Saturday 24 November 2012

Roy, Arundhati "The God of Small Things"

Roy, Arundhati "The God of Small Things" - 1997

A tragedy, full of neglect, abuse, deceit, an almost poetic narrative. Sounds interesting.

However, I have quite an ambivalent relationship with Booker prize winners, I either love them or loathe them. Some of them I dislike so much, you will find them among the worst books I ever read.

This novel had a strange effect on me. I love reading about India and have read and really enjoyed quite a few of their literature (see here). So, I always wanted to know how the story goes on, what happens to the characters, that was the good side of this book.

But the characters, there wasn't a single one I liked, well, maybe one but he didn't fare very well in the novel. The story jumps back and forth, I suppose the author wanted to build anticipation. Usually, I quite like that style, here, it was just annoying. A very bleak and hopeless story.

From the back cover:

"The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family. Their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu, (who loves by night the man her children love by day), fled an abusive marriage to live with their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt). When Chacko's English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in a day, that lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river..."

Arundhati Roy won the Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things" in 1997.

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