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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

The God of Small Things

A Novel

By Arundhati Roy

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Format: Paperback, 333 pages
Published In: United States, 01 January 2008
The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale.... Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family - their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts). When their English cousin, Sophie Mol, and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, arrive on a Christmas visit, Esthappen and Rahel learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river "graygreen. With fish in it. With the sky and trees in it. And at night, the broken yellow moon in it."

About the Author

Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect. She has worked as a production designer and written the screenplays for two films. She lives in New Delhi. This is her first book. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

"Offers such magic, mystery and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It's that hauntingly wonderful."-- "USA Today""Outstanding. A glowing first novel."-- "Newsweek""A splendid and stunning debut."-- "Washington Post Book World ""A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does.... A Tiger Woodsian debut." -- John Updike, " The New Yorker""The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary -- at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple -- that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."-- "New York Times Book Review" "Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It's that haunting."--USA Today "The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary--at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple--that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."--The New York Times Book Review "A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does."--John Updike, The New Yorker "Outstanding. A glowing first novel."--Newsweek "Splendid and stunning."--The Washington Post Book World "Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It's that hauntingly wonderful."-USA Today "The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary-at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple-that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."-The New York Times Book Review "A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does."-John Updike, The New Yorker "Outstanding. A glowing first novel."-Newsweek "Splendid and stunning."-The Washington Post Book World Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times [The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It s that hauntingly wonderful. USA Today The quality of Ms. Roy s narration is so extraordinary at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple that the reader remains enthralled all the way through. The New York Times Book Review A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does. John Updike, The New Yorker Outstanding. A glowing first novel. Newsweek Splendid and stunning. The Washington Post Book World" Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times [The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It s that hauntingly wonderful. USA Today The quality of Ms. Roy s narration is so extraordinary at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple that the reader remains enthralled all the way through. The New York Times Book Review A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does. John Updike, The New Yorker Outstanding. A glowing first novel. Newsweek Splendid and stunning. The Washington Post Book World" "Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It's that hauntingly wonderful."-USA Today "The quality of Ms. Roy's narration is so extraordinary-at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple-that the reader remains enthralled all the way through."-The New York Times Book Review "A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does."-John Updike, The New Yorker "Outstanding. A glowing first novel."-Newsweek "Splendid and stunning."-The Washington Post Book World

EAN: 9780812979657
ISBN: 0812979656
Publisher: Random House Inc
Dimensions: 20.57 x 13.26 x 2.01 centimetres (0.25 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
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Laura on
 
Heart warming tale about two children growing up in India where the social classes exist. You could easily claim that the book is somewhat based upon Roy's own life. The parts in the book about Americanisation are hilarious. Elvis the Pelvis.
Customer on
 
A fixation on small things might be an alternate title for this novel, as Roy goes into intensive and repetitive detail about the very everyday life of this Indian family, set in a kaleidoscope world full of moving images and impressions, sequined with remarkable events such as a small boy's molestation, dealt with almost incidentally, inconsequentially. As with almost every writer who actually tries to stretch their talent to their limit, there are failings and blemishes - pushing metaphors too far, as when calling a lime green hula-hoop some "giant angel's discarded halo". Other times, the actual story is hard to follow, as the links between time and chapters often turn on a single common hinge, and the flow of reveries is far more Roy than any identifiable character, making a very dreamlike perspective for the reader. Worthy though, as the work seems intended to be read like the blurry lens of memory.

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