The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things

By Arundhati Roy

  • Release Date: 1997-04-22
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 76 Ratings


The beloved debut novel about an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969, from the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness


Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.

Praise for The God of Small Things

“Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It’s that haunting.”USA Today

“The quality of Ms. Roy’s narration is so extraordinary—at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple—that the reader remains enthralled all the way through.”The New York Times Book Review

“A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does.”—John Updike, The New Yorker

“Outstanding. A glowing first novel.”Newsweek

“Splendid and stunning.”The Washington Post Book World


  • Love

    By Semigloss6
    I started this book twice when I was 18 and it had first come out. I just couldn't get into it. A year later I gave it another shot and found I couldn't put it down. I like the unique writing style that some others have found frustrating. I liked the voice of the book. I found it interesting on so many levels. It's very haunting. I have read it now probably four times and I am about to read it again.
  • Entrancing

    By Dandy fiend
    The goal of a writer is to make a familiar world unfamiliar and vice versa. Arundati Roy does just that in this novel.
  • Just ok

    By Hgffryy
    I don't understand the big hoopla about this book. It is a very slow read.
  • Total crap.

    By HorrorMovieAddict
    Oh, how I loathed this book. It's pretentious and self-indulgent in equal measures, the kind of book that is written for literary critics and no one else. Ms. Roy appears to be writing solely to show the world what an inventive writer she is, not because she has a story to tell. If only she had put half the time she spent creating her 'unique, stylistic experimentation' (gag) towards developing an interesting plot (or even just a plot in general, there isn't one to be found in this book) or intriguing characters, this book may have been somewhat readable. Her 'style' consists of capitalizing Words of Little Importance and referring to characters as "a crumpled puff, a Made-In-London go-go bag that was loved and a fountain in a Love-In-Tokyo" instead of just "Estha, Sophie and Rahel," because, hey, why use four words when you can use twenty? Anyway, this 'style' gets very distracting, very quickly, like excessive lens flare in a bad movie. The God of Small Things is little more than empty, meaningless award bait. If you removed all the unnecessary description, the references to urine and feces which pop up every other page, and the endless backstories that fail to make the boring characters any less boring, you'd wind up with a twenty page short story. Please, don't buy this book. Let's ignore all the self-important pseudo-writers like Ms. Roy and hope that they go away. In the meantime, go find a book that's at least half-decent.
  • My favorite book ever

    By kathryn godbey
    I found this book when it was first published years ago. I picked it up, read the first two chapters and had to buy it. I have since read it at least once a year and always find some new detail I over looked due to reading too fast, or lack of life experience. It is a haunting and beautiful story and I strongly recommend it.