Customer Reviews


286 Reviews
5 star:
 (163)
4 star:
 (43)
3 star:
 (33)
2 star:
 (20)
1 star:
 (27)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I actually grieved heavily for the people in this book
This is a fable of modern india played out through the lives of the central family - an india that is crippled by outer, inner and secret burdens: caste/social control, duty/tradition, and the essential heartbreaking element of this novel: taboo. The plot is impossible to delineate and is executed so adroitly and delicately that rather than just being told the story...
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by arthazaed

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of 'The God of Small Things'
At first, I found this book quite inaccessible, due to the many characters thrown at you within the first few pages, and the way the plot gallops off without you. In fact, I did wonder whether my copy had a few pages missing at the start, and it took me several attempts at reading chapter 1 before I finally started to get into the book. But when I did, it was well worth...
Published on 24 Sep 2008 by E. Moore


‹ Previous | 1 229 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I actually grieved heavily for the people in this book, 8 Jan 2010
This is a fable of modern india played out through the lives of the central family - an india that is crippled by outer, inner and secret burdens: caste/social control, duty/tradition, and the essential heartbreaking element of this novel: taboo. The plot is impossible to delineate and is executed so adroitly and delicately that rather than just being told the story directly, you realise or suspect by degrees what is going on - much as it is when we might suspect our lovers are having an affair and we build up evidence not only from the present but even the distant past! And yet we remain unsure.

In order to accomplish this novel, Roy has had to pass the english language through a prism and bend it round corners, producing some of the most celestial prose I've ever read and some of the most haunting metaphors.

Within the family, issues of sexual abuse, bereavement and true love are hemmed in by taboo: they remain, as the title goes 'small things' with heartbreaking results, while all around the characters, there exists an india that is luscious and fragrant and well ordered by tradition.

However the sheer beauty of the prose carried me through to the end of the novel - leaving me not only genuinely grieving for this family, but also committed to trying to be more compassionate and understanding in my own life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of 'The God of Small Things', 24 Sep 2008
By 
E. Moore - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
At first, I found this book quite inaccessible, due to the many characters thrown at you within the first few pages, and the way the plot gallops off without you. In fact, I did wonder whether my copy had a few pages missing at the start, and it took me several attempts at reading chapter 1 before I finally started to get into the book. But when I did, it was well worth it.

Roy displays emotions in an equally sensitive and delicate way as nature. Working hard to follow the sections of plot revealed at different points, I think I learnt something of the confusion Rahel and Estha felt, and the efforts they had to make growing up in the midst of a broken family, and a troubled culture. I found the juxtaposition between the un-conventionally structured novel, and the ever present metaphorical boundaries very appropriate.

A mix of the stories of individuals, and those that affect all of us, this book finishes with a concept we can all relate to: tommorow.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth persevering with!, 27 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Having read and heard lots of fairly negative reviews, I began this book rather apprehensively. And, seemingly like many other people, found it quite difficult to get into, and very nearly gave up after the first few chapters. I'm really not a fan of flowery language just for the sake of it, especially when it makes it difficult to understand what's going on properly! And I thought it was going to be one of those types of books. But then about halfway through, I started really getting into it.
The story jumps about a lot, with twins Estha and Rahel as children in parts and adults in other parts. But each chapter gives you a little clue at the beginning as to which era it is talking about. The twins as children have all sorts of little childish phrases, songs and thoughts that not only portray their playful innocence but also lend the reader a hint as to which period the chapter is currently in. Some reviewers have said that the jumping about in time made the story unnecessarily difficult to follow, and was done just for artistic prize-winning purposes, but I have to disagree. Had the story been told chronologically, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as atmospheric. There were parts of the book where the most important point to get across was the sheer sadness and melancholy. To have had a full prior knowledge of why the sadness was there would have jaded the scene with the reader's own reaction or interpretation of the preceding events. In real life when you meet people with a story or a history behind them, you meet the person and get to know their character first, and then the full story unfolds later on in bits and bobs, just like in this book. Also, that is the way it was for the twins - they didn't really understand the full horror and meaning of what had happened until they grew up. It was a way of showing how the events shaped the twins' lives gradually as they grew to see the significance of each event, without the writer having to spell it out.
It is true that a good story makes a great read, and there are times when over-descriptiveness and too many metaphors can spoil a book and make it boring. But in this case, for me at least, the metaphors combined with the repetitiveness of silly childish chants and phrases made the atmosphere and ambience of the book just right. It also succeeded in bringing me right into the feeling of childhood, with Bar Nowls and Lay Ter (dum dum).
I have to agree with the more positive critics, that this book IS beautifully written. It definitely left me thinking about it for ages afterwards, with each little scene left swimming about in my head for me to daydream away to! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am now feeling a bit lost until I get stuck into another good book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Prose - The best book I have ever read, 10 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Having read the reviews of others - I simply had to write to protest to comments like 'dull' and 'boring', 'couldn't finish it', 'maybe if I'd travelled in India' bla blah blah. Come on! I love nothing more than a good book - and this, I have to say folks, is one of the most beautifully executed books I have ever read. So much so that I can't think of anyone I know I haven't bought it for or lent it to. I think this author deserves full credit for her efforts and every writing prize there is going. I couldn't even begin thinking about how to write like that. She has a unique talent which I think so many others lack. If I were a writer - I would have wanted to be Roy and written this very book. Don't be put off by the negative reviews on this book - give it a chance. I stumbled on this book by chance - no-one had recommended it to me and I really am glad I picked it up. I don't think that this book is 'hyped' at all. It doesn't get its due credit - I've never read a book that has made me feel so strongly before. In terms of writing talent, it surpasses another of my favourite books - Memoirs of a Geisha - and thats saying something.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it!, 24 Sep 2008
The fact that `The God of Small Things' has won the Booker Prize would initially make anyone think that the book was probably worth a read.

However Roy's individual writing style can make getting into this book and understanding the concepts and plot challenging. Other reviewers have commented on the difficulty in getting to know the characters and associating with them in the plot that frequently switches between past and present. Initially, after the first few chapters, I would have agreed with them; however if you want to fully appreciate this book it is necessary to look further into the book than merely the words on the page. The childish language and descriptive narrative that many readers have expressed dislike with, I think is entirely necessary in creating the right ambiance in the chapters where Rahel and Estha are children. Additionally, the way in which the plot is told is entirely in keeping with how any real life story is discovered, through snippets of information, and not in a chronological list.

The negative reviews of this book I can sympathise with, but unfortunately I have to say that they will be from reviewers who do not want to delve deeper into the Indian meanings, customs and cultures that Roy includes; and instead want everything laid out for them on a plate... Persevere with this book and you will be rewarded!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tray Bong, 25 Sep 2008
My first attempt at reading this book took me to page 70, then I gave up. The descriptive language and pointless metaphors annoyed me. I also found the book hard to get into because it kept jumping around between past and present.
Unfortunately, I had to try and read the book again because I was studying it in English. I started, again, from the beginning and persisted with Roy's unique style. Once I had re-reached page 70 I realised that I was enjoying the book much more this time around. The mixed up chronology gives each event more significance and realism, and the jumbled order soon becomes easy enough to follow and understand. Every chapter has its own importance and relevance as in any good book, you just don't know it yet. I think that some knowledge of India and Indian Politics, especially Communism, might help people enjoy the book more because it will make some parts easier to understand.
Overall, it is worth the initial struggle needed to get into this book, because when you do you will be rewarded. It is also ironic that Roy's style is the first thing you hate but the last thing you love.
I would like to finish by urging anyone that gave the book a review of 1 or 2 stars to read it again. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion and if you believe this book to be bad then that is fine. However, you are wrong.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unengaging and Overly Clever, 5 Aug 2013
By 
J. G. Cheseldine (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Being an Indian literature fan I really felt I had to make an effort with this book. I don't think the style of writing is for everybody, I was irritated by Rushdiesque attempts at clever use of language, and even on the third attempt I was still not interested in who the characters were or what had happened to them. I found I was putting it down for longer and longer periods, and lack of enthusiasm gradually turned to dread at the thought of having to try and read any more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning, poetic first novel of tragic love., 13 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This is a haunting, poetic novel, utterly gripping in its inexorable description of the approaching tragedy that awaits its two main characters.
You know what is coming, and grieve for the passionate woman at the centre of the book, for her two children, for the lover, for the country that could allow this to happen, for the passionate at heart everywhere.
The language is lyrical and ringingly poetic: some of the images will stay with me for a long time. I was particularly taken by the writer's ability to take a child-like perspective at moments of intense emotion, to see from a child's eyes, yet to describe feelings which are simultaneously adult.
A stunning first novel; rich, intense, powerfully moving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely prose sometimes, but a bit of a struggle., 15 May 2000
By A Customer
If the book was half as long I would have liked it more. I thought it was like a very long journey through nice countryside. For the first couple of hundred miles you marvel at the scenery, but after that it all looks the same and you just want to get there. It would be OK, if it had a few more stops on the way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TREAT!, 2 Aug 2008
I have reference this book in my previous review and thought I should drop a note here. This book definitely deserves the BOOKER award! The author just transports you to her own world and makes you part of it - and some of the references are just brillant. Roy description of the poor and the rich with reference a candle light is simply cunning! The way she writes about the pickles just makes you imagine the smell of the spices and also reminds of memories of hearing the rain falling on a very dry soil and the earthy smell just come back to you.....

Overall this is a book which can read and re-read over a number of times over and over again! It is a definite MUST HAVE!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 229 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Audio CD - 15 Sep 2008)
£10.70
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews