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martedì 13 dicembre 2011

The God of Small Things

Simply lost for words after reading this book. Touched by its unbearable beauty and stunning perfection. By the hopeless sadness and bottomless tenderness it has left in me like a strong, lingering aftertaste.

When you realize who The God of Small Things is and why, you just want to cry.

"The God of Loss.
The God of Small Things.
The God of Goose Bumps and Sudden Smiles."

Arundhati Roy's writing is wonderful: full of beautiful imagery, unusual word combinations, and so alive and exploding with smells and colours and textures that you really feel you are inhabiting her world, touching it and breathing it. It is funny, grotesque, tender, crude, poetic, down-to-earth.
I often just stopped at a passage, read it again and again, to savour its charm.

The novel is partly based on the author's childhood memories and tells the story of a Syrian Christian family in the town of Ayemenem in Kerala, India. Events unfold in a nonlinear, multi-perspective way, so that what in the beginning seems like a fragmented kaleidoscope image, gradually takes shape and each single small detail makes sense and echoes much bigger things.
When I finished the book, upset and incredulous, I read the beginning again and it didn't feel like the beginning at all but like a prosecution, or a totally new start where everything makes sense. A terrible sense.
John Updike wrote in his review:

"Roy peels away the layers of her mysteries with such delicate cunning, such a dazzling adroit shuffle of accumulating revelations that to discuss the plot would be to violate it."

It is absolutely true. There's little to say before you read this novel, but so much to say after that you are utterly breathless and lost for words.
It's a book about many things, but most of all, it's a book about Love. "They all crossed into forbidden territory. They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much."
At the moment I feel I can't read anything, I'm too entangled in this story, and I'm afraid any other book I read will somehow be overshadowed by The God of Small Things. So heartbreaking and indelible.

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