The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Salman Rushdie’s first published novel, Grimus, follows Flapping Eagle, an immortal Axona Indian who searches an alternate dimension known as Calf Island for his missing sister, Bird-Dog. Guided by Virgil Jones—an exiled associate of Grimus, the dimensions creator—Flapping Eagle must climb Calf Mountain, survive the mind-altering dimension fever, and infiltrate the complex society of K, the town where others who have chosen immortality have come to live. By learning all he can about K, Flapping Eagle hopes to find the mysterious Grimus, uncover the secret of his sisters disappearance, and locate the source of Calf Islands shifting dimensions—the Stone Rose, an ancient instrument of imagination that controls dimensional space.

In K, Flapping Eagle is a guest in the house of Ignatius Quasimodo Gribb, a rationalist philosopher who has convinced the towns inhabitants that Grimus and the Stone Rose are meaningless myths. Gribb is the author of “The All-Purpose Quotable Philosophy,” a book of clichés designed to spread his ideas among the people of K. While living with Gribb and his wife, Elfrida, Flapping Eagle also meets the towns leader, Count Alexsandr Cherkassov, a Russian aristocrat, and his wife, Irina. Both of the beautiful wives are mysteriously attracted to Flapping Eagle, but despite an affair with Irina Cherkassova, he falls in love with the more faithful Elfrida, who soon tells her husband that she loves the handsome...

(The entire section is 463 words.)