Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Haroun and the Sea of Stories

by Salman Rushdie


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A captivating fantasy novel for readers of all ages, by the author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses
“This is, simply put, a book for anyone who loves a good story. It’s also a work of literary genius.” —Stephen King

Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as The Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, The Arabian Nights, and The Wizard of Oz. Twelve-year-old Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore his father’s gift of storytelling by reviving the poisoned Sea of Stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.
In this wondrously delightful story, Salman Rushdie gives us an imaginative work of extraordinary power and endearing humor that is, at its heart, an illumination of the necessity of storytelling in our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140157376
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1991
Series: Penguin Drop Caps
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 27,504
Product dimensions: 5.05(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.58(d)
Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
Age Range: 15 - 17 Years

About the Author

Born in Bombay in 1947, Salman Rushdie is the author of six novels, including Grimus, Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor's Last Sigh, and The Ground Beneath Her Feet, and a volume of essays, Imaginary Homelands. His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children and the Whitbread Prize for The Satanic Verses.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

June 19, 1947

Place of Birth:

Bombay, Maharashtra, India


M.A. in History, King's College, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

Chapter One The Shah of Blah
Chapter Two The Mail Coach
Chapter Three The Dull Lake
Chapter Four An Iff and a Butt
Chapter Five About Guppees and Chupwalas
Chapter Six The Spy's Story
Chapter Seven Into the Twilight Strip
Chapter Eight Shadow Warriors
Chapter Nine The Dark Ship
Chapter Ten Haroun's Wish
Chapter Eleven Princess Batcheat
Chapter Twelve Was It the Walrus?
About the Names in this Book 213

Customer Reviews

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Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
flexatone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are so many beautiful chapters, moments, themes, and characters in Haroun. For me, though, these parts are greater than their sum. As a metaphor for imagination, the book is inspiring, but the overall story arc is not as exciting as the smaller moments and notions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read this book in my Literature of India and the Pacific class and I loved it! The fantasy aspects of the entire novel make it possible to be a children's book, but the underlying theme of censorship also makes it a novel for adults. An awesome book and I would recommend it to anyone! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 7 + years ago as a high school Jr. and I still consider it one of my favorite books. Because this is a beautifull narrative of the challenges and achievements that life has to offer, I encourage any adult or child I encounter to read this story. You will remember this book and cherish the time you spent with these characters for years to come. Like all that have read this book, you will recommend.
ferebend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a cheerful children's story, but one of those that appeal to both child and adult alike. It's kind of like Alice and Wonderland, but with a decidedly subcontinental bent which, in my experience, is generally a good thing. Give it a shot if ever you need a quick pick-me-up in the form of an imaginative, modern fairy tale.
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What more can I add to the raves this book has already received on LT? It's funny, fantastic, great word play, utterly enjoyable and good literature. A real treat for a Sunday afternoon.
Foxen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a continuous, fast-paced bedtime story full of clever imaginings and funny little half-references to the real world. Haroun is the son of a reknowned story-teller who always claims that his stories come from an invisible story tap installed in the bathroom by a water genie. Haroun assumes that this is just yet another story, but when his father loses his story-telling ability, Haroun is plunged into a bizaare adventure where he meets many previously fictional creatures and must, in the end, save the great Ocean of the Sea of Stories itself. Like I said, the best thing about this book was its continuous inventiveness. It is full of surprising and delightful little details, and gives the impression, much like the story-teller, of simply over-flowing with fairy tale ideas. A very fun, quick read.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I approached this with a bit of trepidation because the beginning of Rushdie's Midnight's Children did nothing for me last year. I ended up finding a story that has instantly became one of my favorites.On one level it's a fairy tale about a young boy journeying to the land from whence stories flow in order to restore his father's ability to tell the tales that make everyone around him happy. On another, it's a contemplation of government, imagination, love, freedom and, above all, the role of stories in our lives. No matter how you read it, though, the book is written with imagination, affection and a super-sized dollop of humor.As Butt the Hoopoe would say: delicious, delightful, delectable...read it again, no problem!Highly recommended!
RRHowell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this. It is in a class with The Phantom Tollbooth and A Gebra Named Al. "What is the good of stories when they aren't even true"? is the question asked and perhaps answered by this book. Magical writing for kids (and adults) by an expert.
danconsiglio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nice little political allegory that laughs at itself when it starts to get too serious. Rushdie breaks many of the children's story cliches and makes sure to poke as much fun at as many weighty contemporary worries as he can. In the end its not about "Why can't we all just get along?" but instead "Why are we so afraid of each other?" A much more important question. Rushdie is a beast!
rohwyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is an obvious allegory of events of the late 1980s and 1990s in the Kashmir Valley, but the tale is spun so well that it is easy to set aside the real political landscape and escape into Rushdie's Sea of Stories. I think I liked it especially because Rushdie borrows so many tropes from other children's and fantasy novels, and yet somehow, they seem completely original when you encounter them in this book. Not even Rashid al-Khalifa could have told this story this well.
hjsesq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story of story telling that can be read enjoyed by a teenager or adult. The tale that is woven into the story is one that is not only topical, but beautifully written and easily understood. It speaks elegantly and yet simply of the importance of being able to express one's views and of the need for freedom.
hemlokgang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What could possibly bring about the end of storytelling? Poisoning of the Ocean of the Streams of Stories would definitely do it. Who would save the day Haroun! Salman Rushdie created a rollicking, beautiful, witty allegory for those of us who appreciate the tremendous value that storytelling has in our lives and in the lives of all humanity! Just read this wonderful story......and watch out for Princess Batcheat's horrible singing and Miss Blabbermouth's courage!
weeksj10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How could you not love it? It's like Alice in Wonderland mixed up into a delicious curry. The word play is great, the story is fun, and the characters are wonderful. It's a quick read, but I repeat, how could you not love it?
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Young Haroun's father is a gifted storyteller, but when that gift dries up, Haroun takes an unexpected opportunity to get it back for him and soon finds himself traveling to the source of all stories, which is itself facing a terrible danger. It's a charming and highly amusing kids' story of the kind that can be enjoyed equally well by adults, and the concept of the Sea of Stories, where narrative constantly flows and changes and renews itself, is absolutely inspired.
hugh_ashton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of Rushdie's greatest linguistic tours de force, with wordplay and rhymes and multilingual allusions spilling out all over the place. I just wish I had his command of language.
Zmrzlina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I had never read Rushdie before, but heard some of his essays and love how he is pointedly serious even while being subtle. This book isn't subtle, though. It practically jumps up and down, waves its pages and says "Aren't I fun!?" And I can so see it being made into a fantastic animated film, like the ones Pixar makes, except I would not want to see all the merchandising that comes with anything Pixar. I love how Rushdie lampoons chick lit, way before people began calling it that, and how he makes it so clear that stories are so very important. And just so his readers don't think he is against all pop culture, he does pay homage, of sorts, to a famous Brit pop group who bugged the world in the 60s.goo goo g'joob
thebadpandey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I dont much care for Salman's other books, but this is fabulous. He should write more kids books. Disney should make this into a movie.
ladyerin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While this is technically a kids book, really it's a wonderful story for people of all ages. This is the book I reach for when I'm feeling stressed or upset. It's comforting, funny, and sweet.
lorax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my very favorite books. This is the first book Rushdie wrote post-_Satanic Verses_, when he was in hiding under death threats. And there's not a trace of bitterness -- it's a sweet, funny, hopeful book, but still very clearly a product of that period. Haroun Khalifa, son of Raschid Khalifa (the allusive names are everywhere in this book, though that's by far the most obvious; most of the rest are glossed in the back of the book, where you learn that "Kitab" means "book" and other such gems) is taken to the moon Kahani to try to regain the gift of storytelling for his father, where he gets caught up in a struggle against Khattam-Shud, a being trying to destroy all stories (and quite obviously an allusion to Rushdie's very real enemies). It's full of allusions, riffing on everything from Bollywood to the Beatles, and I'm sure I didn't pick up on most of them -- keep an eye out for the Walrus and the Eggheads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much! You HAVE to read to it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story filled with many undertones and play on words; it easily lends itself to whatever the reader's situation may be and can be pure entertainment or enlightenment.
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