Marci's Reviews > The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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Sep 18, 2008

it was amazing

An exquisitely written book with descriptions like, "Night's elbows rested on the water, and falling stars glanced off it's brittle shards." So delicious, pregnant with imagery and bursting with delightful words that capture the very essence of childhood and the way children interpret things (I.e. Bar Nowl = barn owl). There were some difficult themes to digest and some R rated material that will keep me from recommending it to my children for awhile..
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01/12/2015 marked as: read

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Heather S. Jones oh! marci! this is one of my favorite books for the very reasons you mentioned!! she has such an great time with the english language -- it's athletic. (being thus under her stylist drug, the edgier themes were less jarring.) this is definitely something i relish in a lot of south asian writers (and the diaspora) as many are so linguistically inventive. certainly the reasons why i read, plot comes second. i think of v.s. naipaul and what he said during his journey from poverty to oxford, "i'm going to beat the english at their own language!" we can suppose his nobel prize was a fulfillment of this! (must read his "house for mr. biswas"!!!) back to roy, if you can stomach a more acerbic tone, i would recommend giving her political essays a read. they also sparkle with evocative word play as she deftly defends her views. one is titled, for instance, "brutality smeared in peanut butter" (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001...) ok, last anecdote: i stalked her in nyc at a reading - she signed my copy of this book!! ahhh... moments i am proud of. ;)


Marci Heather, I agree completely! The book is brilliantly written and I spent quite some time reading about the author afterwards and have every intent to read more of what she has written. Upon further reflection it wasn't the themes but perhaps the rawness with which she portrayed life and the various events in the book that caught me slightly off-guard. Side-by-side with all the twisting and shinning of the wordplay there was also very frank, common language. Where many authors tend to use words like "feces" to soften things or leave out potentially edgier lyrics to songs Roy intertwines it all into her book, allowing the children's innocence to smooth much of what is encountered. The wonderful part was how universal the characters' experiences were--how much I related to so many of their thoughts, how much of my childhood experiences in hot climates, noticing the way the sun lays across things, how the air and the water feel, the guilt I felt about things, how all of that was encapsulated in her book.

Speaking of amazing wordplay, have you read "The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making"? That series of books makes me want to take a swim through the words, just to feel them bump up against my skin time and again.


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