- Paperback: 356 pages
- Publisher: Penguin India; 1st edition edition (5 April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014302857X
- ISBN-13: 978-9794614020
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 22 cm
- Customer Reviews: 1,811 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
God of Small Things: Booker Prize Winner 1997- English Paperback – 5 April 2002
|Paperback, 5 April 2002||
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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This book is the best pick for a broad and open minded person.. Tells you how "Love" is always associated with sadness, how women are made scape goats for everything that happens, how a person's childhood experiences affect his/her perspectives and whole life.. The book has less to tell and lot to infer. So unleash ur minds open and then start reading the book... --Krithika Jayaraaman on Feb 17, 2012
Arundhati is a poetess, an artist who spins munificence with the ordinary. Her story - a part biography is like fine music to even an untrained ear. She's one writer that I admire mostly because her words tell us a story in visuals. You feel the pain, the struggle, the sly humor and the God she cherishes in small things... --Aakarsh Yardi on Jun 10, 2012
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Let’s consider why.
To begin with, the book is about a Syrian Christian family in Kerala, God’s Own Country in India. The story is about family intrigues, intrigues of love in and out of wedlock, political intrigues, industry ownership and labor movement intrigues. And children ensnared in the whole shindig.
While I am not Christian, part of my own ancestry is from Kerala, so I felt a sense of identity as I went through the book. I have identified and I have not identified.
After finishing the book and ruminating over it for a couple of days, I have not identified the protagonist. There are a few candidates in the book, but not one of them stands out more than the other. And yet, the story is whole.
There is an identifiable beginning, a mindboggling middle and a uncertain end that leaves the reader guessing. For a long time after the end, to be fair to the story.
I am not able to identify the writing style. It is crazy, and I am using that word after a lot of consideration. The storyline shows no respect for accepted theories on clarity of points of view and it shows scant deference to prescribed norms of backstory. It jumps from here to there and back, from him to her and back, from then to now and back with gray abandon. The tone of the book is neither bright white, nor dull black, but all shades of gray in between.
And yet, this extraordinary mishmash of ingredients works as a story, because it is almost horrifying in its underlying grime and struggle and pathos. It worked on me.
You may find it a little bit hard to keep up with certain character names, but you will never ever regret reading this book.
"They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tempered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much."
"That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less."
-Arundhati Roy, author of The god of small things
My first ever Man Booker prize winner read.
First of all, this is a heavy read.
Story wise- yes
Vocab wise- oh yes
Attention wise- oh damn yes!
Oh my goodness, every single word in every single sentence is pure emotion.
The way she has woven the threads of wittiness, politics, sexuality, innocence, dark desires is something I haven't witness yet.
You cant find any better writer than arundhati roy.
About packaging- amazon always does it's job perfectly. Delivery before time. Packed like always with a bookmark 😃
On the one hand it was a tour DE force of sumptuous prose, but on the other I found that the narrative meandered all over the place, making it difficult to for me (with my grasshopper brain) to keep up.
Although Roy's writing is kissed by the gods, I'm a great believer in a story's need to flow and my early enthusiasm became steadily dampened as the book progressed.
The book is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
The book reads like a melancholic and secretive diary. A diary that you never bring out into the world; keeping it safely tucked away under a mattress or behind a mountain of personal belongings. A diary that is cradled too close to the heart, brutally and yet fervently expressive; the honesty of which even frightens you. It’s the flesh of the wound that runs the deepest and that bleeds on those blank pieces of paper; but in the end, it is bandaged by only you. This is it. The enormity of Arundhati Roy’s compass pointing us in so many glued-together directions. Having read this book three times, tucked between periods of days, weeks, months of staying away from a book that I, who am inclined to always pick up a new book because there’s always so much to read, go back to it every time for some sentimental and perceptive consolation.
The thing about reading tragedy is that it becomes your own. Or that you claim that it is your own. How else would you feel it? The triumphs of loneliness, isolation, despair, and anger run deep into the well of your emotional tendencies. The characters are waiting for you to peel back their layers, upon a surface that makes up a story’s setting. The inadequacy of such a task is ironically what brings you closer to Arundhati Roy’s fiction. You read the words, maybe in whisper-quiet echoes. But you feel it pulsating in every muscle and their hollow spaces as if those very echoes mimic the speed and the color and the density of blood.
The book is set in Kerala, ingrained in its language; the dichotomy of a culture, of lives that were born too soon (or that shouldn’t have been born at all). The narration is restless with religious and political descriptions. Arundhati Roy has a unique way of defining these descriptions through her characters. The role of a mother, of a child, of a brother, a cousin, a lover, it’s in their history that one remembers the history of Kerala. If you’ve read the back cover of the book; the description hits the nail on the head. Amid the ruined, the forgotten, the misplaced – you won’t find a book this expansive in its depth and yet the characters live lives that feel quite the opposite.
It goes on for 340 pages; enough to contain decades and decades of survival. As a reader, you will diligently surrender to the writing style and tone of the book. It’s fast in its narration and yet you feel like it holds back time. Dropping an anchor in anyone who evaluates a book not only by its unpredictable structure but by its understanding of emotions – and their lyrical reminiscence.
Top international reviews
Lower caste characters are 'black calloused' characters are blind, paralysed and 'so black you couldn't see the blood'. Higher class characters are smooth and light skinned with dimples and classical violinist as a hobby. This is based in Kerala right? If you say so.
And the middle characters are all communists or Syrian Christians. That's it for them.
Laughable, the author's attempts at using the short lived communist movement as enlightening backdrop. Absolutely no connection or anything comes from the Communism angle. The author trying to be clever I guess. The author is not clever. She simply wrote a story pandering to white readers in the US (the British don't need such childish details about Indians). And this book is the Booker Prize receiver? What a joke...
Get ready for predictable child abuse, you can see this a mile away, as soon as you read about the ridiculously detailed descriptions of the clothes, hair, hair band, shoes, colour of shoes, colour of dress blah blah blah. This is all boringly repeated every single time the character arc moved a millimeter forward. The conclusion of the character arcs - all sad, somewhat disgusting and disappointing. Seriously, the author's attempts to be controversial is pushed out to twins having sex. That's it. That's where these character's, whom you have had to painfully follow throughout the book (in a boring not an emotional way). Their conclusion, after all, is twins having sex. Slow clap to the author...
Be prepared with being left angry and dismayed (even disgusted) at the end of this book. Absolutely no reward (positive or negative) at all.
Be prepared for coma inducing detailed descriptions throughout really, from the drooping leaves in the rain (wow how original) to the log in the river dancing (amazing) to the character of the spider in the crack being moody. So very unnecessary, long winded and ridiculous.
Go away and cleanse your palate with A Suitable Boy. Sea of Poppies. Red Earth Pouring Rain. Anything but this.
There is the story of two-egg twins, Esthappen and Rahel, whose love of the 'untouchable' Velutha, who is also loved ( in a different way) by their widowed mother at the centre. There is the presence in their lives of the twins' Oxford educated uncle whose widowed ex-wife returns from England with their daughter, Sophie Mol, (dies tragically). The account of the physical love between Ammu and Velutha is perhaps the crowning glory of achievement here. Read it and savour it.