Friday, July 29, 2011

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is an incredible novel, told with a lyricism that is at once evocative and provocative.  Because of the way she tells the story, in a nonlinear manner, the narrative peels spirals around itself, returning to the same moments, repeating the same memories, but always with slightly deeper meaning.

The first time I read this novel I waited eagerly for her next novel.  It never came.  So when the Banned Books Club on goodreads chose to read this novel I couldn’t object.  I was worried that it might not live up to my memories of its being a glorious story told perfectly.  Even upon a second read, I appreciate the beauty of this novel.  In fact, I honestly think I appreciate it even more.

In the first few pages, we are introduced to a large cast of characters but the primary ones are Estha and Rachel, dizygotic twins, and their mother Ammu.  There is a tragedy about to happen; we know this too from the very beginning of the novel.  The reader thinks it is one thing but the final tragedy is something else altogether.

And yet . . .

This novel is about love and redemption and how love heals.  I remembered thinking that the last chapter in the novel was the most perfectly romantic and erotic piece of writing I had read in a long time.  I confess I hesitated to reread it because I knew it would not stand up to the test of time.  I was mistaken.  It persevered and I was swept away, once again, by the events leading up to that final chapter.

Can you tell that I love this novel?  It is a rarity to find a novel so perfectly crafted with a prose that is highly stylized that, upon rereading, doesn’t seem prosaic or ponderous.  This novel is a jewel, a rare and rarified treat.

And still, I wait for Roy to write another . . .


  1. Ok, I'm really stoked to read this one now. It sounds amazing.

  2. The author absolutely trusts the reader so, as you are reading and find yourself questioning, just keep going along. She spirals through the story and you find yourself moving along at a pace even if you think you have only moved back to the same point in the circumference.


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