazade, another storyteller whose spinning of yarns was a matter of life and death.”USA Today

“A swirling tale of genies and geniuses [that] translates the bloody upheavals of our last few decades into the comic-book antics of warring jinn wielding bolts of fire, mystical transmutations and rhyming battle spells.”The Washington Post

“Great fun . . . The novel shines brightest in the panache of its unfolding, the electric grace and nimble eloquence and extraordinary range and layering of his voice.”—The Boston Globe


From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

Salman Rushdie is the author of eleven previous novels—Grimus, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, and Luka and the Fire of Life—and one collection of short stories: East, West. He has also published four works of nonfiction—Joseph Anton, The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, and Step Across This Line—and co-edited two anthologies, Mirrorwork and Best American Short Stories 2008. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Sep 8, 2015
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780812998924
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Life is fury. Fury-sexual, Oedipal, political, magical, brutal- drives us to our finest heights and coarsest depths. This is what we are, what we civilize ourselves to disguise-the terrifying human animal in us, the exalted, transcendent, self-destructive, untrammeled lord of creation. We raise each other to the heights of joy. We tear each other limb from bloody limb."
Malik Solanka, historian of ideas and dollmaker extraordinaire, steps out of his life one day, abandons his family without a word of explanation, and flees London for New York. There's a fury within him, and he fears he has become dangerous to those he loves. He arrives in New York at a time of unprecedented plenty, in the highest hour of America's wealth and power, seeking to "erase" himself. Eat me, America, he prays, and give me peace.
But fury is all around him. Cabdrivers spout invective. A serial killer is murdering women with a lump of concrete. The petty spats and bone-deep resentments of the metropolis engulf him. His own thoughts, emotions, and desires, meanwhile, are also running wild. A tall, green-eyed young blonde in a D'Angelo Voodoo baseball cap is in store for him. As is another woman, with whom he will fall in love and be drawn toward a different fury, whose roots lie on the far side of the world.
Fury is a work of explosive energy, at once a pitiless and pitch-black comedy, a profoundly disturbing inquiry into the darkest side of human nature, and a love story of mesmerizing force. It is also an astonishing portrait of New York. Not since the Bombay of Midnight's Children have a time and place been so intensely and accurately captured in a novel.
In his eighth novel, Salman Rushdie brilliantly entwines moments of anger and frenzy with those of humor, honesty, and intimacy. Fury is, above all, a masterly chronicle of the human condition.
後殖民文學教父.《午夜之子》、《魔鬼詩篇》作者魯西迪長篇巨獻

當今最具爭議性的文學名家.最富野心的神話史詩


◆紐約時報暢銷好書

◆獲選各大媒體年度好書!華盛頓郵報、洛杉磯時報、舊金山紀事報、哈潑時尚、聖路易郵訊報、衛報、堪薩斯城市星報、國家郵報、書頁、科克斯書評


當時代的風暴來臨,閃電劃破寧靜,

唯有「故事」讓我們記得自己是誰,

讓我們得以成為此時此地的自己。


「他總想要用文字的力量把飄浮起來的我們拉回土地、歷史與愛。或許,這也是為什麼多年以來,我一次又一次沉迷在魯西迪一千零一夜般的故事裡的緣故。」

——吳明益


導讀|作家.東華大學華文文學系教授/吳明益

譯序∣《哈倫與故事之海》、《盧卡與生命之火》兼本書譯者/蔡宜容

推薦(依姓氏筆畫順序排列)|吳明益(作家.東華大學華文文學系教授)、李明璁(社會學家.作家)、沈清楷(比利時魯汶大學哲學博士)、房慧真(作家.記者)、紀大偉(《同志文學史》作者)、陳栢青(作家)、陳雪(作家)、童偉格(作家)、馮品佳(交通大學外文系講座教授)、黃崇凱(作家)、楊照(作家)、蔡秀枝(台灣大學外國語文學系教授)、鄧宜菁(清華大學英語教學系副教授)、鄧鴻樹(台東大學英美語文學系助理教授)


▍內容簡介

這是個好久好久以前的故事,也是我們祖先的歷史。

那時的人們都是故事的囚徒,為了各自的信仰和史觀大動干戈。

而世界就在故事裡陷入毀壞,又再次新生……


一場風暴襲擊紐約,閃電預告接二連三的怪事。

一名園丁發現自己飄浮於空中,

一個年輕男孩在房裡發現蟲洞,

一個棄嬰出現在市長的辦公桌上。

異象很快蔓延整座城市,人們奔相走告末日來臨。

原來一切始於八百年前一段精靈與人類哲學家的愛戀,

如今光明與黑暗準備交手,煙與火開始對峙,一場名留千古的大戰即將開打……


文學名家魯西迪以本書書名向經典文本《一千零一夜》致意,華麗拼貼歷史、宗教、哲學、寓言、神話、流行文化,精心雕琢兼具史詩、科幻、英雄電影等多重性格的重量巨作,打造屬於當代的《伊里亞德》。魯西迪不僅回頭審視人類歷史,也敏銳描寫出個體與文化根源失去連結的現況。人究竟由理性構成?或受信仰驅動?在小說裡長達兩年八個月又二十八夜的混亂之後,世界終將重返秩序。我們也將醉心於魯西迪博古通今的手筆,在故事裡照見自身的真相。


▍享譽國際媒體:魯西迪至今最精采的作品

薩爾曼.魯西迪是當代的雪赫阿莎德,讓一個個故事永無止境地交疊又展開,行文間有著難以抵擋的暢快;出乎意料的是,魯西迪正如雪赫阿莎德,說故事之餘還得擔心自己的人身安全。本書是部奇幻之作,也是童話故事,精采反映人生在世的選擇與苦難,引人深思……我相信讀者都將讚嘆本書展現的勇氣,並頌揚其鮮明生猛的色彩、嘈雜的人聲、幽默的筆觸和充沛的活力,心滿意足地欣賞其恢弘的格局。

——娥蘇拉.勒瑰恩


巧妙諷喻當今社會之作……魯西迪信手取材,拓展了《一千零一夜》裡雪赫阿莎德所說的故事,每個故事都攸關著生命的消與長。

——《今日美國報》


讀來樂趣無窮……這本小說散發著耀眼的光芒,敘事口吻優雅動人、輕快流暢,並展現異常豐富的題材和層次。

——《波士頓環球報》


情感熾熱、精采萬分又富有雄心,魯西迪在最新小説《兩年八個月又二十八夜》問世前,早已奠定了一代文豪的地位。本書讀來不禁讓人深感:他多年來的寫作和成就似乎都是在為此刻做準備,為了獻給世人這部匠心獨具又富時代感的小說。

——《舊金山紀事報》


魯西迪藉由許多相互堆疊交織的故事,創造出一個全新的宇宙,各種精靈怪魔彷彿被神燈封印二十年後才剛掙脫而出,穿越時空、干涉世事、恣意交媾……《兩年八個月又二十八夜》將近代過去數十年來的血腥動亂,幻化為漫畫般的滑稽場面,整部書充滿了雙手噴火交戰的精靈、令人目眩神迷的變形奇觀,以及琅琅上口的沙場魔咒。」

——《華盛頓郵報》


這部小說膽識十足又解放心靈,全書融合蟲洞、神話幻獸、時事,以及作者對哲學與神學的考察,讀來教人屏息。

——《紐約時報書評》


這是魯西迪自二○○八年以來的寫給成人讀者的最新小說,書中大玩各種成人議題,融入描寫精靈性事的笑話、重現曼哈頓的黑暗角落、探討失落的愛戀,並打造哲學意味濃厚的正邪大戰……《兩年八個月又二十八夜》旁徵博引卻不炫學張狂。這是部宛如遊樂園般的災難小說,以宗教、歷史、文化和愛為底蘊,因此雖天馬行空卻不至於失控。

——《洛杉磯時報》


眾聲喧嘩、諷喻時事和充滿魔力的形上學寓言,說不定是魯西迪至今最精采的作品。他集結學者、嚴謹觀察家和天馬行空小說家等角色於一身,將自己在殘酷又荒謬的人世裡所感到的絕望,注入奇幻世界之中……魯西迪的文字風趣卻不失睿智。每個人物都有荒唐至極的出身,各種動作場面躍然紙上,從緊湊到讓人血壓升高的情節,到怪奇活潑、魔幻和感動人心的片段……極為別出心裁、熱情洋溢又狡黠,教人愛不釋手,堪稱新版的《一千零一夜》。

——《書單》


這部鬧哄哄的小說充滿新意,骨子裡是慷慨激昂的理性宣言,外皮卻是一場持續了整整兩年八個月又二十八夜的精靈大戰,剛好等於一千零一夜……最後形成一部非常有魯西迪風格的故事:結合魔幻寫實、神話、科幻和天馬行空的想像……本書就如同魯西迪其他一流的小說,戲謔又有創意,刺激既有的刻板思維。

——《環球郵報》


這是魯西迪數一數二優秀的作品,連貫全篇故事的隱喻可以反映許多醜陋的真相……時而調皮中帶優雅、時而傻裡傻氣的大人童話……引人入勝,又讓人拍案叫絕,隨處是妙不可言的片段,絕對是魯西迪的巔峰之作。

——《科克斯評論》


想寫一本關於中古伊斯蘭哲學、精靈和末世的喜劇小說,聽起來似乎難如登天,然而魯西迪的天才就在於懂得平衡高雅藝術和通俗文化……這部小說可以當作知識寶典研讀,也可以拿來單純享受閱讀的樂趣,實屬難得的上乘之作!

——《聖路易斯快訊報》


本書不乏往返蟲洞或異界間縫隙的各種怪物、人間和幻境的大小戰役與震憾人心的場景,還有時而荒唐、時而讓人笑破肚皮的喜劇橋段,大故事中有小故事、傳奇中藏著謎團。這些都要歸功於魯西迪,他宛如暴走的雪赫阿莎德,揣摩各種口吻,負責擔綱所有的角色,以瘋狂的角度呈現整部作品。

——《明尼阿波利斯明星論壇報》


書名加起來剛好是一千零一夜,顯然指涉雪赫阿莎德的故事。儘管本書並非真的容納了一千零一個故事,仍有許多色彩燦爛、扣人心弦的片段……魯西迪再度成功展現筆下傑作《午夜之子》裡頭自嘲般的幽默。

——英國《獨立報》


《兩年八個月又二十八夜》一書中無處不見奇幻生物、駭人怪物、滿腹壞水的惡人(或應該說是精靈)與一位英勇的女子……魯西迪先前雖曾寫過異世界之間碰撞交會的長篇傳奇,也向來重視理性勝過狂熱,但這部小說的故事實在太過癲狂與解放,讀來格外刺激。

——《紐約每日新聞》


魯西迪在這部最新小說中,開創了自己的文化論述,融合了《天方夜譚》、荷馬史詩、科幻動作冒險漫畫等等……魯西迪賜給讀者一座知識寶庫,但巧妙包裝成滿是流行文化元素的末世奇想漫畫。

——《出版人週刊》


▍延伸閱讀:麥田新書系litterateur

▶為什麼我們讀litterateur?

二十一世紀已是一切都有答案的時代,

我們卻不是真的無所不知,無所不能。

生活總困在日復一日的變形記裡,

我們也還是那個無處可去的異鄉人。

和我們一起在歐美重量名家的千言萬語裡跋山涉水,

上個世紀懸而未決的課題,

用一份新時代的閱讀清單面對。

在政治、宗教、性別、文化的精神迷霧裡,

堅持仍以文學為尺標,

全面掃視二十一世紀人類最神祕的心靈風景。


▶litterateur書系書單

米榭.韋勒貝克《屈服》

薩爾曼.魯西迪《兩年八個月又二十八夜》


2018年.2019年預定出版——(書名、出版順序待確)

朱利安.拔恩斯《生活的層次》

多麗絲.萊辛《金色筆記》、《愛的習慣》

霍華.傑可布森《J的缺席》

約翰.伯格《婚禮》 




出版社 麥田 (城邦)

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