Tim's Reviews > The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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's review
Dec 17, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: Everyone who can handle it

Okay, it won the Booker prize and everyone has said it before - but god damn is this one melancholy piece of work, and that's actually why I like it.

It's melancholy, not depressing, and it answers more questions about the characters than it first seemed to, although, I have to say, the characters on the whole are quite two-dimensional. Then again, so are a lot of real people: this is an indictment of human life if ever I saw it.

The language is brilliant, the running together of words to form themes, the lack of any explanation when shifting around in time that isn't needed, because the style and/or perspective is changed so fluidly that it takes only half a second to readjust yourself. I think perhaps the pacing in the final quarter, leading up to The Incident, was the best piece of work I have read although one or two things seemed out of place, allowing us to guess too early what happens, once or twice.
Still, that adds to the picture we build, and assists the final drama in being oh-so-very dramatic.

My favourite/least favourite aspect of the story is the same exact thing: Baby Kochamma's fate. If you've read it you'll know that what she deserves she would deserve only at the hands of a gang of cops, but the way she spends the vast majority of her life, her unbending belief and continued pathetic existence, is actually her just punishment.
But by god I wanted to lean into the pages and throttle the hell out of her come the finish.

Anyway, yes it really is a magnificent book, fully deserving of all five stars, but while it isn't actually depressing, it is melancholy as hell.

Can't say enough about some of the characters because they are painted so richly, the two protagonists especially, but even though the actual events, while brutal, tragic and realistic in their consequences, are important and could very well devastate so many lives as the lives in this book were so devastated, they were hardly `epic` as so many reviewers like to claim.

Worse things happen at sea, still.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
December 17, 2007 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Veena My feelings where the same for Baby Kochamma! I like your review of this one! My feelings are the same!

Ross You are right about Baby K. - wonder how much Dickens Roy has read?

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