The God of Small Things. A Novel. by Arundhati Roy

86%

17 Critic Reviews

A stunning book, highly recommended for the teens who wish to read something different: a different way of writing, an exquisite way of telling a story...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Arundhati Roy

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Suzanna Arundhati Roy, 1961 - Suzanna Roy was born November 24, 1961. Her parents divorced and she lived with her mother Mary Roy, a social activist, in Aymanam. Her mother ran an informal school named Corpus Christi and it was there Roy developed her intellectual abilities, free from the rules of formal education. At the age of 16, she left home and lived on her own in a squatter's colony in Delhi. She went six years without seeing her mother. She attended Delhi School of Architecture where she met and married fellow student Gerard Da Cunha. Neither had a great interest in architecture so they quit school and went to Goa. They stayed there for seven months and returned broke. Their marriage lasted only four years. Roy had taken a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs and, while cycling down a road; film director Pradeep Krishen offered her a small role as a tribal bimbo in Massey Saab. She then received a scholarship to study the restoration of monuments in Italy. During her eight months in Italy, she realized she was a writer. Now married to Krishen, they planned a 26-episode television epic called Banyan Tree. They didn't shoot enough footage for more than four episodes so the serial was scrapped. She wrote the screenplay for the film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones and Electric Moon. Her next piece caused controversy. It was an article that criticized Shekar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, which was about Phoolan Devi. She accused Kapur of misrepresenting Devi and it eventually became a court case. Afterwards, finished with film, she concentrated on her writing, which became the novel "A God of Small Things." It is based on what it was like growing up in Kerala. The novel contains mild eroticism and again, controversy found Roy having a public interest petition filed to remove the last chapter because of the description of a sexual act. It took Roy five years to write "A God of Small Things" and was released April 4, 1997 in Delhi. It received the Booker prize in London in 1997 and has topped the best-seller lists around the world. Roy is the first non-expatriate Indian author and the first Indian woman to win the Booker prize.
 
Published December 8, 2008 by Random House. 355 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Education & Reference, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The God of Small Things. A Novel.
All: 17 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2010

In part a perfectly paced mystery story, in part an Indian Wuthering Heights: a gorgeous and seductive fever dream of a novel, and a truly spectacular debut.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 31 1997

Roy's clarity of vision is remarkable, her voice original, her story beautifully constructed and masterfully told.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Trishit on Mar 20 2012

A stunning book, highly recommended for the teens who wish to read something different: a different way of writing, an exquisite way of telling a story...

Read Full Review of The God of Small Things. A No... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Trishit on Mar 20 2012

A stunning book, highly recommended for the teens who wish to read something different: a different way of writing, an exquisite way of telling a story...

Read Full Review of The God of Small Things. A No... | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jan 13 2009

That would have been a much easier book to write, and a less interesting one to read. Arundhati Roy has instead given us something more delicate and nuanced, that it would be best not to label at all.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jan 13 2009

Arundhati Roy has instead given us something more delicate and nuanced, that it would be best not to label at all.

Read Full Review of The God of Small Things. A No... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Daily Kos

Good
Reviewed by BrechtFollow on Feb 21 2014

The God of Small Things is very honest and brave. It has so much wonder, joy, humor and humanity bubbling through it that I never quite gave up on it. But it was often emotionally overwhelming - as, I think, it meant to be.

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The Rumpus

Good
Reviewed by KAREN DUFFIN on Aug 10 2010

Non-linear and poetic, The God of Small Things intentionally interrupts, forces you to reread entire paragraphs; sometimes for meaning, sometimes for awe. I audibly gasped my way through it, the reading prolonged by a perpetual need to fish a pen out of my purse to underline perfect passages.

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Stuff

Good
Reviewed by Karen Tay on Aug 30 2012

The characters were real and, most important, universal. So even if you were not one half of a pair of fraternal twins living in India, you could still empathise with Rahel and Estha and their small childhood woes, which turned out to be not so small in the end.

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PolicyMic

Good
Reviewed by Mai Nardone on Nov 08 2013

It's when the characters break out of the loop, when order (in this case: caste) is undone, that the driving forces of plot manifest. Roy's novel works in the very true sense of a novel: the pressures come from within, not without...

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EzineArticles

Excellent
Reviewed by Mtutuzeli Nyoka on Oct 28 2013

One wonders why Arundhati Roy never followed up this masterpiece with another book. Her novel speaks the most harrowing truth about the power of evil.

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Curled Up

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Schulz-Elsing on Apr 30 2014

Whether or not you fall in love with her style, the truth of the heartbreaking story she tells and the lovable/hate-able characters who people it make this novel an experience not to be missed.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Apr 18 2015

...when the book's mysteries are finally revealed, I just didn't think that the dark secrets at the heart of the novel were of sufficient import to justify the portentous build up that they were given. Then again, I'm a chauvinist, xenophobic, insensitive jerk, so I'm willing to assume that part of the blame is mine.

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Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by V. Dhanalakshmi on Apr 30 2014

Apart from the touching story I love the book’s language which is a completely different experience in itself. Arundhati’s finest work till now and unarguably one of the most beautiful books of our times, the book is a must read for every sensitive and passionate reader.

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Things Mean a Lot

Excellent
Reviewed by Ana S on Sep 27 2007

I’m afraid that there isn’t much more I can say, because a great part of the beauty of this book is in the way things slowly come together and form a clear picture, like a puzzle in the hands of an eager child. So I’ll just say that I can see why this book is often called a masterpiece and a modern classic.

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Caribous Mom

Good
Reviewed by Wendy on Sep 30 2007

Despite its difficult subject matter (or maybe because of it), Roy won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1997 for this novel. With an artist’s ability to construct scene, Roy immerses the reader in the novel...

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Mint Tea and a Good Book

Good
Reviewed by Erin on Feb 23 2013

...it was marvelous and extremely eloquent. I recommend it if you want a challenging yet engaging read.

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Reader Rating for The God of Small Things. A Novel.
72%

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