“Firstly, I loved the overall tone of the fiction. At least 85-90% of the story is observed, presented and written from an 8-10 years old's perspective. I recall the last time I read such a beautiful form of story telling was when I read the "To Kill a Mocking Bird.” Ms. Roy’s story revolves around the family saga set in a small Kerala town and involves the relationship between the relationship and the adventures of a sibling girl-boy duo who happen to be fraternal twins from a broken marriage. They thrive with their loving mother in their paternal grandparent’s house. Both the grandparents are complex individuals representing a Syrian Christian household and are particular indifferent towards their daughter’s children cause their daughter eloped to get married with someone outside their high held clan and also ended up getting divorced. There is also a vamp in the story, who happens to be the children’s paternal grand-aunt (their grandfather’s sister) and is a bickering, manipulating spinster of 50 years of age, when the kids were about 9-10 years old. She is the one who turned the events in the story much to the misfortune of the kids and her mother. There is also a maternal uncle (kid’s mother’s brother) who kind of balances the bitterness of all the sum total of the characters mentioned. But somehow the vamp turns him also against the kids and their mother by the end of the story. The story starts with the union of the kids after 23 years of being separated from each other, when they both had turned 31. The story goes back and forth with the present time and the deep detailed flash backs. If one merely has to tell the story of the “The God of Small Things”, it can be summarized in a single sentence as “Love, Sacrifice and Sex”. Yeah, there is a lot of detail on sex; in fact there is one full chapter (last chapter) dedicated to it, with the minutest of the minutest details of the act. Well, that will make one wonder then what exactly is different in the story. Difference or the USP is definitely there, else how can a first time writer, that too an Indian (that too a woman) receive a Man Booker. Well the USP is in the way it is written. The language is very simple and as I said before, mostly observed and written the way young kids do, with a lot of emphasis on the words and phrases that they like to speak again and again, that actually end up being stuck in their little exploring brains. Here I go with my personal favourites from the book:
2. Beige and pointed shoes
4. Ex-wife chacko
Yes, most of the clichés of the Keralite pronunciation reminded me of the elegant Lola Kutty. Also, I loved the typical names of the characters – like the wicked aunt was “Baby Kochamma”, imagine being called a baby even when you are almost an octogenarian. And the uncle is called “Chacko”, that reminds me a funny character from one of my favourite Bollyood flick, Daud. There is more; the house-maid is called “Kochu Maria”.
This one is my favourite, and yeah I waited for 15 long years to read it. Few of the sentences and descriptions are so beautiful that I ended up re-reading them again and again.
I can go on and on with applause for the book, but I do not feel the same for the writer. It is because I hate her for never writing another fiction ever again. I wished she took out a little time from her busy humanitarian work to write another such delightful and delicious story.
P.S: All you pervert and naughty ones do not start the book from the last chapter….
“Arundathi has such a unique voice. It was a joy to be guided through the story, which felt authentic, exotic, and powerful. ”Tiziana wrote this review Wednesday, November 7, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Awsome reading. ”kppradeep wrote this review Monday, October 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Powerful book based in Kerala. ”Anwen Garston wrote this review Friday, October 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Absolutely beautiful. Her language and style are just astounding. And there are so many themes and motifs that run throughout the novel, I could discuss this book for a month and still not cover everything.”Lacey Renee wrote this review Thursday, October 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Dont like it. Was entertaining towards the end but this book is quite a drag read. Maybe it's just me coz this book did win a prize. ”iggy ij wrote this review Thursday, October 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved the book. Completely crushing, and in ways reminded me of a few of my favorite novels: Mahfouz's "The Beginning and The End", Pamuk's "Snow", and Ishiguro's "When We Were Orphans". Hypnotically readable.”William James R wrote this review Thursday, October 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Set in India during the 1960s, a story of surviving a difficult family and childhood. Read long ago, but the novel reverberated with me. ”Mr. Brown wrote this review Sunday, September 30, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What a waste!!”betinha wrote this review Friday, September 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Set in India, it is the story of a mother and her twin children and a day that changes their lives forever. I've never read a book quite like it. The writing style, story structure, and creative use of language are completely unique. Everything is so vivid. It is one of those heartbreaking books - be prepared for devastation. Very intriguing.”Heather B wrote this review Thursday, September 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No