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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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15,458279198 (3.89)564
Member:sjeohp
Title:The God of Small Things
Authors:Arundhati Roy
Info:Harper Perennial (1998), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 336 pages
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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)

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» See also 564 mentions

English (247)  Spanish (7)  German (5)  Dutch (5)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
Let me tell you one thing. Such a detailed imaginative form of writing. You go literally feel the things that are going on with the characters. Once in a life time you feel you are living so close to the characters. ( )
  siddharthabayye | Aug 29, 2018 |
Reading it again after 20 years I rediscover this brilliant book. The story is not told starting in the beginning and ending with the end. A.R. had trained as an architect and - as she herself had said somewhere - the book is written as one would construct a house: first the main structure, then filling in the details. We are already told the end in the first chapter. (These jumps in time can confuse at first, also how the persons relate emerges only gradually; I went back and started again after 50 or so pages. Good: many hints to still untold events I had overlooked; then there is also her unique language, her play with words, her ‘dancing language’ (Cynthia van den Driesen, in: Dhawan, 1999): the book demands to be read slowly!)

This story is her child, like - as it is said (in Ch. 12) - the stories of the Kathakali Man ‘are his children and his childhood’. ‘They don’t deceive you with trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. […] You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic.’
Yes, indeed, Arundhati Roy has written a Great Story!

Later in the same Chapter one of the protagonists relates an old legend: ‘when the ordinarily good-natured Bhima began to bay and snarl, he is searching for the beast that lives in him.“ But then follows the comment by ‘We and Us’[Rahel]: ‘Searching for the man who lives in him was perhaps what he really meant, because certainly no beast has essayed the boundless, infinitely inventive art of human hatred. No beast can match its range of power.’ - How true! The old proverb Homo homini lupus est is an insult to wolves!
Roy said in an interview „that you can never understand the nature of brutality until you see what has been loved being smashed. The book deals with our ability to be brutal as well as our ability to be so deeply intimate and loving.“ ( cited in Dhawan, 1999, p.254 ).

Much has been said and written about her novel. R.K. Dhawan (1999) gathered a number of essays under headings like ‘The Woman’s Question’, ‘Exploring India’s Past and Present’, ‘Thematic Variations (Childhood, Symbolism, Anger,…)’, ‘Language’, etc. (VII-18) ( )
  MeisterPfriem | Jul 28, 2018 |
I've just finished this book for the third time. It blows me away every time....I get goosebumps reading the last few chapters in particular. The writing is stunningly beautiful....every page or so brings a new "favourite" quote. The story isn't told in a linear fashion, but as things become clearer, we have been shown so many layers of each character's feelings and motivations. Absolutely amazing...one of my all-time favourite books. ( )
  LynnB | Jun 18, 2018 |
young twins in India who grow up in a family that worships all things Anglo; especially The Sound of Music ( )
1 vote margaretfield | May 29, 2018 |
After hearing nothing but praise for Arundhati Roy's first novel, The God of Small Things. Two chapters in however, I was flagging and still couldn't get into her novel. Perhaps it was the jumping backwards and forwards in time, and the brief introductions to many different characters. I was constantly puzzled over who characters were, and whether the plot had flash forward in time or backwards.
I really, really wanted to like this book. So I put it aside to come back to at another time. Twice. Then I came across the audiobook in the library and decided to give it one last try.
It took me a little while to adjust to the narrator’s style but, when I got my ear in, it was fine.
Roy's prose is beautiful in places with a light, comic touch in others. However, it is in structure and plot that Roy falters. She dresses the story up in an unnecessarily complex narrative structure, jumping backwards and forwards in time without enough clues. There were a couple of completely irrelevant sections which rambled on and added nothing – like the details about the moth. The secrets behind so many plot elements were overplayed as a tease, and not handled as well as they could have been – and I was a bit fed up waiting for the reveal to be honest. It's also a bit too ethereal in some places, and it was a relief to get back to straight story telling. Also, for all the character detail in there, some felt like they need filling out more.
Perhaps, in order to disguise this, Roy threw in a mishmash of troubling events - domestic violence, an abused child, divorce, the untouchables, incest, to name just a few. But it all lacked any cohesion and appeared jumbled and in parts gratuitous.
At times I was completely captivated by this story, but at others totally confused, and at the end a little let down. ( )
1 vote Jawin | May 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (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
Roy, Arundhatiprimary 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 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 14 descriptions

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