Monday, June 13, 2011

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

This was one of the most haunting books I've read all year. It's imagery is stunning. Roy weaves the history of this disjointed family after introducing readers to the tragic result of their individual actions. The structuring really pulls at your heart strings more, as the reader knows enough to react, but is drawn deeper into the chaos that Roy so cleverly and dexterously unfolds. This is precisely the sort of novel that merits the Man Booker, which it was awarded in 1997: creative in structure, lush in prose, politically aware, and globally inspired!

"Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day. That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes. And that when they do, those few dozen hours, like the salvaged remains of a burned house---the charred clock, the singed photograph, the scorched furniture---must be resurrected from the ruins and examined. Preserved. Accounted for. Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstitutred. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story." 

The maddeningly frustrating political and social climate of India in the 1960s imagines a world so complex and simultaneously fragile that this family saga can blow up in an unbelievably shattering way; the children, of course, pay the price in the ultimate way and are left to become horribly wounded, faithless adults. The scope of this novel makes for an intense experience. I had to read something seriously fluffy after this!

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
ISBN: 0679457313 

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