The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (migrated from bookblogger)

This is a tale of how evil begets evil; the tale of how a set of “two-egg twins” become the victims and then the pawns and ultimately, again, the victims of a series of evil-doing and of hatred.  The story is set in India, where a caste system still remains because of entrenched history that is difficult to relinquish.  It is this perpetuated hatred that leads to the damning of love the twins have for a man their mother is in love with as well (a man who is not their father but who acts as a father might to them).  In a circular way, the accidental death of a visiting cousin of the twins becomes twisted into a death sentence for an innocent man who is guilty of only loving.

The story is told in a very roundabout way, in a fragmented, twisting of the events.  It is also told with imagery in almost every sentence, which is sometimes beautiful and sometimes more than borders on irritating.  It does a great deal to build the suspense, but it also becomes frustrating to the point where the reader feels like yelling at the author, “Get to the story, already!”  There is a lot of repetition, which again, serves both to heighten the suspense and frustrate the reader.

So, do I like this book?  Do I like the writing in this book?  I felt both sides of that “reader’s” opinion:  I loved some of the imagery and I hated how drawn-out the book felt.  But I am glad that I’ve read it.  It’s a terrible, tragic story and in the end, very powerfully told.  I just recommend a bit of patience through its pages.

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