- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (April 26, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143118528
- ISBN-13: 978-0143118527
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1.634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi Paperback – 26 April 2011
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"A captivating and wise book . . . The tale of the fated meeting, spiritual companionship, and tragic parting of [Rumi and Shams of Tabriz] is beautifully recounted in The Forty Rules of Love. . . . Shafak draws on facts from Rumi's and Sham's biographies and brings them to life with deft storytelling."
--The Times (London) "In this appealing fable, Turkish author Elif Shafak toggles between characters from different times: a modern American housewife and a thirteenth-century poet. . . . The universal theme is struggle between the rational mind and the aching heart. Shafak's heroine yields to the latter and never looks back."
About the Author
Eli Shafak is an award-winning, bestselling novelist; a champion of women's rights and freedom of expression; and the most widely read female novelist in Turkey. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. Her novels include The Flea Palace, The Saint of Incipient Insanities, The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, and The Architect's Apprentice. An active political commentator, columnist, and public speaker, she lives in London and Istanbul with her family.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Both of the parallel stories in this book were fascinating: the modern American woman grappling with a loveless marriage, and the spiritual bromance between Rumi and Shams in Turkey in the 1200's. I loved how the author braided them together.
Just as Hesse's "Siddhartha" is a mystical introduction to Buddhism, so is this novel a view into Sufi mysticism. And just as I felt emotionally transported by Hesse's masterpiece, so did I during The Forty Rules of Love. This is a rare accomplishment. I am very grateful to Elif Shafak for this gorgeous tale, so elegantly and masterfully told. It made me want to do further research into Rumi's poetry and Sufi thought in general.
I would like to tell Ms.Shafak what I liked about the book (in addition to an excellent story, useful quotes, an educational experience, and a few tears): I could hear each character telling their story in Their particular voice, allowing me to appreciate their point of view, without judgement. Which is a lesson from the book, and in human relationships.
“It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects.” ― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love
There are two stories of relationships, one that takes place in the present between Ella and Aziz, and one that takes places in the past between Shams and Rumi.
Ignoring the modern part of the story which ultimately feels contrived, rushed, and forced into the book, the parts that take place in Konya (the past) are intriguing through the first half of the book but then the author gets sloppy, and Shams, who I found inspiring, loses all credibility as to the fault of the author, whom likely lost track of the numerous rules and lessons of love that Shams preaches. Throughout the last half of the book Shams’ character is breaking many of the rules the author places earlier in the book and the whole “40 Rules of Love” becomes a severely disjointed and amateur effort.
It seems much like Ella’s part-time occupation, someone at the publishing house should have reviewed this book and pointed out the many inconsistencies within its pages. However, the lessons and inconsistencies are so various that it would have been very difficult to save this novel.