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Quichotte
2019
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Summary
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE

Quichotte is a love story of profound tenderness and humanity from a great storyteller at his brilliant best. Wise, beautifully written, as heartbreaking as it is wildly comic, its characters unforgettable, its plot dazzlingly suspenseful, it illuminates our corrupt times where fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

Quichotte, an aging travelling salesman obsessed with TV, is on a quest for love. Unfortunately, his daily diet of reality TV, sitcoms, films and soaps has distorted his ability to separate fantasy from reality. He wishes an imaginary son, Sancho, into existence, while obsessively writing love letters to a celebrity he knows only through his screen. Together the two innocents set off across America in Quichotte's trusty Chevy Cruze to find her and convince her of his love. Quichotte's story is told by Sam DuChamp, a mediocre spy novelist in the midst of a midlife crisis, and as the stories of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine, we are taken on a wild, picaresque journey through a familiar country on the edge of moral and spiritual collapse.
Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
Rushdie follows his last scathing best-seller, The Golden House (2017), with an exuberantly imagined and lacerating homage to the revered satire, Don Quixote. As Cervantes did four centuries ago, Rushdie attributes his tragicomic tale of a delusional romantic to another author, a midlist, Indian American crime writer using the pen name Sam Duchamp, who believes that his spy novels have put him in actual danger. While he tries to sort out his escalating travails, he finds himself writing a strange story about a chivalric, retired traveling pharmaceutical salesman utterly bewitched and befuddled by his marathon television immersions. No longer able to distinguish between truth and lies, reality and TV, he embarks on a cross-country quest to woo his beloved, Salma, a superstar talk-show host. Taking the name Quichotte from a French opera about the legendary knight-errant, he conjures up a TV-spawned teenage son to accompany him on the road and, of course, calls him Sancho. This spellbinding, many-limbed saga of lives derailing in the Age of Anything-Can-Happen is a wily frolic and a seismic denunciation. Rushdie meshes shrewd, parodic humor with intensifying suspense and pervasive sympathy, seeding this picaresque doomsday adventure with literary and television allusions and philosophical musings. As his vivid, passionate, and imperiled characters are confronted with racism, sexism, displacement, family ruptures, opioid addiction, disease, cyber warfare, and planetary convulsions, they valiantly seek the transcendence of love.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Rushdie's dazzling and provocative improvisation on an essential classic has powerful resonance in this time of weaponized lies and denials.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2010 Booklist
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