The God of Small Things
Mr B's review
A tale of a fractured family in 1960s Kerala, told from the innocent perspective of children, twins Rahel and Esthappen. Roy’s writing is both delicate and vivid, weaving striking and magical images, and the quietly gripping plotline builds, with an increasing sense of impending tragedy, to a devastating conclusion that remains impossible to predict until the very end. I challenge anyone not to cry while reading this book.
‘They all broke the rules. They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.’
This is the story of Rahel and Estha, twins growing up among the banana vats and peppercorns of their blind grandmother’s factory, and amid scenes of political turbulence in Kerala. Armed only with the innocence of youth, they fashion a childhood in the shade of the wreck that is their family: their lonely, lovely mother, their beloved Uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher) and their sworn enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun, incumbent grand-aunt).
Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize-winning novel was the literary sensation of the 1990s: a story anchored to anguish but fuelled by wit and magic.
‘Richly deserving the rapturous praise it has received on both sides of the Atlantic…”The God of Small Things” achieves a genuine tragic resonance. It is, indeed, a masterpiece.’ Observer
‘Roy is truly gifted, not just in her ability to make words playful and meaning mischievous, but to use this to create a language texture that bowls you along, gathering momentum like the narrative itself…Witty and vivid, full of rich, memorable images…a verbal stream of steady beauty.’ Ali Smith
‘It is rare to find a book that so effectively cuts through the clothes of nationality, caste and religion to reveal the bare bones of humanity. A sensational novel.’ Daily Telegraph
‘A quite astonishing novel by any standards – broad in its historical sweep, emotionally profound and marvellously acute and delicate.’ Economist
‘Quite brilliant…One can only strongly recommend this extremely funny and enchanting and pretty much genius piece of debut fiction.’ Spectator
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