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Extended Audio Sample Luka and the Fire of Life Audiobook, by Salman Rushdie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.71 out of 53.71 out of 53.71 out of 53.71 out of 53.71 out of 5 3.71 (7 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Salman Rushdie Narrator: Lyndam Gregory Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781449844547
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“You’ve reached the age at which people in this family cross the border into the magical world. It’s your turn for an adventure—yes, it’s finally here!” So says Haroun to his younger brother, twelve-year-old Luka. The adventure begins one beautiful starry night in the land of Alifbay, when Luka’s father, Rashid, falls suddenly into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka embarks on a journey through the world of magic with his loyal companions, Bear, the dog, and Dog, the bear. Together they encounter a slew of fantastical creatures, strange allies, and challenging obstacles along the way—all in the hope of stealing the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly treacherous task.

Honored with almost every conceivable award for literary merit, Salman Rushdie penned this richly imagined fable for his son—and for book lovers the world over.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A beautiful book...It’s like a bridge built between generations, fabulous and strange and from the heart.”

    Neil Gaiman

  • “An imaginative excursion.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “‘Playful’ could be Salman Rushdie’s middle name, he’s been called it so often. But in his second book for kids of all ages, he takes his fondness for play up a few levels with a quest fable that mimics a video game, complete with special effects. It’s nonstop fun.”

    Washington Post

  • “The characters come either from Rushdie’s lively interpretations of mythology or his jovial, limber imagination...His exuberant wordplay is evident on every page.”

    New York Times

  • “A fun tale.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers will rightfully delight in Rushdie’s brilliant wordplay throughout...A celebration of storytelling...and a colorful, kick-up-your-heels delight.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A book that can reach out to meet and move and touch a reader at any time of the reader’s life, from childhood to middle age and beyond, is a rare and magical book, and Salman Rushdie is a rare and magical writer.”

    Michael Chabon

  • “Twenty years ago, the average twelve-year-old boy imbibed most of his stories through the television. Today he more than likely gets them through video games. Rushdie, almost alone among modern fiction writers, gives these games their narrative due...Well worth reading.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “High art and family entertainment all wrapped into one neat package.”

    New York Post

  • “Rushdie’s usual lyrical, narrative style is on full display here, flowing easily through puns, wordplay, rhyming, and the dialectical playfulness that defines his oeuvre...Rushdie goes in with both eyes open, brushing aside wishful thinking for a more honest look at how our children perceive the world and how the challenges of modern life can work with, rather than against, the traditions of our past.”


  • “It is hard to overstate the lightheartedness and love with which Salman Rushdie conveys this brief tale of a boy on a quest...But the serious undercurrents are many and thought-provoking.”

    Associated Press

  • “[Rushdie] captures brilliantly that moment when adults enrapture children by behaving like children themselves.”

    Guardian (London)

  • Luka and the Fire of Life...showcase[s] Mr. Rushdie’s verbal pyrotechnics, wit, erudition, and skill for spinning a yarn, appealing equally to young adults and older readers.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Narrator Lyndam Gregory...brings an excellent storytelling voice to this audio that allows listeners to imagine that they, too, are hearing a favorite childhood adventure story.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “Riddles, puns and other wordplay enliven the writing...The charm and cleverness of this buoyant fantasy will draw you into its magical world.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Smart and entertaining...should please children and adults alike.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Narrated with a modulated tone and perfect pacing by Lyndam Gregory, this quasi-sequel to Rushdie’s first young readers novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, brims with clever puns and imaginative plot twists. Gregory affects a childlike sense of wonder as Luka, the young hero who must save his father and avoid video-game hazards...Entertaining for the whole family, especially as enhanced by the talented Gregory.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the December 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey-Lee | 5/18/2011

    " Wonderful, wonderful! A tale for young and old. I enjoyed this lovely story from beginning to end. Tomorrow I will begin reading it aloud to my two precious young sons.

    I think it's time I read all the Rushdie books in my collection...what has taken me so long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 5/10/2011

    " Salman Rushdie meets Super Mario Brothers "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 5/2/2011

    " Beautiful fairytale, strikingly similar to The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and just as re-readable. A truly fantastic tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 4/24/2011

    " Interesting fairy tale and sweeping review of all the gods and could up date with current technology. Luka reminded me a lot of Mario. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dennis | 4/22/2011

    " The Oddsey + the Legend of Zelda + The Lord of the Rings + Super Mario Brothers + 1001 Arabian Nights. Good fun read, would be good for children who are good readers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorna | 4/20/2011

    " Very entertaining. Reminded me of Arabat, a young child falling into an alternative reality, populated by odd and interesting creatures. I love the idea of all the old Gods hanging out together because no one thinks they are important anymore. Makes me want to read Haroun and the Sea of Stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julian | 4/19/2011

    " A fun and heartening read. A beautifully told story of youth dealing with the concept of death. So lighthearted, free and youthful, that the heaviness of Luka's task feels negligible. Definitely going to my young nephew's bookshelf and his grandfather's too! "

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About the Author
Author Salman Rushdie

Sir Salman Rushdie is the author of many novels, including Grimus, Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, and The Enchantress of Florence. He has also published works of nonfiction, including The Jaguar Smile, Imaginary Homelands, The Wizard of Oz, and, as coeditor, The Vintage Book of Short Stories. He has received many awards for his writing and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres. In 1993 Midnight’s Children was judged to be the “Booker of Bookers,” the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first twenty-five years. In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

About the Narrator

Lyndam Gregory is an accomplished film, stage, and voice actor. He has performed a wide range of roles for the BCC Radio Drama Company and went on to have a feature role in the long-running program The Archers. His most notable stage and television credits include Star Talk, Surgical Spirit, and London’s Burning