Winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. The richly exotic story of the childhood the twins Esthappen and Rahel craft for themselves amongst India's vats of banana jam and mountains of peppercorns.
Here, perhaps, is the greatest Indian novel by a woman. Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things is an astonishingly rich, fertile novel, teeming with life, colour, heart-stopping language, wry comedy and a hint of magical realism.
Set against a background of political turbulence in Kerala, Southern India, The God of Small Things tells the story of twins Esthappen and Rahel. Amongst the vats of banana jam and heaps of peppercorns in their grandmother's factory, they try to craft a childhood for themselves amidst what constitutes their family - their lonely, lovely mother; their beloved uncle Chacko (pickle baron, radical Marxist and bottom pincher); and their avowed enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grand-aunt).
©1997 Arundhati Roy (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"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)
"The God of Small Things genuinely is a masterpiece, utterly exceptional in every way, and there can be little doubt that posterity will place it very near the top of any shortlist of Indian novels published this century." (William Dalyrmple, Harpers and Queen)
"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 to its agonizing finish...it evokes in the reader a feeling of gratitude and wonderment." (The New York Times)
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It has been a long wait. Twenty years after the print publication of “The God of Small Things”, and with 6 months until the planned release of Arundhati Roy’s second novel, “The Ministry of Happiness” it is a great joy to finally have an unabridged audio edition of “The God of Small Things” available.
Roy’s novel grows slowly, a piece at a time. The further into the story we get the more we begin to understand what has gone before - how earlier information fits into the new pieces. From a small shoot the novel grows into something very large, where events will irreversibly affect many lives.
The novel won the 1997 Man Booker Prize and I expect that it was both the captivating story and the beautiful prose that made it stand out. To me both were absolutely magical.
Aysha Kala’s narration is, for the most part, wonderful. There are minor distractions, one word I think she may have misread, a brief slip of an accent and there are a couple of glitches in the recording toward the end of the book.
Overall I think a book of this stature deserved better treatment. I am so grateful it is available unabridged in audio that I am happy to overlook minor flaws in the production.
If you’ve wondered about the book & are considering spending a credit on it, do. It’s one of a kind - at least until the release of “The Ministry of Happiness”.
"Exquisitely, horrifyingly, grotesquely and tragically beautiful."
Read this when it first came out and it instantly became my favourite book. I have come back to it all these years later on audible and it is every bit as captivating, pulling you into the lives of the characters and making you feel everything.
The book covers many, many upsetting topics (partner abuse, child sexual abuse, death, murder) it talks about the caste system and rules of men and women. It does all this in such a vivid, almost palpable way that you can't help but finding yourself deeply involved with the characters in such a way that you come away feeling angry, elated, frustrated, hopeful, sick, distraught and much more.
Why does everyone but me think this book is a great literary work? I had tried several times to read this book and decided perhaps it would be easier as an audio version. It wasn't. To me it was just as dull. The delivery with multiple mispronounciations was tedious and a waste of my monthly credit. I'm sure few will agree with me but this is my personal opinion. Take it or leave it.
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