Amytyr's Reviews > The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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did not like it
bookshelves: have-read
Recommended for: No-one.

This is, without a doubt, the single worst book ever written.
It makes virtually no sense, jumping from past to present tense so often and without warning that you have no idea whats going on. Out of nowhere the writer mentions filthy disturbing sexual things for no reason. I could not even find a story in there, just meaningless jibberish.
The thing that amazes me most though, is that while i am yet to meet a single person that LIKES this book, it makes it onto all the top 100 lists etc.
I can only believe that this is because there is NO point to the book, but the reviewers and people that complile the book lists feel that no book can be written without reason and so they must be missing the point of it, and therefore rate the book very highly, so they seem as though they are incredibly intelligent and gained some sort of deep understanding from this book of garbage.

End Rant.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 29, 2007 – Shelved
October 29, 2007 – Shelved as: have-read

Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)

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Jennie I've only read the first two chapters and I feel the same way. A bunch of mumble jumble metaphors and random jibberish that pop up out of no where. Hopefully it will get better?

Feroz Hameed Jennie wrote: "I've only read the first two chapters and I feel the same way. A bunch of mumble jumble metaphors and random jibberish that pop up out of no where. Hopefully it will get better?"

Jennie.......well said ....but patience and perseverance ....that’s what u need to read this book...and perhaps u really don’t understand the setting of this story line from a small village in Kerala, India. Me being from India was able to relate to every events / sequence that Arundhati was portraying in this novel picture by picture ..........yes its tough to digest especially with her literary skills in the choice of words used.....perhaps that is why she got Man Booker Prize (1997) .........

Vicki We had this for our library book club and not one of us finished it - except the leader, who of course had to. When she summarized the story it sounded pretty good - just a pity Roy didn't write it that way!

Feroz Hameed Vicki wrote: "We had this for our library book club and not one of us finished it - except the leader, who of course had to. When she summarized the story it sounded pretty good - just a pity Roy didn't write i..."

First of all this book is not a quick bite.
But the narratory style impressed me even though verbal virtuosity, is not any easy digest for people like us.
Roy definitely has a special skill in taking through your depth of imagination to boundaries beyound the story line, perhaps we need the persistence to see that.

Rebecca Actually I loved this book and thought the writing was phenomenal. I don't claim to understand the point or "deep meaning" of it but "worst book ever written" is a bit extreme...

Scott This was a beautifully written book that contains some of the most evocative figurative language I've ever encountered. If you didn't understand that language or the time jumps (which are both widely employed in other works of fiction) I think you just need something written in a more straightforward manner. This book, however, is beautiful.

Gsnair88 that's probably because you din't give a heed to history or human emotions. One would probably like Rushdie's straining and impending language, you could have enjoyed the book if the child in you was never lost. Anyways, read ahead!

Tommylammert Probably the most ignorant review I've encountered. Not once does the narration ever change tense. Learn to read.

Srilakshmi You're probably one of those people who read Stephanie Meyer and call that literature. This review shows how doomed the world is. Talk about washing one's dirty laundry in public.

message 10: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Morais It's her opinion, she's entitled.

message 11: by Rahul (new)

Rahul I've only read the first two chapters and I feel pathetically bored. The last book I read was "the girl with the dragon tattoo"...hope you know my taste by now.. so are the good pages are yet to come at this Roy's book of tragic lives?

Deborah Wells This probably isn't the worse book I've ever read, but I'm not enjoying it either. It's not my taste.

@Tommylammert and @Lucky - condescending much?

Shannon Paquette @Scott - I completely agree with your comments. The writing in every book I have read since I first read The God of Small Things twelve years ago is measured to Roy's. Far too many fall short. If it is poorly-written or the language does not stir some emotion I cannot continue reading. This book is IS beautiful, even if tragic.

Emily Stoker The book makes absolute sense, its about massive massive issues such as the caste laws in India taken from the perspective of mainly 7 year olds, which can sometimes mean that people like you that don't give it time don't understand it. The reason for the time leaps from rahels 7 to her 31 is to play out the before and after of the terror. If you notice, past and present are in alternate chapters. The 'filthy sexual things' that you refer to I assume mean Estha and the orangedrink-lemondrink man. The reason I believe it is so overtly visual is to juxtapose with her subtle description of the true love in the the book, velutha and ammu and tragically through grief estha and rahel. This book does deserve to make it onto every good book list. Why? 1. because its structured so fantastically, it counteracts its melancholy with the fact we know someone will die right from the very first chapter. 2. It raises such massive issues like the caste laws in India which i felt compelled to read into if i was ever going to understand this book properly. 3. The way it is written in English, by an Indian author and her use of the language - blending, play on words relates to the effects of post-colonialism, only enforces the theme even more strongly. You should read this book again, and then read some material on it and educate yourself.

Nikkhah The reviewer's understanding is verb simplistic. The book has been written in a special style with many flash backs and starting in the future with some outcomes of the story already known. An intelligent reader would enjoy both the beautiful style and challenge of putting together the pieces of this wonderful story. Social issues that are addressed here are very important and in different ways still affect millions of people around the world.

Naveen Cherian Cannot agree to the fact that its worst..The author expects the reader to follow and like the subtlety of village life and attain niravana

Lydia Ingram You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But a reader ought first to consider whether she is even capable of appreciating a work in the first place before judging it so harshly. To state that this is the "worst book ever" does little more than suggest you are incapable of understanding complex and rich texts. I'm not saying that this is true of you, only that you come off that way in your extreme commentary. Your review makes you seem as though you think it's the BOOK'S fault for being over your head. A more appropriate comment would be to say that it's not your preferred style or that you would rather cozy up with a good linear plot-line instead. There's no shame in saying you dislike non-linear plots or that you prefer not to read books that delve into dark and tragic realities. But to say that it "makes no sense" merely broadcasts your ignorance.

message 18: by Rijula (new)

Rijula D You don't know how to spell "gibberish"
You don't know anybody with any sense of literature.
I'm amazed you didn't have to hire somebody to type out this review for you.

Read E.L. James, Paulo Coelho, assorted Mills and Boon.
Even Stephenie Meyer is an aspiration for you.

Abhirami.a.s thumbs up lydia and rijula :D

buttercup so can you can a better book?????

Harriet You just don't see the beauty in her writing. It's not the worst book ever written, quite the contrary, it's one of the best. You just don't understand it.

message 22: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Q I get that you didn't get the point of a book. That happens. But what I don't get is that you write a pointless review...

Melissa Endean I absolutely loved this book. I'm a huge reader of lit- and this book is by far my favourite. I wasn't confused by it at all- I found it very deep and inspiring! I guess that's the thing about art tho- one man's masterpiece is another man's garbage or something like that!

Prasad Best luck for your book which will be better than 'The god of small things'

Roopal You clearly did not put much effort into really understanding the book. The beauty of a book does not lie in decorating everything on a platter and serving it to the reader like a nicholas sparks book. Memories can spring up anytime, anywhere and the catalyst could be anything, a word, a scene, a smell and that is the way the book is framed. And those sexual encounters you called filthy is molestation and molestation is never beautiful, not for the victim at least, which is why is is described in a very crude, raw way giving proper justice to a child's encounter with one of the worst things that can happen to him. In the last chapter she describes the love making scene of a paravan and a touchable in the most beautiful way it could be described. If you have such a problem with sexual encounters, you should not forget that that is how you were conceived and all of us came into being. As per the molestation is concerned it is a very serious issue and needs to be acknowledged more than it is, if we want to really spread awareness and save our kids from the cruelty of pedophiles, rapists and sick humans. Yes, the incest leaves a question mark, but the twisted childhood of two innocent, deeply connected two-egged twins could have led to that which you and I can't judge because thankfully we never had such traumatic childhood. So all I ask you is to give the book another chance, give your brain a little push to understand the intentional haphazard arrangement of events and with an open mind and concern for the real deep-rooted issues in the society, read it again.

message 26: by Zoe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zoe Ito you were clearly too stupid to understand the novel, well done for trying

Souptik Banerjee Lol! Nice review.

There's an amazing fact that you may have overlooked so far - none of the Mills and Boon books has ever made it to Man Booker.

Sheila Mahoutchian I've never read a more dead wrong review. This is the single best book I have ever read in my life.

message 29: by Kiran (new) - added it

Kiran Complete the book and feel the things that gets unfolded. I too was in the same situatiin when I stqrted reading that.

message 30: by Kiran (new) - added it

Kiran Ha ha. Have you finished it?

Claire Heffer Clearly you have not read Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet - which I believe is the worst book ever written.

Ameya Joshi You are of course entitled to not like it, but to say that this is the single worst book ever written is to merely show your own lack of humility, taste and ignorance. Unfortunate

Kiasha I honestly, could not agree more. I only took up this book because it was so widely acclaimed, but there was genuinely No Point. No Essence. Nothing Classy, whatsoever. The sexual scenes were out of the blue, and just seemed to have no place in the "story"

Cherie To assume a person is unintelligent or lazy because of their dislike of a book strikes me as condescending. I am 1/3 through this book and have mixed feelings. I have read other books that have dealt with equally dark themes that made a stronger impact. I will finish it. Until then, I was curious why this book has so far failed to move me and sought out a few reviews to seek out other perspectives. I'm not feeling involved in the story or the characters in most of the chapters.

message 35: by Varun (new) - rated it 1 star

Varun Kapoor Very true jumping between past and present too much

message 36: by Deeksha (new) - added it

Deeksha Qanoungo yeah i feel the same.. is it important to finish this book?

message 37: by Nawabg (new)

Nawabg Deeksha wrote: "yeah i feel the same.. is it important to finish this book?"

... It's not "important" to finish any book. If you are not enjoying it, then don't read it. If something, however, is making you curious, then go ahead.

I admit that this novel is not an "easy" read by any stretch. It is not the kind of book you can read 20 pages of and then come back to 10 months later to resume because literally in those 20 pages you've been introduced to 20 years of history, places, and people.

I've noticed a correlation between people who enjoyed this book, and people who enjoyed shows like Lost and Game of Thrones -- shows where you MUST keep track of tiny bits of dialogue and vague references in order to get total understanding and meaning.

It's not for everyone and I do not mean that as an insult. I don't agree with the reviewer though simply because a phrase like "filthy disturbing sexual things" tells me this book just isn't for them and that they placed way too much importance on a rare number of scenes.... kind of like the parent who freaks out at their kid because they walked in on them watching the ONE sex scene in an otherwise totally OK movie.

message 38: by Avon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Avon LVe Maybe you need a teacher to help you understand. This book is a masterpiece! Maybe it's not your taste but cmon its not the worst.

Abhishek Jain You are not a regular reader I suppose :) BTW, the very essense of the book is in the non linearity of the story.

message 40: by Satwik (new)

Satwik Agrawal ...11 years ago a certain someone slept well

message 41: by Bruce (new)

Bruce E. Now you have met someone. I my favourite book I have read in the last 15 years.

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