Book Review

The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy

‘May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.’

It is rare to come across a book which cuts through the lines of caste, religion, and communism – all at once so morally strenuous yet imaginatively so supple. The story in Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” unfolds the lives of people in Kerala who are captives of social discrimination, Communism and the Keralite Syrian Christian way of life.

Roy’s first novel, unlike other predominantly first novels, is an anti-Bildungsroman, for the characters never properly grown up. The author captures the ambitious medication on the fall and decline of an Indian family and makes it a part political fable, part fairy tale, part psychological drama, and it begins at its chronological end.

A masterpiece and a novel of real ambition, the book shows how small things in life can affect a person’s life. The beauty of the book lies in its way of narration – narrated brilliantly from a third person perspective. Roy invents her own language with words chosen enticingly. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997.

 

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