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Haroun and the Sea of Stories
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In a contemporary fable filled with riotous verbal pranks, Haroun, who unintentionally stopped time when he froze his father's esteemed storytelling ability, seeks to undo his error on a quest through a magical realm. ``As eloquent a defense of art as any Renaissance treatise . . . saturated with the hyperreal color of such classic fantasies as The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland ,'' said PW. (Nov.)

Rashid Khalifa, a renowned storyteller, has lost his touch. Once an ``Ocean of Notions,'' he is now ``The Shah of Blahs.'' Haroun, Rashid's son, embarks on an epic quest to restore his father's creativity. One of the problems is environmental: the pollutants of modern civilization have clouded the once-clear streams of story. Another is conspiratorial: the Union of Tight Lips, minions of the evil Khattam-Shud, confound communication by switching on rows of ``darkbulbs.'' Rushdie's first book since the controversial Satanic Verses ( LJ 12/88) is more a postmodern fairy tale in the style of Angela Carter or John Barth than a traditional novel. The story is allegorical rather than realistic, the characters emblematic and two-dimensional. Poignant parallels between Rashid's predicament and Rushdie's own situation are what hold the reader's interest. An amusing but lightweight entertainment. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/90.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch . , Los Angeles

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