This is Salman Rushdie’s Diana novel. It is also his Orpheus and Eurydice novel, his rock ‘n’ roll novel, and his attempt to weave together traditions of myth, fable, postmodernist fiction and popular culture. The result, although the author is occasionally seduced by lists and discussions, is ebullient, versatile and riveting. Rushdie may have written novels that are politically sharper, and to some extent we have become used to his cleverness, but he has written nothing which bounces along with such sustained brio. To those readers (and I seem to know a lot of them) who say, ‘I’ve already tried Rushdie but I always give up around page 50’: try this one. It sucks you in as remorselessly as the earth swallows its heroine in the massive earthquake with which the novel opens.