is an excellent storyteller, and a master of Magic Realism
. And one of the best alive.
None of us who's read even the first chapter of 'The Satanic Verses' can forget the narration about two main characters, Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, falling to earth from the height of twenty-nine thousand and two feet, (The height of Mount Everest), because the plane they have been flying in has just been blown up by the terrorists who have hijacked it. All the while they are free falling, they are talking to each other.
At one point Rushdie mentions (I don't remember the exact words, am putting it in my own words here)- Let's face it - someone falling with this velocity from this height will have problems even breathing, leave alone able to talk, or listen to anything, but let's also face this - they (protagonists) were talking.
He, however, has a compulsive need to parallel his stories around famous events, history of nations, specially India and Pakistan, or popular People/celebrities.
For example 'Midnight's Children', his, by far, the most interesting and honored work, runs along modern India's history, 'Shame' runs around post independence Pakistan with parallels drawn to family of Benazir Bhutto, and 'The Moor's Last Sigh' running along modern Indian context, with character of 'Mainduk Raja' (Frog King) clearly representing a political big-wig in India - Shiv Sena chief Bal Thakarey.
And of course, who doesn't know what parallels he drew in 'The Satanic Verses' and what soup had that put him in.
One of his short story collection - 'East-West' is also a delightful reading, with, again, parallels to some major events from modern Indian history hanging here and there.
His last novel, 'fury' is rather interesting but not typical 'Rushdian' in many senses (It's not magic realism for one).
I've yet to read The Ground Beneath her Feet so can't comments on it as yet.
Following is a list of his published fiction (Not in chronological order):
There are a number of non-fiction books Rushdie has authored, including, among other, 'Imaginary Homelands
', 'The Jaguar Smile : A Nicaraguan Journey
', 'The Wizard of Oz
' and Step Across This Line