Samadrita’s review of The God of Small Things > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Praj (new)

Praj Thanks for such erudite review. It has been ages since I have read this book, so thank you once again for unearthing one of the most deciding book of one of my favourite authors.


message 2: by Erwin (new)

Erwin Wow! Great review! I have to reread this one for sure! It has been a long time ago.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 29, 2014 08:37AM) (new)

You speak the esoteric language of children ... Their combined muteness throbbed with the dull ache of longing, loss and irreparable damage. Their collective passivity stood out as a blistering denouncement of humanity always coming second to zealously cherished blind prejudices. And You spoke through Rahel and Estha's silence which rung much louder than a giant church bell chiming away at a great distance.

Beautiful, beautiful review.

I don't think you could have put the experience of reading this book any better.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

It's been five months - not too early for me to read it again? ;)


message 5: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Praj wrote: "Thanks for such erudite review. It has been ages since I have read this book, so thank you once again for unearthing one of the most deciding book of one of my favourite authors."

I cannot believe I read it so late. Glad you liked it, Praj.


message 6: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Erwin wrote: "Wow! Great review! I have to reread this one for sure! It has been a long time ago."

Thank you, Erwin. May you have a great time, re-reading.


message 7: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Lauren wrote: "You speak the esoteric language of children ... Their combined muteness throbbed with the dull ache of longing, loss and irreparable damage. Their collective passivity stood out as a blistering den..."

Aww thank you, Lauren. It was mainly Aubrey and you, who pushed me to read an author I had steadily ignored for a long time. Now to read her essays.

And 5 months seem like a long enough gap between successive readings. :)


message 8: by Garima (new)

Garima And in this space, I thank YOU for this beautiful, heartfelt and awesome piece of writing. Great review, Samadrita which shook me and told in a potent voice - Now you better read the book again, Garima. High Time.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm really curious about her essays. Look forward to seeing what you think of them.

Garima wrote: "And in this space, I thank YOU for this beautiful, heartfelt and awesome piece of writing. Great review, Samadrita which shook me and told in a potent voice - Now you better read the book again, Ga..."

High time indeed.


message 10: by Ema (last edited Jan 29, 2014 09:15AM) (new)

Ema I love the haunting, ode-like tone in this review, Samadrita. I see You as an iconoclast, persistent in your demand for liberties we are too submissive to dream of acquiring. beautifully put... But I will have to read this novel myself to better understand the ode you sing to Arundhati Roy and, maybe, to the God of Small Things...
As it happens, I do have this novel in my library.


message 11: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey If you haven't heard already, Samadrita, Roy's working on her second novel.

*flails*


message 12: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Well after your rather splendid review Samadrita, it looks as though another book is going to see the light of day with me!


message 13: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Garima wrote: "And in this space, I thank YOU for this beautiful, heartfelt and awesome piece of writing. Great review, Samadrita which shook me and told in a potent voice - Now you better read the book again, Ga..."

You must, Garima. Your review will be a treat to look out for. Thank you for your kind words as ever.


message 14: by Wastrel (new)

Wastrel Aubrey wrote: "If you haven't heard already, Samadrita, Roy's working on her second novel.

*flails*"


That was my reaction too... unfortunately, it was about six or seven years ago! I don't know whether she's still working on the same one, or whether she gave up, took a break, and is now back working on another, but I won't get my hopes up until I see the thing in print...

Anyway, on the book, if I had a criticism it would be that it didn't hold up for me quite as well on a re-read, both because I knew the plot in advance (and I felt that a lot of the book is about maintaining a tense anticipation, rather than about things happening, so knowing the end in advance spoiled the anticipation), and because sometimes, particularly with the child POVs, Roy's writing is a little predictable and affected - I didn't feel that the first time, because I was bowled over by the originality and beauty of it, but a second, more critical and less emotional, reading of it, let me see a little bit too much of how it seemed to work behind the scenes, as it were.

But that's quibbling, really, because even on the re-read I still gave it five stars. I just didn't love it quite as much.

Despite that, I think that everybody should read it - it's one of the books I recommend most frequently.


message 15: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Ema wrote: "I love the haunting, ode-like tone in this review, Samadrita. I see You as an iconoclast, persistent in your demand for liberties we are too submissive to dream of acquiring. beautifully put... But..."

Yes you must read this, Ema. This will not only give you an accurate picture of the Indian landscape - social, political and religious. But recount a very heart-breaking but humane tale of love, loss and grief. Ms Roy has a firm grasp on Indian realities and her impeccable prose will charm you in no time.


message 16: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Wastrel wrote: "Aubrey wrote: "If you haven't heard already, Samadrita, Roy's working on her second novel.

*flails*"

That was my reaction too... unfortunately, it was about six or seven years ago! I don't know w..."


Well, this article popped up about three months ago, so perhaps there's hope: http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-a...


message 17: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Aubrey wrote: "If you haven't heard already, Samadrita, Roy's working on her second novel.

*flails*"


I did hear about it a few weeks back. But I am not putting my faith in that news lest it turns out to be a hoax or rumor in the end. Just recently, Vikram Seth returned his advance payment to Penguin Publishers because he did not finish the sequel to A Suitable Boy on time.
I won't believe in this news until I see the book published.
But, for the moment, I am keeping my fingers crossed and trying my best not to flail. :)


message 18: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Lynne wrote: "Well after your rather splendid review Samadrita, it looks as though another book is going to see the light of day with me!"

I hope you enjoy it, Lynne. This contains a rather tragic and tear-jerking tale but the narrative is designed in an ingenious way and the prose is par excellence.


message 19: by Wastrel (new)

Wastrel Samadrita: "...a very heart-breaking but humane tale of love, loss and grief."

And don't forget (saddest of all) joy!

"Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite joy.”
Of the four things that were Possible in Human Nature, Rahel thought that Infinnate Joy sounded the saddest. Perhaps because of the way Chacko said it.
Infinnate Joy. With a church sound to it.



message 20: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Wastrel wrote: "And don't forget (saddest of all) joy!"

That too.


message 21: by Ema (new)

Ema Samadrita wrote: "Yes you must read this, Ema. This will not only give you an accurate picture of the Indian landscape - social, political and religious."

If you say this novel will leave me with an accurate view of the Indian world, and if you, as a part of that world, think this is such a great read, then I will definitely move it up on my reading list. Thank you, Sam.


message 22: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma I did not love the book but I loved your review.


message 23: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita @Ema:-Hope you have an enjoyable time with the book.

Nandakishore wrote: "I did not love the book but I loved your review."

I am glad you liked it. :) what made you give only 2 stars though?


message 24: by Jr (new)

Jr Bacdayan I really loved this book, even attempted to make a review of it, but I couldn't capture that fragile essence, so I abandoned it. Where I failed, you succeeded. Such a powerful review, Samadrita. I couldn't shake that same feeling I had when I read this book. Vividly captured, superbly written. Only from one of the best reviewers of this site can something like this be produced. Salute.


message 25: by Himanshu (new)

Himanshu Such an amazing review Samadrita! I read this book a long time back and after reading your review it feels like I've missed a lot because of my amateurish attempt. Will definitely re-read. Thanks!


message 26: by Basuhi (last edited Jan 29, 2014 10:47PM) (new)

Basuhi Your reviews incite a puerile jealousy in me, that makes me want to throw a tantrum and scream, I want to write like that.


message 27: by Navaneeta (new)

Navaneeta I second Basuhi. Your reviews are always, always so beautiful.


message 28: by Dolors (last edited Jan 30, 2014 12:38AM) (new)

Dolors "The right to love whom we want and how much we want. The right to be equal. The right not to be discriminated against. The right not to be left languishing in solitude, battling painful memories."

Samadrita you write straight from the gut, and if words were handwritten in paper they'd have a tinge of crimson, for it's your blood boiling and your soul poured overflowing in each one of them. Your endorsement of this famous novel is enough stimuli for me to have pressed the buy-button. I have had this novel in my radar for ages and after having read Vikram Seth and Robinson Mistry I think it's high time I listened to the voice of a female Indian writer. Thank you for giving me the lacking impulse to finally buy this novel. I have no adjectives left to praise your writing, let's just say that you move me beyond words.


message 29: by S.Ach (new)

S.Ach If you haven't already, then you should write a book, so that we can say, "I thank that God for the Samadritas of the world."


message 30: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Jr wrote: "I really loved this book, even attempted to make a review of it, but I couldn't capture that fragile essence, so I abandoned it. Where I failed, you succeeded. Such a powerful review, Samadrita. I ..."

That's very generous of you to say, Jr. I am glad you liked it so much. There were other ways I could write this review. But I just had to write this the way I did.


message 31: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Himanshu wrote: "Such an amazing review Samadrita! I read this book a long time back and after reading your review it feels like I've missed a lot because of my amateurish attempt. Will definitely re-read. Thanks!"

I hope you have a better experience re-reading the book, Himanshu. Thank you for reading.


message 32: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Basuhi wrote: "Your reviews incite a puerile jealousy in me, that makes me want to throw a tantrum and scream, I want to write like that."

Aww you already write so very well, Basuhi. And there's the advantage of time on your side which you can use to further better your style.

@Navaneeta:-Glad you liked it. I find your reviews very beautifully written as well.


message 33: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Dolors wrote: ""The right to love whom we want and how much we want. The right to be equal. The right not to be discriminated against. The right not to be left languishing in solitude, battling painful memories."..."

And inspite of being Indian, I have neither read Vikram Seth nor Rohinton Mistry yet. I should be ashamed of myself as a reader. Your words have always served as wonderful encouragement, Dolors. And adjectives do not matter. I hope you have a rip-roaring rendezvous with Roy's brilliant debut novel.


message 34: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Sujeet wrote: "If you haven't already, then you should write a book, so that we can say, "I thank that God for the Samadritas of the world.""

That's extremely generous of you to say. I am glad you liked the review so much.


message 35: by Tej (last edited Jan 30, 2014 05:10AM) (new)

Tej helpless captives in the iron grip of the status quo of the world

This is the reason, that in the culture I or we belong to, anything that is picked up for the simple reason of reading it, is looked with scorn and anxiety of the unknown because in the meaningless existence do we deliberately ensconce ourselves and then percolate that helplessness to innumerable rungs down the ladder. Its all about the business, politics or diplomacy of it all, when the meaning lies somewhere beyond, but it takes courage and desire to really LIVE and not just go along the safest trajectory... the risk of being left alone, abandoned and pariahed... the risk of an existence of drudgery and scorn... thorns and pain instead of roses and pleasure!
I still remember the way I shrivelled along with the words that formed the epiphany of this very accesible yet gut wrenching tale of as you said so well 'small things', the underdog, the 'grit' and Davids of these Goliathan run world... Absolutely loved this heart-warming piece of writing, Thank you :)


message 36: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Good to see a positive review on this one. With me, it just did not click. There was something in the tone...


message 37: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Tej wrote: "helpless captives in the iron grip of the status quo of the world

This is the reason, that in the culture I or we belong to, anything that is picked up for the simple reason of reading it, is look..."


I want to quote parts of your comment and respond to each one of them. But I won't since I agree with all of it and whole-heartedly. So why be redundant?
Thank you for reading, Tej. And thank you for believing that it's not always 'about the business, politics or diplomacy of it all'. :)


message 38: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Kalliope wrote: "Good to see a positive review on this one. With me, it just did not click. There was something in the tone..."

Sorry to hear you didn't like the book, Kall. It's because we all have such different reading tastes that we get to see light shed on different aspects of the same book here. And that is what makes the Goodreads experience so worthwhile.


message 39: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope Samadrita wrote: "

Sorry to hear you didn't like the book, Kall. It's because we all ..."


I know, I was surprised I did not connect with it. It had been given to me as a gift, and a couple of friends really liked it. But another couple of friends didn't either.

Apart from differences from individual to individual, it also matters greatly at which point and in which circumstances one has read the book...

That is why I liked reading your review, particularly because your being of the same nationality as the writer certainly gives an additional credibility to your opinion.

But Roy is an interesting woman. I understand she has not written any other novels, and that her interests are more on political issues.


message 40: by Mosca (last edited Jan 30, 2014 08:54AM) (new)

Mosca I'm a longtime admirer of Arundhati Roy as a political essayist and public speaker. And for some reason it has taken me a long time to get around to reading this book.

I was very, very much effected. (5 stars). Very well written. But I was terrified and confused by its tale.

And now your review has helped me to clarify much of my confusion. I will re-read this.

Thank you, Samadrita.


message 41: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Samadrita wrote: ".Sorry to hear you didn't like the book, Kall. It's because we all have such different reading tastes that we get to see light shed on different aspects of the same book here. And that is what makes the Goodreads experience so worthwhile. .."

I appreciated your review, Sam, because it revealed facets of the book I'd underrated when I read it.
Still, my overall memory is one of being suffocated by the lushness of the writing. I somehow doubt Roy could/would ever write that way again. But we'll see...


message 42: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Kalliope wrote: "Samadrita wrote: "

Sorry to hear you didn't like the book, Kall. It's because we all ..."

I know, I was surprised I did not connect with it. It had been given to me as a gift, and a couple of fr..."


Perfectly understandable, Kall. Roy is supposedly working on her second novel. And I have just returned from the Calcutta Book Fair armed with a few volumes of her essays. TGoST has definitely turned me into a devout fan. Prior to reading this book, I had viewed her political arguments with a skeptical eye. But now I understand completely - what she feels, means and wants. She has a good grasp over the facts dominating our political and socio-cultural landscape .
You can try her nonfiction sometime, maybe.


message 43: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Mosca wrote: "I'm a longtime admirer of Arundhati Roy as a political essayist and public speaker. And for some reason it has taken me a long time to get around to reading this book.

I was very, very much effect..."


I am very happy to know that my review helped clarify some of your confusion, Mosca. Although I framed my review in a rather oblique manner. And I will re-read this again some day.


message 44: by Samadrita (last edited Jan 31, 2014 08:36AM) (new)

Samadrita Fionnuala wrote: "Samadrita wrote: ".Sorry to hear you didn't like the book, Kall. It's because we all have such different reading tastes that we get to see light shed on different aspects of the same book here. And..."

I think her poetic writing sharpened the blow of the tragedy and it was, perhaps, an indirect way of trying to preserve the beauty of living amid all the ugliness in the world at large. I loved the book and I know there were certain flaws - like how Roy often got carried away while trying to script the narrative in the unique language of children and exaggerated their thought processes. And she also referenced the meaning behind the title one too many times. But I was so blown away by the crucial issues she touched upon while never stepping into overtly sentimental territory, that I decided not to nitpick.
Glad you liked the review, Fio.


message 45: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Pulkit wrote: "I doubt whether a better novel can be written highlighting the horrors of patriarchy and fear disguised as bigotry and illusion of order.
Sadly, the injustices are just as alive today as they were..."


Can't say that but it is certainly a great novel focusing on the importance of social justice. I am happy we read it at the same time though.


message 46: by Scarlet (new)

Scarlet Seriously Sama, reading so many of your reviews one after the other makes me wish you'd publish a collection of these someday. Just so I could officially add you to my favorite authors' list ;)


message 47: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Scarlet wrote: "Seriously Sama, reading so many of your reviews one after the other makes me wish you'd publish a collection of these someday. Just so I could officially add you to my favorite authors' list ;)"

You have to stop bombarding me with such awfully nice comments right after you arrive. It's a little too much for my heart. :P
And now I patiently wait for you to review something.


message 48: by Nidhi (new)

Nidhi Singh This is a brilliant review Samadrita! I read this book at an age when I couldn't really understand it. Now re-reading this seems to be one of the most essential things I need to do.


message 49: by Samadrita (new)

Samadrita Nidhi wrote: "This is a brilliant review Samadrita! I read this book at an age when I couldn't really understand it. Now re-reading this seems to be one of the most essential things I need to do."

Sorry about the late reply, Nidhi. Seems like I missed your comment somehow. I am glad you liked the review and I'll be even happier if it gets you to re-read Roy's only novel some day.


message 50: by Harry (last edited Apr 25, 2014 05:30AM) (new)

Harry An homage to a writer. Very beautifully done, Samadrita. I would read this just to become more familiar with the Indian landscape. It really is not good that you and other GR friends are so familiar with the Western landscape, while we in the West are so notoriously unfamiliar with yours (artistically, politically, philosophically and socially).


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