Shalimar the clown
Los Angeles, 1991. Ambassador Maximilian Ophuls, one of the makers of the modern world, is murdered in broad daylight on his illegitimate da ughter India's doorstep, slaughtered by a knife wielded by his Kashmir i Muslim driver, a myscerious figure who calls himself Shalimar the cl own. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidab le intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former US ambassador to India and subsequently America's counter-terrorism chief. The murd er looks at first like a political assassination, but turns out to be passionately personal. This is the story of Max, his killer, and his d aughter - and of a fourth character, the woman who links them, whose s tory finally explains them all. It is an epic narrative that moves fro m California to Kashmir, France and England, and back to California ag ain. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their home s by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. There is kindness and magic, capable of producing miracles, but there is also war, ugly, unavoidable, and seemingly interminable.And t here is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortall y dangerous. Everything is unsettled. Everything is connected. Lives a re uprooted, names keep changing - nothing is permanent. The story of anywhere is also the story of everywhere else. Spanning the globe and darting through history, Rushdie's narrative captures the heart of the reader and the spirit of a troubled age.