Customer Reviews for

The God of Small Things

Average Rating 4
( 154 )
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2 Star

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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Raising children in a changing India

This book is skillfully written showing how difficult life can become for children and their parents when traditions and familiar things are changed forever as the influence of a great nation brings its own forms of education and traditions to bear on another great but ...
This book is skillfully written showing how difficult life can become for children and their parents when traditions and familiar things are changed forever as the influence of a great nation brings its own forms of education and traditions to bear on another great but politically weaker nation. The needs of the young and helpless must not be overlooked and dealt with harshly and indifferently in these circumstances, as the authoress cleverly and clearly portrays.

posted by SandyID on March 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Not my favorite

Wasnt too crazy about this read. While the stucture is widely praised I found it to be quite confusing and distracted me from the story by needing to figure iut if it was past and present. There were also a few plot lines that went underdevoped and unresolved. I know...
Wasnt too crazy about this read. While the stucture is widely praised I found it to be quite confusing and distracted me from the story by needing to figure iut if it was past and present. There were also a few plot lines that went underdevoped and unresolved. I know this is a successful book but I was left underwhelmed

posted by Qui0330 on June 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    Beautiful!

    I really don't understand where the bad reviews are coming from. In all honesty, this is not a light read, but its genius! Roy's syntax and diction further highlight the tradgic events of the story. It is dazzling - I couldn't put it down! I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. It's perfect.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2013

    The God of Small Things, the first (and so far, only) novel by I

    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. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    Amazing

    this is the second time I have read this amazing book. It is a difficult story to read but touches on the basis of hate, which is fear. The story is beautifically written and the reader is captivated from the beginning. It is a tragic story and the hero is Velutha the villian is the unhappy jealous family. I will read this book again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    buy it

    gorgeous. haunting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    Delicious Writing

    I have had a love affair with this novel for over 10 years now. I read a lot and this novel stands in a class on its own. I have never read another novel that has come close to matching the grace of her delicious writing style. The story itself is small, but the words dance across the pages in a way that makes you stop and pause on the most beautiful ones.
    I could not put this book down. It is one of the very few novels that I continue to read over and over again and it saddens me that Arundhati Roy never wrote another novel of this kind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    Had to Re-Read It the Moment I Finished

    I often re-read my favorite books, but the moment I finished this one I had to start from the beginning. Captivating and complex, it is a beautifully told story. I would recommend it to friends and family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Stunning

    Finishing this book is no easy task. Many have commented on the difficulty of keeping track of where in the timeline of the story one is at. This isn't made any easier by the sumptuous detail one has to sift through to make sense of things. Strangely, it remimded me of my experience reading Vonnegut's Slaughter House 5. The effort it took to read either of these works actually adds to the depth of the experience upon finishing. Much like her politics, Roy doesn't let her reader off the hook. The way she spins her web with her images is unique and unparalelled.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    This is a book that, years after reading it, I still think about

    This is a book that, years after reading it, I still think about.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    life changing

    this is quite simply a MUST-READ. just do it. and then read it again. and then buy a copy for all of the readers in your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    I don't know why I hadn't read this book before!

    I loved the book. I loved reading about a period of India's history that I had not read before. I liked the way the book made me feel uneasy with some of the characters they are unpredictable and complex like most of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    genious

    a literary masterpiece!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    One of the few books I've reread more than twice

    Read this book! You will fall in love! I am an avid reader and rarely reread books. But this book is haunting in its beauty and at least once every year or two, I find myself drawn to read it again. And each time I fall more in love with Arundhati's poetic story telling. This remains my all time favorite book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Touched my soul with her words

    It really doesn't surprise me that so many readers thought this book was awful. In many ways, it was like reading an artistic collage but oh the beauty within the words is indescribable. I found myself reading paragraphs aloud to my husband so that he could share in the joy. Touching on real life and not the play acting that passes for life, Roy (who is a she not a he) speaks to the spark of the eternal in all of us and makes us contemplate that for human beings the boundaries, prejudices, beliefs, norms are all self imposed prisons and the bars can and need to be broken open and exposed. I am 67 years old and this is now my favorite book of all time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    ahh so good....

    its funny because i lived in india for four years from fourth through seventh grade and i lived in the area she talks about. about an hour from kottayam... so its like im living the entire story in a way. because ive experienced almost everything that she talks about. and the words i understand the words! but apart from that connection, its a really moving book and it gives you a LOT to think about...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is one of those rare books that grows and obtains new nuances every time it is pondered. I fell in love with the characters and felt their emotions along with them. Breathtaking is the only word I can use to describe it. The manner in which a single event shapes the lives of the characters is astounding. The writing style is endearing and made me fall in love with the characters on a much deeper level. The ending made me weep with sadness and awe at the beauty of all of it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a thought-provoking and poignant novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    The detail and nuances of this novel are amazing. If you want a deep, rich, symbol-laden text, look no futher. This is IT. On the surface this book is enjoyable to read because the words and quirks Roy creates the characters' worlds with are beautiful and endearing. On a significantly deeper level, this book becomes even more amazing. Descriptions are lush with symbolism and yet beautiful and read-able. An absolute joy. The narration is pieced and switches between two time periods in the same set of characters' lives. Some people may not like this because yes, it may be a bit confusing, but there is a reason to all the madness. Roy forces the reader to piece it all together by hinting here and there. You've got to read it all to understand. And read it diligently. Overall, this book is just an absolute gem. Just right. Very satisfying read. Inspiring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    Absolutely Amazing!!!

    This has become one of my favorite books! This is a novel with incredible imagery and I could see the characters right before my eyes. Full-bodied descriptions force the reader to slow down to the pace of the small-town setting. I plan on re-reading it and have told my friends about it. This book is a treasure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    Excellent!

    I thought this book was phenomenal. It was beautifully told and the imagery was amazing. Her way of writing may not be conventional and she seems to spiral into the heart of the story instead of the traditional beginning, middle, and end format, but I never lost the central meaning of the story. This book was almost poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2007

    Amazing

    I'm shocked that this book got so may poor reviews! I read this years ago, and it's still on my bookshelf. I thought the atmosphere Roy set up was beautiful and cozy. Yes, it took me about a chapter or so to get used to the writing style, but it was well worth my time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    So far, nothing compares to this!!

    Absolutely Lovely! Roy's use of words will give you goosebumps. THIS IS the most beautiful story of LOVE ever told. I was literally heartbroken the book ended.

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