26.11.08

Review: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small things by Arundhati Roy is the 1997 Man Booker Prize Winner. I have taken so long to finish this book, and I would WANT to say I hate this book~! But I think I like it :)


From the Blurb -

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 alchemy of poetry. The God of Small Things is at once exotic and familiar to the Western reader, written in English that's completely new and invigorated by the Asian Indian influences of culture and language.


I wouldn't say this tale is a simple one for a normal reader like me! But it definitely is an sophisticated novel, which requires a lot of effort from the reader! The way story weaves around past and present of Estha and Rahel [the twins] is fantastic, it is an effortless effort [:)]
I felt sad for Velayutha , his love for Ammu was so heart-warming, and his love for Estha and Rahel was so amazing! The characterization is flawless, and their flaws remind you that this book is written on very real people. I felt sad when Rahel always remembered, that she was loved a little less. And I can remember, feeling the same when I was a kid [:)] though in very different circumstances. The prose is beautiful! There are some that you want to sit and re-read and capture their meaning again and again!

It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain.

To let it be, and to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do!

[Page 190]

You would understand this prose better when you read the chain of events, but still this prose has a life of its own, I felt it true for me!

If he touched her, he couldn't talk to her, if he loved her he couldn't leave, if he spoke he couldn't listen, if he fought he couldn't win.
[Page 330]

I also liked the way Rahel and Estha, became comrades and such imaginary stuff! It is so original! The way Rahel kills the red ants, and how Sophie Mol, tells her to leave one so that it can feel “lonely”. I like the way there are so many delicate storied weaved and how effortlessly we come back to the original story of Estha and Rahel, that we don’t get lost in them!

No doubt this book is a master piece, but my only problem was that it didn’t hold my attention for a long time, which took me longer than usual to reach the ending point! The ending according to me is perfect, there was no other place for Rahel and Estha, except for each other. I hated Baby Kochamma with a passion, that no other character has generated in me for a long time now. The last chapter is beautiful, every sentence is knit with an expertise that I don't think I have read in a long time. The emotions are so raw, and the feelings are audible and it is plain breath-taking.

And another fun thing, that relates me to this book-

- my native place [ where I was born] is in Kottayam [ the big city mentioned in this book]

- my pet-name is Ammu [ in this the mother of Estha and Rahel]

- and my Dad calls me Ammukutty [ the way Ammu is called in this book by Velutha ]

So these are the reasons why this book is all the more special!

- It was the book for October at Book Blogs[travel the world (from a comfy chair)], though I am finishing it in Nov [sorry!]

- My 2nd book from the Man Booker List

- My book for the 1% Reading challenge!

- My book for the A-Z challenge as well!

Although this is a very sad novel, I would say I felt good after the ending was over. There were no questions left unanswered... there was no story left half-heartedly told.

Even though it is a beautiful book, I reiterate the problem I had was to concentrate on it. Though I must admit, that I got really interested in the book when I had reached half-way through it.

I give it a 4 on 5 [ coz it is not a fast read]

Nalle? [ means see you tommorrow here? ]


Remember to,


Love,

8 Comments:

Serena said...

Have you changed the look of your blog? I like it regardless if it has been the same or not. I think I read your posts most often in google reader.

Sounds like an interesting story, but I'll probably skip this one.

Ramya said...

hmm..i read this earlier and didnt like it..tried reading it again now and i am still struggling through it.. i dont seem to like it too much.. It is fun to see the divided opinion on this book.. some love it others dont..:)
but glad you liked it!:)

ruinedbyreading said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was a little hard to get into at first too, but once I got about half way in I was hooked.

Veens said...

Serena, Yes YEs Yes! You noticed YAY!
It is alright really :)

Veens said...

Ramya, I know. You don't know.. it took me a month and I felt really sad... that my first book blogs book.. and i dont finish it :(

so i coaxed myself, and told that i will take a fun read after this :) only after that would it complete ;)

Veens said...

Mish, me too :) Getting the flow.. was what was difficult... then i liked it too!

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I'm not really big on award winning books, but you make this one sound great. :)

Veens said...

J Kaye, I odn't know really :) But I think I have said it is difficult to get into it.. but once u r in .. u will like it.

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