Almost since the day the term ‘publishing’ came to existence, books have been banned for one reason or another. Throughout history, fictions and personal experiences or obervation based words penned down on papers in the shape of a book has always rattled the cages of the censors and the people who think they control it.
Be it politics, religion or just sex, people all across the world have shook their fists at an author at one time or another! The end result- a large chunk of them were banned, either all over the world, or by few select countries that deemed them to be unfit to be read by their populates.
But thanks to Steve Jobs, we can now read about complex themes of heavy-headed governments, violence, drugs and sex without the fear of being tapped on the shoulder and being questioned upon!
In accordance to that, we thought of compiling a list of three books that are banned, but according to us, are a must read…
Name of the book: The Satanic Verses
By: Salman Rushdie
We are sure, most of you expected this book to be in our list, if not at the top of it, once you read the initial part of this article. This is one of the most talked about, hated yet loved book, by the controversial writer Salman Rushdie. So stinging was the language of the book that a ‘fatwa’ was issued against Rushdies name by some extremists.
The book tells the story of an Indian expat living in modern day England. After surviving a plane crash, Gibreel Farishta, a Bollywood superstar is left to rebuild his life, while the other survivor, the emigrant Saladin Chamcha has his life torn apart.
Reason for being banned: Many in the Islamic community saw Rushdie’s take on Islam to be sacrilegious against God or sacred things. Such was the effect during its launch that in Venezuela, you would be imprisoned for 15 months if caught reading the book, while Japan issued fines for people who sold the English-language editions of it. There were also reports of few major bookshop owners in USA getting death threats.
Name of the book: American Psycho
By: Brett Easton Ellis
This intense tale of a serial killer and impeccable business man Patrick Bateman, by Easton Ellis starts-off as merely the retelling of one man’s experiences living in an affluent part of New York city during the 1980s. However, as the book progresses, the it reveals the more sinister side of itself.
Reason for being banned: You would not ask for a reason if you would have seen the movie! The novel contains highly detailed and disturbing depictions of violence, as well as graphic sexual content, wherein, most of the victims were women.
Germany deemed it harmful to minors when it first appeared in 1991, and restricted its sales, while Canada banned it completely. The book is also banned in some parts of Australia, while the other states are allowed to sell it only to a person who is 18 years or above.
Name of the book: Lolita
By: Vladmir Nabokov
No, this one has nothing to do with Shakti Kapoor (hope you get the pun here). This book revolves around Humbert Humbert, a scholar born in Paris, who is obsessed with young women. Moving to a small New England town, he comes obsessed with the 12-year-old Delores ‘Lolita’ Haze, daughter of Charlotte Haze– his landlady, and marries her to be near his beloved one. After Charlotte’s death, the couple hops around different towns and goes on to a year long journey during which they consummate their obsessive and abusive relationship. Irony is, the girl eventually leaves him to flee away with another pedophile who was long stalking her.
Reason for being banned: Does it needs an explanation?
Honestly speaking, call it fiction(s) or call it experiences measured in life, but every thing comes from the essence of reality and words penned down in books are no different. What needs to be seen is though… When we can watch the movies made on these books (as was the case in Lolita), then why ban the books from the market?
But then again, that is a question that would have a lot of opinions (divided ones), and we would love to hear your take on the same.