Friday 56 & #BookBeginnings: The God of Small Things

May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on the bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.
- p. 3


For Friday 56:  
Though Ammu did as much work in the factory as Chacko, whenever he was dealing with food inspectors or sanitary engineers, he always referred to it as my Factory, my pineapples, my pickles.
- p. 56

About The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel 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), fled an abusive marriage to live with their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), and their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt).

When Chacko's English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river ...



17 comments:

  1. Love the cover and your beginning. So very descriptive. The book sounds intriguing.

    I like books sent in India...going to check it out.

    Thanks for sharing. ENJOY your reading weekend.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

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    1. I've had this on my TBR for such a long time now, so I'm glad I finally have a copy. Happy weekend, Elizabeth!

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  2. This looks like a lovely read...great descriptions, too. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “THE AFTER WIFE”

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    1. It has it's share of fans and I'm excited to get started! :)

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  3. Great opening description that really sets the scene. Sounds like a fascinating, quirky cast of characters too!
    My Friday post features DEAR SUGAR.

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    1. I've got to start reading this .. i keep getting distracted! Ooh ... shiny object !

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  4. I have heard wonderful things about this book. Hope you enjoy your travels to India! You know how near and dear it is to me. :)

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    1. I'm going somewhere warm, Tanya. I took a detour and am reading a book set in Canada.

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  5. I love the descriptive writing, gives wonderful visuals.
    Happy weekend!

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    1. I heard about this book a long time ago and forgot to check it out. I love the snippets you've shared. Thanks!

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  6. I read this, too. Here's my take on it.

    Its writing style is unusual, moving from the end of the story to the middle to the beginning to the end throughout the book, finally ending in the middle. This is a story of a well-off Indian family that is dysfunctional , of course, and just about everyone in it is more or less nuts.

    Except I’m looking at it from the perspective of an American, not an Indian, so what may seem nuts to me may be a cultural difference. But Roy does seem to criticize Indian culture, herself, when she shows us how a culture with a history of touchables and untouchables affects lives and personalities..

    The God of Small Things receives many great reviews. But I have big problems with it.

    First, from the very beginning, Roy points out a difficulty with one of the characters and comes back to it again and again. Yet she never answers the question she presents to the reader. Most readers will be surprised when they get to the end of the book and may think they have a defective copy that ended in the middle because the character’s life and readers’ questions are unresolved.

    The book also annoyed me because Roy used so much pointless capitalization. At first I thought it did have a point: from a child’s perspective, some words are a lot bigger and more important; they’re proper nouns. But she did this so much, so often, even when we were seeing the story from an adult's perspective, that all those caps lost their intended meaning, whatever it was.

    I know there are many readers who loved this book. I just sort of liked it.

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    1. I have to admit I skimmed your min-review here because I haven't read this one yet :(

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  7. One of my all-time favorites, some lovely writing, but so incredibly sad :(

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    1. Thanks Nishita. I sort of expected it to be sad and I hope I love it :)

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