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The Moor's Last Sigh: Wickedly Comic

579 words - 2 pages

Hopping in a careful, calculated manner across four generations of a rich and demented Indian family, Salman Rushdie's cynical novel The Moor's Last Sigh laughs mischievously at the world and shivers from its evils. Weaving a tale of murder and suicide, of atheism and asceticism, of affection and adultery, Rushdie's exquisitely crafted storytelling explains the "fall from grace of a high-born crossbreed," namely our narrator Moraes Zogoiby, also known as "Moor."

At the centerpiece of this odd and captivating tale stand the embers of Moor's family: a complex web including a ridiculed political activist, a shrew, a homosexual husband, an artist, and a Jewish underworld gangster, among others. Moor's sisters lead lives as abnormal and doomed as their family history would predispose them towards: Ina, a washed-up model, dies in the throes of insanity; Minnie takes holy orders, predicting a great plague washing over Bombay and envisioning talking rats; Mynah, a lesbian, hopelessly infatuated with Moor's lover, dies in an industrial "accident" that m y~be~her~ father's doing. Such is the legacy of Moor's mother, Aurora Zogoiby, a celebrated artist who at the age of fourteen watched impassively as her despised grandmother died in a chapel, and whose own death could be attributed to her adoring, evil husband. The Moor himself is perhaps the oddest of this family; possessing a deformed club for a right hand, Moor ages at twice the rate of a normal human being, a thirty-six year old elderly man still in love with a cunning deceased woman who caused Aurora to disown Moor. The melange of heroes and viliains, of liars and lovers, often are the same character, produces a sense of confusion in the reader that only draws one further into the tale.

Each character, in turn, is revealed as having...

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