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Ranking Author Salman Rushdie’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Salman Rushdie’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Rushdie’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Salman Rushdie and looked at his Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Salman Rushdie is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Salman Rushdie



15 ) Fury

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 15

Fury is a gloss on fin-de-siècle angst from the master of the quintuple entendre. Salman Rushdie hauls his hero, Malik Solanka, from Bombay to London to New York, and finally to a fictional Third World country, all in order to show off a preternatural ability to riff on anything from Bollywood musicals to revolutionary politics. Professor Solanka is propelled on this path by his strange love of dolls. He plays with them as a child; as an adult he quits his post at Cambridge in order to produce a TV show wherein an animated doll, Little Brain, meets the great thinkers of history. Little Brain becomes a smash hit, and perhaps inevitably, Solanka finds himself in America.

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13 ) East, West

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 12

In these nine stories Salman Rushdie looks at what happens when East meets West, at the forces that pull his characters first in one direction, then the other. Fantasy and realism collide as a rickshaw driver writes letters describing his film star career in Bombay; a mispronunciation leads to romance and an unusual courtship in sixties London; two childhood friends turned diplomats live out in a violent world fantasies hatched by STAR TREK; and Christopher Columbus dreams of cunsummating his relationship with Queen Isabella. The stories in EAST, WEST show the extraordinary range and power of Salman Rushdie’s writing.

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13 ) Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 13

“In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil. Centuries ago, Dunia, a princess of the jinn, fell in love with a mortal man of reason. Together they produced an astonishing number of children, unaware of their fantastical powers, who spread across generations in the human world.

Once the line between worlds is breached on a grand scale, Dunia’s children and others will play a role in an epic war between light and dark spanning a thousand and one nights—or two years, eight months, and twenty-eight nights. It is a time of enormous upheaval, in which beliefs are challenged, words act like poison, silence is a disease, and a noise may contain a hidden curse.

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11 ) The Enchantress of Florence

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 10

A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself ‘Mogor dell’Amore’, the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital.

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11 ) Grimus

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 14

After drinking an elixir that bestows immortality upon him, a young Indian named Flapping Eagle spends the next seven hundred years sailing the seas with the blessing–and ultimately the burden–of living forever. Eventually, weary of the sameness of life, he journeys to the mountainous Calf Island to regain his mortality. There he meets other immortals obsessed with their own stasis and sets out to scale the island’s peak, from which the mysterious and corrosive Grimus Effect emits. Through a series of thrilling quests and encounters, Flapping Eagle comes face-to-face with the island’s creator and unwinds the mysteries of his own humanity. Salman Rushdie’s celebrated debut novel remains as powerful and as haunting as when it was first published more than thirty years ago.

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10 ) The Best American Short Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 11

The acclaimed annual short fiction series showcases the work of such notable authors as T. C. Boyle, Allegra Goodman, Nicole Krauss, Steven Millhauser, Jonathan Lethem, Karen Russell, and other notables, from a variety of acclaimed sources.

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9 ) The Satanic Verses

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 5

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.

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7 ) The Golden House

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 6

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of ‘the Gardens,’ a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within …

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7 ) The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 8

“At the beginning of this stunning novel, Vina Apsara, a famous and much-loved singer, is caught up in a devastating earthquake and never seen again by human eyes. This is her story, and that of Ormus Cama, the lover who finds, loses, seeks, and again finds her, over and over, throughout his own extraordinary life in music. Their epic romance is narrated by Ormus’s childhood friend and Vina’s sometime lover, her “”back-door man,”” the photographer Rai, whose astonishing voice, filled with stories, images, myths, anger, wisdom, humor, and love, is perhaps the book’s true hero. Telling the story of Ormus and Vina, he finds that he is also revealing his own truths: his human failings, his immortal longings. He is a man caught up in the loves and quarrels of the age’s goddesses and gods, but dares to have ambitions of his own. And lives to tell the tale.

Around these three, the uncertain world itself is beginning to tremble and break. Cracks and tears have begun to appear in the fabric of the real. There are glimpses of abysses below the surfaces of things. The Ground Beneath Her Feet is Salman Rushdie’s most gripping novel and his boldest imaginative act, a vision of our shaken, mutating times, an engagement with the whole of what is and what might be, an account of the intimate, flawed encounter between the East and the West, a brilliant remaking of the myth of Orpheus, a novel of high (and low) comedy, high (and low) passions, high (and low) culture. It is a tale of love, death, and rock ‘n’ roll.”

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6 ) Luka and the Fire of Life

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 9

“You’ve reached the age at which people in this family cross the border into the magical world. It’s your turn for an adventure—yes, it’s finally here!” So says Haroun to his younger brother, twelve-year-old Luka. The adventure begins one beautiful starry night in the land of Alifbay, when Luka’s father, Rashid, falls suddenly into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka embarks on a journey through the world of magic with his loyal companions, Bear, the dog, and Dog, the bear. Together they encounter a slew of fantastical creatures, strange allies, and challenging obstacles along the way—all in the hope of stealing the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly treacherous task.

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5 ) Shame

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 6

Two families, one of a man who is a wager of war and the other of a man who is a lover of pleasure, engage in an ongoing battle in a country resembling Pakistan.

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3 ) The Moor’s Last Sigh

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 3

In The Moor’s Last Sigh Salman Rushdie revisits some of the same ground he covered in his greatest novel, Midnight’s Children. This book is narrated by Moraes Zogoiby, aka Moor, who speaks to us from a gravestone in Spain. Like Moor, Rushdie knows about a life spent in banishment from normal society–Rushdie because of the death sentence that followed The Satanic Verses, Moor because he ages at twice the rate of normal humans. Yet Moor’s story of travail is bigger than Rushdie’s; it encompasses a grand struggle between good and evil while Moor himself stands as allegory for Rushdie’s home country of India. Filled with wordplay and ripe with humor, it is an epic work, and Rushdie has the tools to pull it off. He earned a 1995 Whitbread Prize for his efforts.

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3 ) Shalimar the Clown

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 4

” Ophuls is a giant, an architect of the modern world: a Resistance hero and best-selling author, brilliant economist and clandestine US intelligence official. But it is as Ambassador to India that the seeds of his demise are planted, thanks to another of his great roles – irresistible lover. Visiting the Kashmiri village of Pachigam, Ophuls lures an impossibly beautiful dancer, the ambitious (and willing) Boonyi Kaul, away from her husband, and installs her as his mistress in Delhi. But their affair cannot be kept secret, and when Boonyi returns home, disgraced and obese, it seems that all she has waiting for her is the inevitable revenge of her husband: Noman Sher Noman, Shalimar the Clown. He was an acrobat and tightrope walker in their village’s traditional theatrical troupe; but soon Shalimar is trained as a militant in Kashmir’s increasingly brutal insurrection, and eventually becomes a terrorist with a global remit and a deeply personal mission of vengeance.

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2 ) Midnight’s Children

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 1

Born at the stroke of midnight at the exact moment of India’s independence, Saleem Sinai is a special child. However, this coincidence of birth has consequences he is not prepared for: telepathic powers connect him with 1,000 other ‘midnight’s children’ all of whom are endowed with unusual gifts. Inextricably linked to his nation, Saleem’s story is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirrors the course of modern India at its most impossible and glorious.

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1 ) Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

“So Iff 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.”

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Salman Rushdie’s Best Books



Salman Rushdie Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Haroun and the Sea of Stories 112 1
Midnight’s Children 241 2
The Moor’s Last Sigh 343 3
Shalimar the Clown 424 3
Shame 576 5
Luka and the Fire of Life 1029 6
The Golden House 976 7
The Ground Beneath Her Feet 778 7
The Satanic Verses 8135 9
The Best American Short Stories 61011 10
The Enchantress of Florence 111010 11
Grimus 13414 11
East, West 121312 13
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights 141013 13
Fury 151515 15