21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Category: 1980s

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie


‘I have watched the mountains being born; I have seen emperors die’¬†

I was given this book as a Christmas present, and at first, I was hesitant to read it. Not because of the context or content, but because I was not used to this side of magical realism. My Mum said that if you could read and tackle Salman Rushdie’s books, then it would be very impressive. I was also told that he got into trouble for his work (probably for being a bit too realistic) and it used to be banned.

Midnight’s Children takes some time to get into but I’m sure that it is rewarding in the end. It certainly makes a strong statement on certain sides of Indian Culture and seasons it slightly with a bit of magical realism,but not as obviously as other books of the genre, such as The Night Circus. I love the magical realism genre because authors are allowed to do anything they want and make it as make believe as possible but they can still have a say on the standards and rules or culture of the time.

As for the novel itself, the narrator rambled way too much to the point where it could be at least two hundred pages shorter than it was. There were times where I got into it but other times it was excess information that wasn’t really needed until everything started to gradually come together. I like how all the midnight children had a telepathic connection but unfourtunetly, I couldn’t sit through and read the whole thing.

Generally an ok book but it could be shorter. I suppose that the every detail style of writing appeals to some but not to others.


The Alien Years (1988)

The Alien Years is a virtually unknown three part movie starring Christoph Waltz as Stefan Muller, a German immigrant who meets a woman named Elizabeth (Elizabeth Longley) who is of the upper class. They marry and have two children but World War I breaks out and this lands Stefan in great danger because of his German name.

I wanted to see an early Christoph Waltz film which was in English (very rare if the movie has him in in and it happens to be made before 2009) and one that was around way before he was a Nazi, bounty hunter, ringmaster and a Bond Villian. I am a huge fan of his work so there is no surprise there. This, aside from The Gravy Train and the Gravy Train Goes East, is one of the only options to watch some of Waltz’s earlier stuff without having to watch foreign films.

Teenagers, like Elizabeth early on in the movie, and indeed other teenagers in movies have always been known to rebel from their parents. This is everything from choice in fashion to who they ¬†want to run away with, much to their parents dismay. I think it would take a lot of guts to turn away from your class at the time when class was a general social system and not a patronizing term exclusively from the Daily Mail. It also felt as if they had both become proper characters long after the sad ending, all because Stefan was a German immigrant. The scenery also looked lovely and if it was a bit more well known, it should have won some awards for set design. It would have been very heartbreaking to take down an enemy of your father’s nationality.

I’ll admit that this is not the greatest movie in the world and it is very time consuming but it is interesting to see Christoph Waltz way before he got the recognition that he deserved. Pretty much all the cast members except Christoph Waltz and maybe the men who played the sons have now died.