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View Full Version : The God of Small things By Arundhati roy



Knubbyah
08-11-2006, 12:12 PM
Something worth a read.The only book she wrote and its a master's work of art.

Thomma Lyn
08-20-2006, 06:05 AM
I agree. What Roy does with language is amazing, and the story turned me inside out.

aruna
08-20-2006, 09:59 AM
I agree. What Roy does with language is amazing, and the story turned me inside out.

Yes, shes a good writer, but there are some things I didn't like about the book. I didn;t like the structure, for one. She begins with the what is actually the climax, only you don't know it til you catch up with the story, and then it isn't a climax any more. And after a while the gimmicks felt a bit tired, as if she was trying too hard. She is however very gifted.

CaroGirl
10-20-2006, 09:43 PM
BUMP!

I'm reading this right now and am completely enthralled. I thought I remembered seeing the title in this thread somewhere. I was wondering if anyone else had any more to say about it.

I'll have a comment or two when I'm finished. Which should be soon because it's short and very smooth reading. Rarely have a read an author with more power in her language. Wish I could write like this!

roach
10-20-2006, 11:47 PM
I liked reading this book. The prose was powerful and lush. I hadn't read much fiction in this setting either so I really enjoyed reading about a culture I don't know much about. But the ending left me a little bit ... unmoved.

P.H.Delarran
10-21-2006, 06:30 AM
I'm reading this now and really having to push my way through. I think it's a cumbersome read. I have to keep backing up to make sure I understand what she said. Especially when she's talking about who is related to whom and such. Since it comes so highly recommended here, I'll keep on.

aruna
10-21-2006, 08:51 AM
I'll post my comments when the two current readers have finished. This looks like a spontaneous book discussion!

P.H.Delarran
10-21-2006, 09:04 AM
oh yay, I'll try to hurry then.

CaroGirl
10-21-2006, 08:08 PM
Sounds great! I'm not a very fast reader, but I'll try to finish in a timely manner. Would love to discuss.

Astyanax
10-25-2006, 10:02 PM
I read about half of this novel several years ago. I didn't like it much at all, and so flagged it away half-finished and to this day it sits in my bookshelf and remains "something I haven't read, but am told I ought to."

I too found it over-cute. Roy lacked story, and tried to make up for it with cleverness which, after a while, became tedious.

That said, I would like to have another try sometime in the future and hopefully I will see something different, and better, in it then.

aruna
10-26-2006, 09:16 AM
I read about half of this novel several years ago. I didn't like it much at all, and so flagged it away half-finished and to this day it sits in my bookshelf and remains "something I haven't read, but am told I ought to."

I too found it over-cute. Roy lacked story, and tried to make up for it with cleverness which, after a while, became tedious.

That said, I would like to have another try sometime in the future and hopefully I will see something different, and better, in it then.
I think she HAD a story, but through her "clever" structure (she compared her structure to a circular dance) the story had no impact.

For me, starting with what should be the climax (but you don't find out till the end) took all the wind out of the story, which just seemed to go round in circles, making it hard to follow. I only really understood it at the second reading. I hate that!

Then again, it's her book, who am I to criticize. Obviously her structure meant something to her.

inanna
10-27-2006, 07:35 AM
Love this book. It's in my top ten for sure. I agree the structure was not something I would have chosen if I'd written it (but I didn't, and my prose will never come close to hers, especially in terms of lyricism), but I really enjoyed the journey and the atmosphere. I read it years ago, but to this day, the title will sometimes pop into my head for no reason whatsoever. I'll be folding the laundry and suddenly think, "The God of Small Things". But I'm a little strange like that...

CaroGirl
11-04-2006, 12:55 AM
I finally finished The God of Small Things. I know, I'm slow.

I think the reason I was so taken with it, especially at first, was because of the scene with Estha in the movie theatre. It simply broke my heart. Also the lyricism of her language filled me with love for the prose.

The structure, however, made the second of half of the novel difficult to read. It became clear that she was telling a story in 60,000 words that could have been told in 20 or 30,000. The three steps forward, one step back, approach made it seem like nothing happened for pages at a time. And the ending was much less satisfying because of it. Kudos to her, though, for experimenting with structure.

She told a beautiful story with interesting characters. And her evocative language was so lush, I almost forgave her the cyclical structure.

Almost.

daoine
11-15-2006, 06:11 AM
I love this book so much. But I can definitely understand the criticism, and I think you have to be in the right mood to read it. Her descriptions are so vivid, but I think she eventually had too much description in there and it drowned the story. Astyanax, there is a story, but you have to get to the very end to see where she was going with it. I agree with Caro, too, that it could've been shorter.

But, for me, the images of the two children personified by their hair: "the fountain in a love-in-tokyo" and the "elvis puff" is so exquisite.

Skippy75
04-06-2010, 04:56 PM
I have been meaning to get around to reading The God of Small Things for a while, but just never seemed to find the time. It didn't help that it was always checked out of the libraries I use frequently, which, along with its status as a Booker Prize winner seemed to bode well for it.

However, now that I've started it, I am struggling to read this book, let along enjoy it. It seems to jump around skittishly from one character to the next and has introduced so many characters that, at just 50 pages in, I feel lost and "fatly baffled" myself most of the time.

Her imagery and use of language is at times rather poetically beautiful, but at other times is all just a little bit too much, too bloated and too distracting. There is an adjective (at least one) in front of every noun. And she has an annoying habit of capitalizing words mid sentence for effect and of lumping two words together when she feels like it, which works sometimes and not others.

I have read several other Man Booker winners and enjoyed them, so I visited Amazon to see what others had to say and it seems the opinion on this book is polarized. People either love it or hate it. I am wondering whether to put it down or whether after page 50 there is something more later on that will strike a chord with me.

Your thoughts?

Perks
04-06-2010, 05:06 PM
Her imagery and use of language is at times rather poetically beautiful, but at other times is all just a little bit too much, too bloated and too distracting. There is an adjective (at least one) in front of every noun. And she has an annoying habit of capitalizing words mid sentence for effect and of lumping two words together when she feels like it, which works sometimes and not others.

It's been years since I read it, but I remember my overall impression was irritable. It is beautiful in places, but what got under my skin the most (if I'm remembering correctly) was the relentless use of simile. Nothing was what it was. Everything, no matter how trivial, was always 'like' something else, to the effect of being ridiculous. A good bit into the book, there was some absurd parallel drawn between something and the elaborately-described bark of a tree that made me snort and she pretty much lost my confidence after that.

Skippy75
04-06-2010, 05:11 PM
Thank goodness it's not just me. I found that too. She is constantly using similes. I am really trying to keep an open mind about it but when there's so much else out there to read, am seriously considering dropping it. Shame on me.

inkspatters
04-07-2010, 09:01 AM
*shrug* To each their own. I found the use of imagery gorgeous -- maybe a bit much at times, but it didn't bother me. The story was pretty fragmentary, too as was the nature of the sentences which made it a bit of a slog for most people I've talked to about it. Personally, though, I loved this book. It's been a while since I read it, but I found the imagery evocative of the setting in a way, sort of that lush Indian monsoon feel reflected in the heavy usage of imagery, and I guess since I thought it had a purpose I didn't mind it?