Book: Shalimar the Clown

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Shalimar the Clown: A Novel

Author: Salman Rushdie
Publisher: Random House

Los Angeles, 1991. Maximilian Ophuls, one of the makers of the modern world, is knifed to death in broad daylight on the doorstep of his illegitimate daughter India, slaughtered by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former United States ambassador to India, and subsequently America’s counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination but turns out to be passionately personal.

This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter—and of a fourth character, the woman who links them, whose revelation finally explains them all. It is a narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France, and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. There is kindness and there is magic capable of producing miracles, but there is also war—ugly, unavoidable, and seemingly interminable. And there is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortally dangerous.


Barnes and Noble

The lives of two vastly different men intersect for one fatal moment. Ambassador Maximilian Ophuls is stabbed in broad daylight by his Kashmiri Muslim chauffeur, a tragic eccentric who calls himself Shalimar the Clown. To explain how they arrived at that point, Salman Rushdie must reach back into the history of three continents and construct a parable of multiculturalism. A finely textured novel by “a perpetual storyteller.”

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