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GROUND BENEATH HER FEET (original: 1999; edição: 2000)


MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,908333,496 (3.71)89
Vina Aspara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earhtquake and never seen again. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks and again finds her throughout his extraordinary life in music. It is narrated by Ormus's childhood friend, Rai.
Informação:Vintage (2000), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 496 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

Detalhes da Obra

The Ground Beneath Her Feet de Salman Rushdie (1999)


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Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I think this is my favorite Rushdie book yet.

No less of a deep dive into Bombay, India, Europe, current political events, religion and history than the other books of his I've read, this one adds Rock and the modern world as a central theme, and the mythical-magical, so to speak analysis of power and alternate worlds teeming with real and unreal examples of iconic ways that the world just is.

The Orpheus and Eurdike storyline this is woven around is brilliantly exhumed and turned into living rock, it's the most amazing story, the most beautiful language. I loved this book. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a particularly extended fable, including elements of fame culture, divine and awesome natural talent (see also Jesus) bound and hobbled by vested commercial interests, an interface between the modern myths (Klingons, the language of Mordor) and the mystical heritage of the characters, the metaphor of the cataract rending the ground asunder and dragging the unworthy (or too good to be allowed to walk the Earth any longer) down to the chaos and underworld that exists just beneath the surface of human experience, returning a character to the ownership of the gods. Then there’s an unsettling connection to the contemporary Indian calamity that would have been fresh at the time this was written, the massacre at the Golden Temple of Amritsar, i.e. ethnic squabbling that still pervades humanity like the common cold. The trappings of fame eventually force one of the protagonists to become like Howard Hughes or Michael Jackson, living a cloistered existence behind their gilded gates, afraid to breathe the same air as us, endlessly repeating videos on too many screens. The challenge of this book is to reconcile what the ever changing India is and means, as derived from the India of this generation’s parents and grandparents. It’s the aspirational fantasy held by global youth contrasted with their origins in a more spiritual and non-commercial (equally fantasy) place. All the while though, Rushdie populates their surroundings with oddities, mangled successes of commerce, family tragedies and murderous relatives that they somehow have to absorb into their identities. The scope of this novel is amazing, an expanse, a plethora of material populated by so many allusions and metaphors that half of them will be lost on the readers; classical influence with myth-laden story-telling, strongly hinting at the intangible barriers between our illusion of stable reality and what chaos is lurking around us, like a tiger shadowing us from the other side and waiting for us to step off the beaten path. Chaos is interested though in the lead characters as their demi-god level of talent calls to it like Sauron’s ring. It’s hard to be sure which images are being claimed as fantasy and which are in the portrayal as real world and solid but the divine taker is tangible, a kraken of chaos under the lake with one eye open. When it all goes quantum, or earthquake, the ground level between reality and myth becomes liquid and unmeasurable, but then again all good myths draw elements from both the human psyche and real experiences. This is a very good book but was unbelievable at the same time, so I didn’t feel immersed and transformed by it in the way that I should have. ( )
  HavingFaith | May 29, 2018 |
HOLY HELL. This was more an endurance marathon than a labour of love - two weeks, two whole weeks when I could have been reading other books, but realised too late and refused to quit. I read Midnight's Children years ago and enjoyed that story, but gave up second time round - which should have been a sign. This pretentious heap of mythologising twaddle, was ten times worse. India and music, I thought after reading the blurb; oh good, this should be interesting! NOPE.

You know those chapters in classic novels like Les Mis, where the author goes off on a tangent and most readers learn to cheat by skipping? The bulk of this book is like that. The narrator, Rai, is a photographer, but also apparently a pseudo philosopher who likes the sound of his own voice (Salman, is that you?) The actual plot is about his obsession with a singer, Vina, and her world-conquering fame, which she achieves as part of a duo with her star-cross'd lover Ormus. Only I didn't believe in VIna's charismatic personality - she's basically a diva, and a bitch - and I certainly didn't swallow her amazing love affair with Ormus. But Rushdie being Rushdie, we also get backstories for miles, about his parents and her parents and the partition of India (again), and also - bonus! - some mad parallel universe which Ormus can see after a car crash. I'm just so tired. I started skimming through when I got to the 400s, but even that took too long. But at least I'm free now! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Mar 30, 2018 |
I read on the back cover of “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” that it is “the best thing ever written about rock and roll.” As a music fan, that was enough for me but I suspected it would be a lot more. After all, it was written by magical realist Salman Rushdie. The story unfolds in Bombay, London, and New York from the 1950s to the 1980s and is infused with Indian and Greek mythology, especially the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Whereas Eurydice was dispatched to Hades by a snake bite, her namesake Vina Apsara is swallowed by an earthquake in Mexico. Thus, the ground beneath our feet is anything but stable. In fact, earthquakes are portrayed as cracks in our existence that serve as intersections with other co-existing worlds, such as the one Ormus Camas (Orpheus’ namesake in the novel) sees from one eye after his auto accident.

The novel is full of puns and allusions. For a fan of classic rock and roll, these musical allusions can be entertaining. Speaking of a minor character, Rushdie says, “while Waldo was now capable of only the simplest, most innocent insights about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the sky up above …” Right, got it, Jewel Akens had #3 hit with that one in February 1965. The world in the novel is slightly off kilter from our own – for example, JFK lives when Oswald’s gun jams, Watergate is pulp fiction; we have the famous war novel Catch-18 and the musical duo of Carly Simon and Guinevere Garfunkel. Is Sir Darius Xerxes Cama’s butler Gieve meant to evoke PG Wodehouse’s man Jeeves? Most of the classical allusions (especially the Eastern ones) were lost on me, and after a while the allusions get a bit oppressive.

At its most basic level, the story is about a love triangle. The members of this doomed trio are the eventual rock stars Vina Apsara and Ormus Cama and their photographer and non-musical friend Umeed (“Rai”) Merchant who serves as the narrator of the story. Both Ormus and Rai have fallen in love with the half-Greek, half-Indian beauty Vina when they first see her. Nine-year-old Rai, on Juhu Beach, emerges from the water with his braces “smarting” to find 14-year-old Vina in her American flag swimsuit. Nineteen-year-old Ormus also meets Vina in 1956 at the Rhythm Center store in Bombay where Persis Kalamanja (a girl who is hoping to impress him) takes him to hear the new American record “Heartbreak Hotel.” Ormus has bounded out of the listening booth (are you old enough to remember those, such as in Wallach’s Music City?) furious that someone “stole his song.” Ormus owes his compositional skills to his dead twin brother Gayomart who channels future American rock and roll hits to Ormus exactly 1,001 days before they are released. Vina has an amazing voice. The duo becomes the world’s most famous rock group, called VTO for “Vina To Ormus” or “V-to” meaning “we two” in “Hug-me” (Rusdie’s acronym for “Hindi Urdu Gujarati Marathi English”) or Pynchon’s V2 rocket or several other possibilities.

Some things in the book remind me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (such as the tequila running down the street – intoxicating everything in its path – during the earthquake in the first chapter) and John Irving (the shenanigans of Piloo Doodhwala and his magnifcentourage, the events that plague the Merchant and Camas families). Our hero Ormus, like Elvis Presley (known as Jesse Garon Parker in the novel), comes into the world with a dead twin and leaves the world like John Lennon (shot in the street by a deranged fan).

For the most part, the book is great fun, but all of the erudition can weigh it down at points. As James Woods says in his June 21, 2001 review in the New Republic, “the interpolation of passages of erudition leads us uncomfortably away from the novelistic creation that is Rushdie the joyous writer to the much feebler man called Salman Rushdie, balancing his dog-eared copy of [Plato’s] Symposium on his knees somewhere in London or Long Island and tapping chunks of it into his word processor. Postmodernism, it seems, only knows this strange clumsy way of beefing itself up intellectually. Like a man who takes so many classes that he has no time to read, postmodernism's very ambition, at such moments, threatens the novel.” To some extent all of these allusions seem to be a device designed to validate the intellect of the reader who recognizes them, but in the end such validation is hollow and doesn’t provide any humanistic insight. Still, like the back cover suggests, if you like rock and roll you’ll find it hard to dislike this novel. ( )
  sdibartola | Dec 9, 2014 |
I am a real fan of Salman Rushdie and have read with enjoyment most all of his books. I listened (or tried) to this book on audible and could not get through it. It is very long and at about half way I gave up; so it may not be fair for me to give it a rating but....
I found that Rushdie rambled and that lots of the parts seemed irrelevant to the main story. Even though the Satanic Verses was long and had many characters I found them all interesting; and although I did have to listen to it three times I enjoyed each time. I could not enjoy The Ground Beneath Her Feet or get interested in the characters. I also did not find it at all funny though as a rule I love Rushdie's humor.
It could be that the main problem with this book for me was that I intensely disliked the narrator. The narrator (I kindly do not remember his name) spoke with a British (?) accent and he was portraying Indian characters. I found this very unpleasant and disorienting.
I shall read other reviews and find out why others liked it. I did not. ( )
  padmajoy | Sep 8, 2014 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"Instead of turning the Orpheus legend into a compelling postmodern myth, Rushdie has simply freighted an old story with his favorite themes and the random detritus of our current celebrity culture. In trying to write what he has called "an everything novel," he has produced a strangely hollow book, a book that lacks both the specificity and the magic that have enlivened his best work in the past. "
adicionado por GYKM | editarNew York Times, Michiko Kakutani (Apr 13, 1999)

» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Rushdie, Salmanautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Emeis, MarijkeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Santen, Karina vanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vosmaer, MartineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"Set up no stone to his memory:

Just let the rose bloom each year for his sake.

For it is Orpheus. His metamorphosis

into this and that. We should not trouble

about other names. Once and for all

it's Orpheus when there's singing."

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On St. Valentine’s Day, 1989, the last day of her life, the legendary popular singer Vina Aspara woke sobbing from a dream of human sacrifice in which she had been the intended victim.
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Vina Aspara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earhtquake and never seen again. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks and again finds her throughout his extraordinary life in music. It is narrated by Ormus's childhood friend, Rai.

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