The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one. -- John Berger

Ever since I watched We The Unauthorised Arundhati Roy, I had to read some of her writing, be it her political essays or the novel The God of Small Things.

In We, based on her speech 'Come September', Arundhati Roy has a way with words that is truly amazing.

We is not about Arundhati Roy, it is about her words.

Before reading The God of Small Things, I watched We again. I wanted to her voice, so that was the voice I had in my mind as I read the book.

As I expected from We, The God of Small Things is a beautifully written book.

Comparisons are often made with Salman Rushdie.

There is no comparison. Two brown faces, one female, the other male. One can write beautiful prose, the other churns out semi-literate scribblings.

The comparison is with 19th century novels.

A 19th century novel requires extensive footnotes and such footnotes have been provided in a study guide for The God of Small Things.

If there is one author where there is a comparison, it would be Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Both authors have a child-like awe and the ability to play with words.

Arundhati Roy uses multiple descriptors, a technique used to good effect by R J Ellory in A Quiet Belief in Angels and Iain M Banks in his Culture series.

The God of Small Things is humorous, but not the silly, artificial, contrived humour of a so-called humourus book. The humour contrasts with the dark horror which is alluded to and slowly, slowly, revealed.

As the story unfolds, the race laws, the racism deeply embedded in Indian society, leads to a very tragic ending.

For The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy was awarded an advance of half a million pounds! It was her debut novel, her first and only novel. It won the Booker Prize 1997.

Copies of The God of Small Things have been registered as BookCrossing books.

BookCrossing books are released into the wild and their progress checked on the Internet via a unique BookCrossing ID (BCID).


Books Worth Reading ~ Arundhati Roy
(c) Keith Parkins 2008 -- April 2008 rev 0