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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 by Arundhati Roy X
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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  • First Published:
    May 1997, 321 pages
    May 1998, 321 pages


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There are currently 55 reader reviews for The God of Small Things
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I wouldn't recommend this book. I had high expectations going into it from things told to me by my friends but, I was truley disapointed within my first 30 minutes or so reading. It seemed as if though there were many insignifigant little bits of information throughout. Detail is good, but to some extent. Good book if you like to read about Indian society.

I felt that it was very hard to keep all the characters straight as the book often moved from past to present and back again. I did not think there was any real plot or true story and I felt the book was pointless. I would have stopped reading this after the first chapter however i had to read it as part of a course and so i did.

her writing is extremly confusing and nonsensical

I absolutely despised this book, its vague and jumps all over the place (this is the highly acclaimed present-past switching thing). If the authors attempt was to create a 'mystic' book by making it absolutely unreadable, she succeeded.

Now okay, I may sound a bit narrow minded, but I enjoyed books as varied as Catch 22, Ben Elton's High Society and Bronte's Jane Eyre, so its not because I only enjoy books that have exciting, modern plots or characters that I relate to, that I dont like this book.

Thomas - 17 yrs
Saqlain Imam

“The God of Small Things” is a lyrical narration. It cannot be English; only a free writer from South Asia can construct this narration. English writers are captive of their grammar and conventions. While most of the Indian, or even Pakistani, writers are captives of the captives, so they also cannot write with such freedom of imagination. That's all what Arun Dhati Roy has contributed in literature. Nothing more and nothing less. Her stance on nation-state, globalization and development is extreme and unviable. She is against globalization, but is one of the major beneficiaries of globalization (the sale of her book at the global level if she had not been picked up a British publisher); She is against nation-state but demands for the protection of the underprivileged of her society (only a nation-state can provide welfare blanket to poor people); She also talks against globalization, but supports its global agenda, which means she doesn't understand the current war of MNCs and the international multilateral agencies against the developing world. If nation-state state is demolished, globalizations will prevail. There are, effective or ineffective safety valves in the framework of a nation-state for weaker sections of a society, but there is no the remedy available to poor people if the institutions of the globalization rip apart the economies or societies of the third world. She is against the development of dam on Narbada river fearing the displacement of a large number of people. Is she fighting for the appropriate rehabilitation of the displaced people or simply doesn’t want the development and wants to preserve the antiquity? Development has its own cast and benefit ratio, which she doesn’t know. Perhaps she also doesn’t know the difference between “sustainable development” (an idea touted by the World Bnak and company) and perpetual development (an idea given by anti-Bank free thinkers). The God of Small Things may bless her!Text

The narration drives me insane. Nothing is in chronological order, and the way Roy puts bits and pieces of every side story here and there makes it nearly impossible to follow. The pieces are so spread out that it's confusing and once I got to the end of the story I wasn't able to put them all back together-- It's like she took the story, cut it into a puzzle with 50,000 pieces, and then shoved them into a haystack that's 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Even if you're able to retreive all the pieces, it's nearly impossible to put the puzzle together.

Read for our book discussion group, WordsandFlava. Although this book was very visual, a few of the members questioned the repetitive (often disturbing) images. There seems to be no hope in this book, no idea of a better world to be--surprising in an author so active in the political scene. The members of our group that read it straight through in a marathon session were much more entranced than those who read it in bits and pieces.

One group member compared it to a Brueghel painting. Lots going on with no focus, no particular story or weight given to one thing. (Yes, I get it, small things...)

Good discussion but difficult at times.

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