A surrealist story — one part supernatural mythology and one part allegory of religion’s role in world culture — Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights weaves a complex fairytale that connects the “jinn” of Arabian folklore to the comic-book, graphic-novel heroes of today. The number in the book’s title converts to 1,001 nights, and Salman Rushdie does an excellent job of mystical storytelling, providing a nesting doll-like quality to a novel about a war between the human and supernatural worlds, offering stories within stories, with narrative themes, language and actions that call back to previous chapters’ work.

The everyman gardener who wakes one day to find himself levitating an inch off the ground, the struggling graphic novelist whose inner monologue is like a rapid-fire rap jam, a vixen worthy of reality TV fame — each character feels familiar, yet fresh, and their unifying great-great-great-grandmother, the jinni, grants their deepest wishes to recruit them into battle.

This fantasy is a boon for people who enjoy wordplay and those who are thrilled by the illumination of clever connections between seemingly unrelated events. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is an entertaining and, at times, enthralling journey, a love story and an adventure tale that is thought-provoking, page after page.

#23 Two years eight months