am 18. Februar 2011
In "Luka and the fire of life" Samlan Rushide combines the virtual world with magic and creatures from various legends and myths. It' s a fairytale full of word-play, but also a philosophical story about Time and this makes it too complex for children or adults.
In 1990 Salman Rushdie wrote "Haroun and the sea of stories" for his first child Zafar, now twenty years later he wrote another fairytale but this time for his second child the twelve year old Milan.
Luka the left handed hero of the story is twelve years old. "You are a child of many gifts." But he has always been jealous of his brother, because Haroun once took a journey to the sea of stories. But then one day on a night with a thousand stars his father Rashis Khalifa, the shah of blah, falls asleep, and seems never to wake up again. So the boy along with his pets, Bear the dog and Dog the bear finally makes his own journey. "You' ve reached the age at which people in this family cross the border into the magical world." And there Luka has to steal the fire of life. This has only been done once before in the history of time. It was the Titan Prometheus whole stole the fire, and Zeus punished him for his theft severely. But Luka wants to try it. "If a thing had never been done before, that only meant it was still waiting for the one who could pull it off."
What makes "Luka and the fire of life" so different to "Haroun and the sea of stories" is Rushdies combination of the stories from 1001 Nights, Myths and Legends with the virtual world of computer games. Luka is an ordinary boy, who likes to listen to the stories of his father, the Shah of blah, but he also likes to play games for hours on his computer. And his mother Soraya isn' t pleased with this. "In the real world there are no levels, only difficulty to acquire extraordinary skills." So the world Luka enters is like a computer game. He has to complete nine levels to get the fire of life and get back to his ailing father. As this is a computer game world, he has mutiple lifes, which he needs, because this world is dangerous.
When "Haroun..." was a real fairytale, "Luka..." wants to be more. This book is very complex. Rushdie tells about several gods and powerful demons from different cultures and ancient folks, asks questions about time, knowledge, nationalism, "...that some innocents suffer for the sake of the greater good", the human being and more. And that makes the story not only for children hard to follow.
But there are so many lovely facts, colour and shades in this book, like the love for his child, "...a fellow who can turn back Time itself, make it flow the wrong way and make us young again", that it can still be consideres a lovely book.
Salman Rushdie is the author of ten novels. His book "Midnight' s children" has been nominated as the best of the Booker-Prize books. He was married four times and has two children with different mothers.