My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After a slow start, The God of Small Things ramped up my interest the further I read. This third person narrative was a debut novel – and one that was awarded the Booker Prize. That said – damn, it was confusing. The story jumps forwards and backwards through time, is written from multiple points of view, and is set in a time and place that I was unfamiliar with. Roy gives no quarter. She expects you to come along for the ride, and it is an exceptionally bumpy ride.
My dissatisfaction with this book, and it’s a complaint that I have made about other books for adults, is that the tragedy of the book is explained right up front. There’s no surprise when Sophie Mol’s death is explained in detail near the end of the book. We already know she has died from an earlier passage. There’s no surprise when Velutha is arrested. Ditto. The worth of the book comes from the beautifully written explanations of these events. But this expose and reveal story leaves me cold. I like being surprised. I like a twist. I like an events and resolution structure rather than a reveal and explain.
But that’s just me. The God of Small Things is a highly acclaimed book – just not my cuppa tea.