sales of “Satanic Verses” skyrocket

The British author’s work, published in 1988, was the 4th best-selling book of the day on Amazon in France.

34 years after its release, The Satanic Verses finds renewed interest among readers, the day after the aggression of its author, the Briton Salman Rushdie. On Amazon, the book quickly appeared on the website’s French best-selling books page. This Saturday at midday, he was in 4th place in the ranking for the paper version and in 8th place for the digital version. He was in 40th position on Friday evening.

On the international version of Amazon, The Satanic Verses rose to 10th place for the paper version and 21st place for the digital version.

But the book also sells well on French platforms. On the Fnac site, the novel, which was still available in limited quantities in certain stores, quickly disappeared from most shelves. Same situation at Gibert where most new and used copies were sold this Saturday.

One million copies

Contacted by BFM Business, several Parisian bookstores also confirm that they have sold most of their copies of the work, as of this Saturday morning.

The book, published in 1988, had caused the conflagration of part of the Muslim world because of a controversial chapter. The controversy began in India – the author’s country of origin – before spreading to the Muslim world. In 1989, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him.

The controversy earned him protection for decades, but also caused satanic verses a bestseller, sold nearly a million copies since its release. In 1989, the announcement of the fatwa had already revived sales.

The stocks that are emptying in French bookstores should nevertheless be filled quickly. New copies will be delivered next week.

Thomas Le Roy BFM Business Journalist

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