Salman Rushdie’s Haroun And The Sea Of Stories

“There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name.”

I always look for a good story to feed my inner child and I am a sucker for good-beats-evil and “they lived happily ever after”. So when I found on the shelves of a (rather cosy) library in Cluj (in Romania), I couldn’t help myself and adopted it.

Harun and the sea of stories tells the story of Harun and Rashid Khalifa’s adventures in the Land of Chup. What starts as an attempt of Harun to retrieve his father’s storytelling gifts, ends in a fight to save the stories from the attacks of Khattam-Shud, the master of the Land of Gup.

Event though it was written for children (the author dedicated this book to his son), the book is a profound allegory of the world and humans and the ancient fight between good and evil. What I retained most is that books can fight injustice in the world and words are not just a waste of time, but a very useful tool.

The subjects are many, but I preferred just reading it as I did when I was child, without trying to find the morals behind the story and just enjoying the characters and their adventures.

It was wonderful meeting Bagha (a Plentimaw fish names so because they speak in rhymes), Blabbermouth (a Page in the Library in the Land of Gup – that is a soldier in the army) or The Walrus (the head of the P2C2E -Processes 2 Complicated 2 Explain). I loved that the Gups are avid talkers who will discus everything and did not like one inch of Khattam-Shud “the arch-enemy of all stories, even of language itself”. I got so caught in the story that I even stopped breathing for a short while when Harun gets caught by the shadow of Khattam-Shud (just as evil as his owner).

 So for all of you that have a child or still are a “child” and enjoy a good story with a happy ending, I strongly recommend this book, it will enchant you for sure. After all, what would this world be like without stories?

“He knew what he knew: that the real world was full of magic, so magical words could easily be real.”