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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things (original 1997; edition 1997)

by Arundhati Roy

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13,867248150 (3.9)480
Title:The God of Small Things
Authors:Arundhati Roy
Info:Random House Inc (1997), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 350 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)


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Showing 1-5 of 219 (next | show all)
They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much.

This quote, more than anything I could write, tells the reader what they will find on the pages of this hauntingly tragic novel. I could tell you the plot points, and I will, but nothing I say will better describe The God of Small Things then those few words.

There is an innocence to childhood. Usually that innocence fades slowly, shed as the child grows into first adolescence and then into adulthood. Other times that innocence is ripped away, quick and painful - this is what happened to fraternal twins, Rahel and Estha. Their childhood was a lonely one, growing up in the southernmost province of India, the tip that juts into the sea. Their mother was divorced, bringing shame to her family. Their father was a violent drunkard, whom they knew nothing about, outside of a picture in which they clung to him, their mothering hovering just outside the frame to catch them should he suddenly drop them. The rest of the household was made up of their vitriolic grandaunt (who once loved a priest and nurtured her disappointment like a venomous snake), their communist Oxford-educated uncle (also divorced, but his of course bringing no shame), their blind grandmother (who delivered all her wifely baggage to her son's care the day stopped his father from killing her), and the ghost of their grandfather (also trapped in disappointment and anger, though his was came from a moth with unusually dense dorsal tufts). There was another. An Untouchable. A man who had obtained an unusual importance within the family circle. Unthinkable. Echos of this allowance would be felt Later. Lay Ter.

This novel beautiful, haunting, tragic. It is the story of childhood lost, it is the story of love, it is the story of death. The story unwinds slowly, with a deep sense of foreboding, the author leaving hints of what is to come. Despite the almost painfully slow telling of the story, the way it meanders back in forth in time, it is never plodding. The author, recreating language as it suits her, as she needs to, strings you along, inviting you to keep reading, to find out lies within the book's Heart of Darkness. Dark of Heartness. I was captivated from the very first page, and even though the author leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow, even though you know what is going to happen, in the end, when it does, you're still not prepared. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Set in India this is a story about mixed sex twins growing up in a country where love is dictated but what caste/ religion/ family you are born into.

At the heart of the story is a tragic accident whose repercussions are felt for years after the event.

This is a slow going and often confusing story that jumps around in time, place and character however if you stick at it, it is worth the effort.

Beautiful descriptive writing ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
I loved this. From the start as a reader you know that some huge tragedy has occurred and, over the course of the novel, the pieces come together. The story of twins growing up in Kerala in the early sixties. The novel spans generations and how times an attitude change as well as highlighting the struggles of the caste system and the traditionalist views that lead to the destruction of multiple lives. The background was realistic and I felt sympathy for the characters. They were full of life and laughter, especially the twins who read backwards in response to being given books too babyish for them. There were some laugh out loud comedy moments yet all set against a poignant underlying tragedy which changes everything. I loved this book, invested in the characters, was unable to leave it until I'd finished the last 100 pages and am glad I've finally got around to reading it. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
It's not badly written, but not to my taste at all. ( )
  killerX | Jan 8, 2016 |
I read this book many years ago for a book club and my opinion was mixed. I thought it was an interesting portrait of a specific time for India, but I wasn't overly impressed with the novel. But, I'm not sure why, after rereading it, I LOVE this book. The writing is stunning and there is such a depth of emotion. Beautiful imagery, heartbreaking story, great novel. ( )
  jmoncton | Nov 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 219 (next | show all)
If Ms. Roy is sometimes overzealous in foreshadowing her characters' fate, resorting on occasion to darkly portentous clues, she proves remarkably adept at infusing her story with the inexorable momentum of tragedy. She writes near the beginning of the novel that in India, personal despair ''could never be desperate enough,'' that ''it was never important enough'' because ''worse things had happened'' and ''kept happening.'' Yet as rendered in this remarkable novel, the ''relative smallness'' of her characters' misfortunes remains both heartbreaking and indelible.

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arundhati Royprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lundborg, GunillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one.

John Berger
For Mary Roy, who grew me up. Who taught me to say "excuse me" before interrupting her in Public. Who loved me enough to let me go. For LKC, who, like me, survived.
First words
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month.
Maj je v Ajemenemu vroč, morast mesec.
"D'you know what happens when you hurt people? When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less."
"Just ignore her," Ammu said. "She's just trying to attract attention."

Ammu too was wrong. Rahel was trying to not attract the attention that she deserved.
Rahel looked around her and saw that she was in a Play. But she had only a small part.
She was just the landscape. A flower perhaps. Or a tree.
A face in the crowd. A Townspeople.
Heaven opened and the water hammered down, reviving the reluctant old well, greenmossing the pigless pigsty, carpet bombing still, tea-coloured puddles the way memory bombs still, tea-coloured minds.
Rahel drifted into marriage like a passenger drifts towards an unoccupied chair in an airport lounge. With a Sitting Down sense.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060977493, Paperback)

In her first novel, award-winning Indian screenwriter Arundhati Roy conjures a whoosh of wordplay that rises from the pages like a brilliant jazz improvisation. The God of Small Things is nominally the story of young twins Rahel and Estha and the rest of their family, but the book feels like a million stories spinning out indefinitely; it is the product of a genius child-mind that takes everything in and transforms it in an alchemy of poetry. The God of Small Things is at once exotic and familiar to the Western reader, written in an English that's completely new and invigorated by the Asian Indian influences of culture and language.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:37 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The story of an Indian family during the 1969 Communist disturbances in Kerala province. It is told through the eyes of a boy and his sister who are the children of a rich rubber planter. Politics, family drama, illicit love. A debut in fiction.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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