1997 WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
I feel that this book is perfection wrapped up in a pretty little package. Literally. How gorgeous is the cover?
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is really quite something. This book is incredibly modern, stylish and meticulously crafted. She does tend to go a bit overboard with the literary chopping up of sentences and postmodern experimentation, but the overall effect is very impressive. Yes, I am easily pleased, and writers like Roy write for suckers like me who ecstatically breathe in every contrived word they print.
The contemporary literature section on my shelves is microscopic in comparison to my classics (yes, they are generally more affordable) yet I had to purchase my own copy of this book, because it is just so utterly gorgeous. My reviews are progressively becoming more and more useless and nonsensical but really, what more can I say? Read this book! This book – again, for lack of better description – is like a whirlwind; the first sentence takes hold of you, and pulls you into the world of the characters.
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on 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.
It reads like poetry; Roy’s style is very lyrical, and I think it is her delicious ability to tell a story through a child’s perspective whilst maintaining a humorous and ironic stance, that makes this a sad-happy story. Which subsequently makes it the best kind of story. Although, of course, secretly I do love happy endings. Harpers & Queen got something right for once: this book is a masterpiece, utterly exceptional in every way.