Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. The richly exotic story of the childhood the twins Esthappen and Rahel craft for themselves amongst India's vats of banana jam and mountains of peppercorns. Repackaged as part of the 2008 Perennial fiction promotion. More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly ...
Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. The richly exotic story of the childhood the twins Esthappen and Rahel craft for themselves amongst India's vats of banana jam and mountains of peppercorns. Repackaged as part of the 2008 Perennial fiction promotion. More magical than Mistry, more of a rollicking good read than Rushdie, more nerve-tinglingly imagined than Naipaul, here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy has written an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism. Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, 'The God of Small Things' tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Among the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family -- their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle-baron, radical Marxist and bottom-pincher) and their avowed enemy; Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
Considering all the prizes this book received, I thought it would be worth reading. I found it so overwritten and the plot so overwrought. The endless similes really started me annoy me. I've heard Ms. Roy speaking out about issues and I admire her courage, but I found this almost unreadable.
May 24, 2007
Arundhati Roy is one of the most talented writers to emerge yet. Her unpretentious, sensually euphoric style makes this novel a "must read".
Apr 3, 2007
This was the only book I could not put down. Yes, a fascinating look at another time and place. Yes, crafted as though you are living and breathing and worried about the chutneys. I loved it because it taught me how to be an engaged reader and mostly why we need to trust gifted writers. My vote for all time best book ever.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-03-02 With sensuous prose, a dreamlike style infused with breathtakingly beautiful images and keen insight into human nature, Roy's debut novel charts fresh territory in the genre of magical, prismatic literature. Set in Kerala, India, during the late 1960s when Communism rattled the age-old caste system, the story begins with the funeral of young Sophie Mol, the cousin of the novel's protagonists, Rahel and her fraternal twin brother, Estha. In a circuitous and suspenseful narrative, Roy reveals the family tensions that led to the twins' behavior on the fateful night that Sophie drowned. Beneath the drama of a family tragedy lies a background of local politics, social taboos and the tide of historyĉall of which come together in a slip of fate, after which a family is irreparably shattered. Roy captures the children's candid observations but clouded understanding of adults' complex emotional lives. Rahel notices that "at times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. The Big Things lurk unsaid inside." Plangent with a sad wisdom, the children's view is never oversimplified, and the adult characters reveal their frailtiesĉand in one case, a repulsively evil powerĉin subtle and complex ways. While Roy's powers of description are formidable, she sometimes succumbs to overwriting, forcing every minute detail to symbolize something bigger, and the pace of the story slows. But these lapses are few, and her powers coalesce magnificently in the book's second half. Roy's clarity of vision is remarkable, her voice original, her story beautifully constructed and masterfully told. First serial to Granta; foreign rights sold in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Holland, India, Greece, Canada and the U.K. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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