Salman Rushdie is one of the best contemporary writers of fables and parables, from any culture. Haroun and the Sea of Stories
is a delightful tale about a storyteller who loses his skill and a struggle against mysterious forces attempting to block the seas of inspiration from which all stories are derived.
Here's a representative passage about the sources and power of inspiration.
So If the water genie told Haroun about the Ocean of the Stream of Stories, and even though he was full of a sense of hopelessness and failure the magic of the Ocean began to have an effect on Haroun. He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale. Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead, but alive. "And if you are very, very careful, or very, very highly skilled, you can dip a cup into the Ocean," Iff told Haroun, "like so," and here he produced a little golden cup from another of his waistcoat pockets, "and you can fill it with water from a single, pure Stream of Story, like so," as he did precisely that...
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books
Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design AwardPraise for Haroun and the Sea of Stories:
"This is, simply put, a book for anyone who loves a good story. It's also a work of literary genius."—Stephen King
"I enjoyed this adventure story.…It involves you at once and keeps you reading, and so it should, for it’s from the same magic land as Sinbad
, The Thousand and One Nights
, The Golden Fleece
"Fantastical, funny, whooping through drama and comedy, good and evil, introducing creatures delightful or frightening, this joyous and tender book is a whole Arabian Nights
—Nadine Gordimer, The Times Literary Supplement
"A lively, wonderfully inventive comic tale . . . [Rushdie's] own Sea of Stories
from which he drew this entertaining and moving book continues to flow as clear and brilliant as ever."
—Alison Lurie, The New York Times Book ReviewPraise for Penguin Drop Caps:
"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations
? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice
) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre
) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."
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