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Publisher's Summary

Likened to the works of Faulkner and Dickens when it was first published 20 years ago, this extraordinarily accomplished debut novel is a brilliantly plotted story of forbidden love and piercing political drama, centered on the tragic decline of an Indian family in the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India.

Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, the twins Rahel and Esthappen 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 and her mother arrive on a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in a day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it.

©1997 Arundhati Roy (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Couldn't finish

I found the story very hard to follow. The characters were a bit confusing and the timeline was extremely confusing. I couldn't tell where the characters were in their life story. I gave up. It might have been easier had I read the book rather than listen to it so I could go back for references

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ron
  • San Diego, US, Canada
  • 09-13-17

Absolutely Brilliant

What made the experience of listening to The God of Small Things the most enjoyable?

The narrator is an excellent match for the material.<br/>She navigates the English/Malayalam/child language with fluidity.<br/><br/>The writing itself is tremendously imaginative; it is not just a story but an<br/>immersive story/creative/linguistic experience.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

in the talkies and the ending

Any additional comments?

I understand why this book is considered a modern classic.<br/>Rereading it enhances my "not a word out of place" appreciation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Saman
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-10-17

Worthy Booker winner!

This is a marvelously written satire of post-independent Indian culture from a very adapt author. It captures religion, sex, bigotry, misogyny, abuse, incest and numerous other human experiences and vices. Miss Roy uses a flashback story style interwoven with remarkable prose to illuminate a tragedy that will taint two innocent children for their entire lives. Some of the chapters are heart wrenching while others infuriate or even amuse.

The first chapter if read/heard carefully explains the entire plot of the book. Get through the chapter as it can be quite complex with multitudes of names and backgrounds. The story begins at the end and then slowly fills in the cause. This does not take away from the enjoyment of the narrative but only enhances its appeal. The book is both a mystery and a damning of injustice in Indian society. This is not a happy story.

Without a doubt, this is one of the better Booker winners. Don’t miss it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Lovely story of remote India

If you could sum up The God of Small Things in three words, what would they be?

Cultural experience read

What did you like best about this story?

Characters and background

Have you listened to any of Sneha Mathan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. I liked it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The life described is so foreign, one doesn't have an extreme reaction...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

The most beautiful book in history

There are no words to describe this story because Arundhati Roy has already used them all up. Raw Beauty and Sadness. Descriptive brilliance. Structurally unique. A literary enigma. It blew my heart away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

So flowery

I was unable to get through to the end. The exaggerated details were painful to hear, and certain themes and phrases were such an overwhelming overtone that the storyline, which is largely out of chronological order to begin with, was detracted from. Perhaps the hard copy would be easier for some readers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance

Innocence lost

Beautifully written story of innocence lost, portrayed so vividly that I could almost hear, smell and taste the scenes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lyrical. A treasure.

I started with some hesitation as it's set in far South India, a place utterly unfamiliar to me.

But the language! So ingenious and lyrical and enlightening. I was swept up in great storytelling and a compelling cast of characters.

It's probably not for everyone, as it requires attention. The story moves around in time and involves many people and relationships that one must sort out. But it's worth the effort -- you grow to know them well.

It's a fine performance too. I may go back and read it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • Stone Mountain, GA, United States
  • 07-02-17

Should have ended one chapter earlier.

Fantastic book until the last chapter. Last chapter was redundant and extraneous. Took the book from a 5 to a 4. Some authors just don't know when to stop. Too bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A unique marvel

This is by far one of the best books that I have listened to. The author has a way of playing with language that is rare in adult literature, and much more common in children's stories. The effect is a beautiful, poetic story read flawlessly. This is one of the few books that I will listen to again. Truly magical!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful