rushdie is a fabulous fabulous writer, but flawed. as you said, his best is 'east, west', 'haroun and the sea of stories', 'midnight's children' and of course, the lovely 'shame'. from then on, in my opinion, it's pretty much downhill. still, even in his worse books like 'the moor's last sigh' and such, you can't deny the man his fascinating, quirky hold over language and imagination. a must read.