Thursday, 10 November 2011

The God of Small Things

I finally finished The God of Small Things last night, after stalling for a very long time. It became all the rage a few years ago, but I never attempted it then because I was told I wouldn't understand.Perhaps it was true. I definitely wouldn't have been able to get through it when I was fifteen. It's not that the its not good, it is. You can tell how much the author associates with the setting, the dysfunctional family, and the values. Its primarily a tale about those exact things. I just think that Arundhati Roy has the tendency to lose her audience. She has her own language, which is a great thing and she introduces her audience to this strange little world that is entirely hers in our unfamiliarity with its 'love laws' and other idiosyncrasies , and her obvious familiarity with them. With the presence of these two elements she had the opportunity to make the reader enter this strange new world with her, and make the reader adopt her language, and her world in Ayemenem as their own. She succeeds gorgeously at times, but then there are times where I was just like..."what is she saying?". And I know this can't just be me, I'm sure others felt this way too.I get the sentiment, I get most of it I think- but at the risk of sounding like a complete illiterate I will say that there were times I just wanted her to speak/write in normal English and stop with the repetitive adjectives/phrases.It seemed a little pretentious to me, and slightly draining.However, I loved the characterizations of  Ammu , Baby Kochamma and Chacko.

One of my favorite lines from the book:

"It wasn't what lay ahead of her road that frightened Ammu as much as the nature of that road itself.No milestones marked its progress. No trees grew along it. No dappled shadows shaded it. No mists rolled over it. No birds circled it. No twists, no turns, no hairpin bends obscured even momentarily her clear view of the end"

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