“It's truly touching and heartbreaking but it demands to be read with patience”Shivani Gupta wrote this review Saturday, January 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Weird and marvellous and beautiful and everything I want from a book. I can't imagine anyone not loving this.”Rebecca wrote this review Wednesday, January 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really loved this book, but it took a while to get into it to be honest. By the time I was about 150 pages in, I was hooked. The lyricism of the writing is amazing, as is the fractured approach to the story telling. Really magical. ”Amy Alice D wrote this review Tuesday, January 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After I read it and had the story clear in my mind, I immediately started re-reading it. It's a wonderful book”CCRecRat wrote this review Wednesday, December 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“reinvention of language, it's a fun book with a heavy message”dobbierodds wrote this review Sunday, December 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“God of Small things
This Booker Prize winner stands out for its narration. Arundhati Roy has a unique style of writing giving a lot of importance to descriptions of both its characters and the setting. She has brilliantly created extremely interesting and strong characters in Rahel, Estha, Ammu, Chacki, Baby Kochamma, Velutha, Mamachi and Pillai, who make up the story of God of Small things. Ayemenam, the village where this story takes place is very artfully described so much so that one who has not visited suburban Kerala does so vicariosly through Roy’s wordplay. This, I would say is the USP of this book.
The God of Small Things also touches on some Syrian Christian lifestyle, some Marxism and caste system of Kerala of the 90’s. It also lays great emphasis on the human mannerisms and the use of the English language albeit with its regional influence . Many a time she seems to have given undue importance to petty things of ordinary life; this with more than a pinch of grossness, such that it distracts the reader from the larger picture.
Roy has also used a lot of Malayalam words in the book, which does give a better picture of a part of Kerala but it might be a little inconvenient for one who does not know the language because there is many a case in it, where it is pretty difficult for one to even deduce a contextual meaning.
The characters and the settings, are definitely the strong points of the book. For these, most of all, God of Small things is a worth a read. It might have to be reread to get the most out of it.
(I’m still wondering if is a good thing or bad thing or not so important really if we don’t necessarily fall in love with or root for any of the characters in the book despite the fact that each of them is chiseled out very prominently. )
“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