The God of Small Things

Front Cover
Harper Collins, 1997 - Fiction - 321 pages
118 Reviews

The story of the tragic decline of an Indian family whose members suffer the terrible consequences of forbidden love, The God of Small Things is set in the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India. Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, the twins Rahel and Esthappen 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), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts).

When their English cousin and her mother arrive on a Christmas visit, the twins learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
52
4 stars
32
3 stars
23
2 stars
5
1 star
6

The writing is that powerful. - Flipkart
yes it is not easy to read!!! - Flipkart
The writer wants to expound that love is blind. - Flipkart
No twists, turns, tricky endings, surprises. - Flipkart
The writer thinke very differntly from a common man. - Flipkart

A ballad

User Review  - Ujjwal Verma - Flipkart

The God of small things By Arundhati Roy A book which has words woven seamlessly and they play in your mind as a cadence that starts following a rhythm like poetry. When one is reading it, the words ... Read full review

Amazing writing skill

User Review  - Priya T - Flipkart

Arundhati Roy is an excellent writer and more than the story you will be captivated by the way she has written it... The book has also depicted the innocence and beauty of children and the reader will definitely fall in luv wid the character of the twins in the story... A must read for all...! Read full review

All 11 reviews »

Contents

Paradise Pickles Preserves
3
Pappachis Moth
35
Big Man the Laltain Small Man the Mombatti
84
Abhilash Talkies
90
Gods Own County
118
Cochin Kangaroos
130
Wisdom Exercise Notebooks
148
Welcome Home Our Sophie Mol
157
Kochi Thomban
217
The Pessimist and the Optimist
226
Work is Struggle
254
The Crossing
273
A Few Hours Later
275
Cochin Harbor Terminus
279
The History House
288
Saving Ammu
297

Mrs Pillai Mrs Eapen Mrs Rajagopalan
178
The River in the Boat
184
The God of Small Things
205
The Madras Mail
306
The Cost of Living
313
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 218 - It didn't matter that the story had begun, because kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don't surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover's skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though...
Page 218 - GO you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover's skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don't. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won't. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn't. And yet you want to know again. THAT is their mystery and their magic.
Page 24 - All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Page 57 - And it is I, Raksha [The Demon], who answer. The man's cub is mine, Lungri mine to me! He shall not be killed. He shall live to run with the Pack and to hunt with the Pack...
Page 120 - So there it was then, History and Literature enlisted by commerce. Kurtz and Karl Marx joining palms to greet rich guests as they stepped off the boat.
Page 51 - Chacko told the twins that, though he hated to admit it, they were all Anglophiles. They were a family of Anglophiles. Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away.
Page 71 - ... remember a time, in her girlhood, when Paravans were expected to crawl backwards with a broom, sweeping away their footprints so that Brahmins or Syrian Christians would not defile themselves by accidentally stepping into a Paravan's footprint. In Mammachi's time, Paravans, like other Untouchables, were not allowed to walk on public roads, not allowed to cover their upper bodies, not allowed to carry umbrellas. They had to put their hands over their mouths when they spoke, to divert their polluted...
Page 51 - It said: (1) Place suitably in particular order. (2) Bring mind into certain state. (3) Do what one will with, get off one's hands, stow away, demolish, finish, settle, consume (food), kill, sell. Chacko said that in Pappachi's case it meant (2) Bring mind into certain state. Which, Chacko said, meant that Pappachi's mind had been brought into a state which make him like the English.
Page 9 - Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear sister here departed, we therefore commit her body to the ground ; earth to earth .... ashes to. ashes .... dust to dust...
Page 9 - I'd go home quietly.' Then he tapped her breasts with his baton. Gently. Tap, tap. As though he was choosing mangoes from a basket. Pointing out the ones that he wanted packed and delivered.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect. She has worked as a production designer and has written the screenplays for two films. She lives in New Delhi. This is her first book.

Bibliographic information