Monday, June 19, 2006

Arundhati Roy

The God Of Small Things. A small world of a book. Unbelievably poignant. Sad. Still. The winding, indirect method of narration is so true for so many family stories, where the main points are known, and what must be expanded are the details. Even though it seems like well-worn territory - the novel that revisits a traumatic childhood- this story felt true and right emotionally. I sometimes found the stylized language distracting, but on the whole it was lovely. Do I recommend it? I'm not sure. The larger story covered some of the same issues of caste and social discord that Mistry did in A Fine Balance, but more superficially. But the personal story was intricate and tuned. Still, I felt that it was incomplete in some way. Not only the open ending, but some of the people seemed incompletely fleshed out. Especially Ammu, who despite being perhaps the most elaborated on, seemed blurred and contradictory. For such a fighter she gave up with barely a whimper. And her death seemed almost too Dickensian. But a beautiful book.

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