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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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The God of Small Things (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Arundhati Roy

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13,143231169 (3.9)435
Member:dylanwolf
Title:The God of Small Things
Authors:Arundhati Roy
Info:Flamingo (1998), Edition: New Ed, Paperback
Collections:NAR - SMI
Rating:
Tags:India, read

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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)

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» See also 435 mentions

English (205)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Dutch (4)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (231)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
After years of absence abroad, Rahel returns to the little town she grew up in, in Kerala, south-western India, and tries to reconnect with her twin brother and the rest of the surroundings she’s estranged from. The book starts by hinting at a traumatic death that took place when she was a child, and subsequent chapters, shifting between the past and the present, ever so carefully build up the background needed to understand the full background of that death, as well as its implications for everything that happened afterwards.

This was a lovely read, on so many levels: the style was mesmerizing, a delicate effort hinting at the poetic rather than full-blown, straight-up lyricism. The characters were vividly drawn, beautifully characterized and lovingly sent off into their predicaments. The plot, too, was a joy to read, because this is one of those books that are not so much made by the story but by the telling, a wonderfully immersive back and forth where past and future simultaneously lead to the ineluctable insight at the centre.

The god of small things is wonderful, on every level, and Roy made it all seem effortless. Definitely one of the best books I read this year. ( )
1 vote Petroglyph | Jul 24, 2014 |
While I found the language was emotive and descriptive, I also found it distracting and somewhat childish (or perhaps child-like would be a better word), which was fine when the action was in the past and the twins were children but struck a wrong chord during the contemporary times when they were adults. The story was tragic and I found the switches from past to present worked well to heighten the drama of what we know is coming. However, I found the ending too inconclusive for my tastes and was left with a feeling of "what was the point?". ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 9, 2014 |
Definitely a classic. For some reason I am drawn to anything about India. This one disturbed me to the core. I can't even examine why.... Or the story would be spoiled for you! ( )
  saradiann | Apr 15, 2014 |
A very sad story, very touching and sincere ( )
  katnys | Mar 31, 2014 |
Brutal, beautiful, unforgiving. Sad, but in a way that seemed inevitable, not gratuitous.

Despite liking this book a lot, I would be cautious about recommending it to others. You need a tolerance for a certain kind of writing--it's not poetry, but the language occupies a similar place in some ways, with its repetition, creativity, and occasional preciousness. Sometimes it lays it on a little thick.

I was impressed with how the author handled the non-linear timeline. Very well structured. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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 (24 possible)

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

John Berger
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:29 -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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