The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things

Paperback - 1997
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"They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how. And how much. " The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale. . . . Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family--their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts). When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river "graygreen."  With fish in it. With the sky and trees in it. And at night, the broken yellow moon in it. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it. The God of Small Things takes on the Big Themes--Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Here is a writer who dares to break the rules. To dislocate received rhythms and create the language she requires, a language that is at once classical and unprecedented. Arundhati Roy has given us a book that is anchored to anguish, but fueled by wit and magic.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 1997.
ISBN: 9780679457312
0679457313
Characteristics: xii, 321 p. ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

A lyrical tale about fraternal twins, Estha and Rahel, and their extended family as their lives are impacted by social hierarchies, politics and interpersonal relationships.


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e
EHZ
Nov 19, 2020

Ugg, so depressing. I actually couldn't finish it which is very very rare for me.

s
sess430
Dec 09, 2019

Great read. My book group loved it.

The author has a very unique, interesting writing style and I really tried to like this book. The character names threw me, I found it difficult to follow in places and just couldn’t make it through to the end.

m
Motorod
Jul 13, 2019

Breathtaking

AnaGM May 22, 2019

One of my favorite books ever, it's a treasure.

p
pridi_o
Apr 19, 2019

What a beauty... What a book... I love you, Arundhati Roy.

The God of Small Things is a remarkable debut novel from Arundhati Roy, an Indian author who won the Man Booker Prize for this very work. This book is a story of a family caught in the middle of social and political change. More specifically, the story follows two estranged twins who are recalling a childhood incident that tore their family apart and changed their lives forever. The narrative jumps back and forth between present (1993) and past (1969), which helps build a sense of suspense, tragedy and dread. The language is beautiful – sometimes I had to stop just to enjoy the poetry of a paragraph. The characters are complicated and well-drawn, which for me is a must for any family drama. There are also many historical details that give an interesting perspective on India’s complicated recent past. Highly recommended. (Submitted by Naomi.)

h
HCLFriend
Oct 10, 2018

Purple prose alert! I agree with the other reviewer that it is unreadable. Tried to see its good points. Because it is such a well-known Booker prize winner, are we pre-disposed to thinking this book is better than it actually is? Way overrated.

s
SherryNeufeld
Sep 03, 2018

Absolutely exquisite writing!

c
compufobe
Mar 01, 2018

This is the third or fourth time I have read this since it was published and awarded the Booker. I enjoy it more with each reading. And I think it is superior to the novel she published last year.

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Quotes

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Laura_X Aug 03, 2018

Heaven opened and the water hammered down, reviving the reluctant old well, greenmossing the pigless pigsty, carpet bombing still, tea-colored puddles the way memory bombs still, tea-colored minds.

lokiboo262 Jun 11, 2012

"she was thirty one not too old, not too young,but a viable dieable age"

g
Gumbosplat
Mar 02, 2012

And so, for practical purposes, in a hopelessly practical world...

n
ndp21f
Mar 01, 2010

And truth be told, it was no small wondering matter.
Because Ammu had not had the kind of education, nor read the sorts of people, that might have influenced her to think the way she did.
She was just that sort of animal.

Age

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lokiboo262 Jun 11, 2012

lokiboo262 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 29

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kokosowe
Sep 22, 2009

kokosowe thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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lokiboo262 Jun 11, 2012

Through a series of events two one egg twins are seperated by fate and the actions of those around them. They eventually come back and they rekindle their bond somewhat too close for the the comfort of their nosy grand aunt- Baby Kotchama.

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