Reader reviews and comments on The God of Small Things, plus links to write your own review.

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The God of Small Things

By Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things
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  • Hardcover: May 1997,
    321 pages.
    Paperback: May 1998,
    321 pages.

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There are currently 55 reader reviews for The God of Small Things
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IreneB (01/12/12)

Glad I am not the only one who disliked this novel
I read this for my bookclub and only finished it for that reason. It could have been written in a linear way and been a better story for that. Towards the end if the book I ended up having to reread some earlier chapters because I couldn't fit them into the overall narrative. And like one of your other reviewers, I skimread the final chapters with their awful detail. The only non linear writer worth reading is Lawrence Sterne, who got away with it in Tristam Shandy, but then that was a funny book.
SVM (01/06/12)

Subtle
Those who have rated the book a 1 or 3, should stay away from such material in thier lives since such material is not for thier 'frog in a well' minds. Those who think that the book is a broken down story line should not read nonlinear storylines since it is just about concentration. There are many books which I have read, Books that arouse dark feelings, Love, hatred, patriotism, etc etc. But one mind boggling thing about this book is that it gives the readers a sense of SMELL in its pages. I have not experienced in any books as of now.
yrratykcim (06/23/11)

Godless book
I really wanted to enjoy this book and feel like I am bad for not having had a good time at a party without not really knowing why - is it me?

The book is really a series of loosely connected short stories which could probably be shuffled and the outcome would be the same. You have to concentrate hard on the who's who in this book as it is really baffling at times. There are 20 chapters of which I am glad that I read two. As I reached the end I just had to get on and skim read the final 50 pages because it portrays such a nasty and vile set of circumstances that I could not bear to be manipulated and deceived by this author's grotesquely gorgeous prose. I guess it is just me but I know that I am not alone in this
Marianne V (04/19/11)

Love and betrayal
The God of Small Things, the first (and so far, only) novel by Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, was written between 1992 and 1996. This (semi-autobiographical) story takes place in the village of Ayemenem and the town of Kottayam, near Cochin in Kerala, and is set principally during two time periods: December 1969 and 23 years later. The main characters are Esthappen (Estha) and Rahel, seven-year-old two-egg (i.e. non-identical) twins, and their mother Ammu. Ammu falls in love with Velutha Paapen, a Paraven (Untouchable) who works for the family’s Pickle Factory, a man the twins already list amongst their most-loved. But even in 1969, with a Communist Government, parts of India are still firmly in the grip of the Caste system. By breaking the "Love Laws," or "The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much”, Ammu and the twins set in motion “The Terror”. The manipulations of Ammu’s aunt, Baby Kochamma, are instrumental in bringing down The Terror, and her subsequent cruelty to Ammu and the twins will leave readers gasping.
As well as commenting on the Caste system and Class discrimination in general, the novel examines Indian history and politics, the taboos of conventional society, and religion. But more than anything, this is a story about love and betrayal.
The innocent observations of 7-year-olds, their interpretation of unfamiliar words and phrases, the (typically Indian) Capitalisation of Significant Words, the running together of and splitting apart of words , the phonetic spelling, all are a source of humour and delight in this novel. “It’s an afternoon-mare”, Estha-the-Accurate replied. “She dreams a lot”. Even as Estha is being molested by the Orangedrink Lemondrink man in the Abhilash Talkies, his observations (“Not a moonbeam.”) bring laughter. Echoes, repetitions and resonances abound. Roy is a master of the language: “So futile. Like polishing firewood.” Her prose is luminous. This novel is powerful, moving, tragic. Beautifully written, with wonderful word pictures.
This novel demands at least two reads: once to learn the story; a second time to appreciate the echoes and repetitions and understand what the early references mean. It deserves a third reading to fully appreciate the prose, the descriptive passages. On this, my third reading, I read parts I would swear I had not read earlier. And I had tears in my eyes very early in the novel. I loved this book when I first read it: I love it even more now. I remain hopeful that Arundhati Roy will share her considerable literary talents with her eager readers in the form of another novel.
geeta (01/15/11)

Reality of society
Roy's TGOT is outstanding.it arouses the feeling of sadness on the other hand it makes us to feel the reality of society.condition of women in India and dalit........
roy (12/04/10)

terrible book
Worst book I have read in a long time, couldn't even finish it. Most parts didn't make sense and it was so wordy it was unbearable.
bob (04/21/09)

the god of small things...
Roy's "The God of Small Things" is written in a fascinating stylistic way.. However some of the phrases and sentences don't make sense. Arundhati uses metaphors very well to create a realistic picture in our minds, but often they seem to go on for far too long, and finally you come to the point where you can't remember what the meaning of the metaphor was in the first place.
Rima Mukherjee (10/24/08)

Crossing forbidden lines
This book is miraculously ,fantastically crafted. I have never seen such fluency in English language in an Indian writer before. The book only describes the naked truth behind the facets of society. It leaves the reader to gape and wonder why are the love lines are always being demarcated? Should love be a few dictated lines of the society?
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