Buddy Reads: Midnight’s Children

Last week, I started reading Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children with a “reading buddy” I “met” online.  I “discovered” my reading buddy, Angus, on wordpress, through his blog Book Rhapsody, but started the Reading Buddy activity in another forum.

For reasons unknown to me, he had chosen to read Midnight’s Children to end the year, and since I’ve always wanted to read it (I tried once and got as far as the 2nd page before quitting), I thought, what the heck, I may as well give it another try.

We started reading Midnight’s Children on December 19, and decided to read 3 chapters, or roughly 50 pages a day.  The reading is scheduled to end on December 30, 2011.

My reading is pretty much unstructured;  I read everyday, but the length of time (and pages read) varies, depending on my mood or activities, so I was uncertain if I could read a prescribed number of pages/chapters a day.  Add to the fact that being the holiday season, I expected a lot of distractions (parties, shopping, family get-togethers, being stuck in heavy traffic…).

Surprisingly, I was able to make the quota of chapters everyday, with the exception of two days last week when I put off reading the 3rd chapter for the day ‘til the following day.  It did help that I had two versions of the book – a paperback edition at home, and an e-book version here in the office (which I read when I had nothing better to do, which is, most of the time).

To be honest, Midnight’s Children is not an easy read.  The narrator sets out to tell the world about his extraordinary life, starting with his grandfather.  The narrator, Saleem is quite talkative, and prone to distractions, and getting ahead of himself, so his storytelling is far from being simple and linear.  Though his subject matter – his life, is quite interesting, he tended to ramble on and on about certain things, his narration dangerously bordering on being dragging.

Today marks day 8 of reading (December 24 and 25 not included), and so far, so good, though the first few days were a bit hard for both of us, probably because of the timing, and narration style of the book.

From today, there are 2 more days of reading Midnight’s Children.  To read a more detailed account of the discussions and individual feedback, please visit the page:  Reading Buddy Journal:  Midnight’s Children.

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