Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things

In many ways, Arundhati Roy's first and only book to date reminded me of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". There seemed to be a bomb of raw energy bundled between the pages. A wave of emotions flowed through. I enjoyed the way the bricks of the story are put together piece by piece in the life of one vividly-drawn character to another, all intricately intertwined. The setting being in India makes this a difficult read. Not least India is a complicated, diversified country, with all the caste system, political instability, and the legacy of colonisation, namely Christianity. It's interesting reading how modernisation and new political ideas such as Marxist's communism gel with the general conservative minds of Hinduism.

The conclusion came later that only a true-bred Indian would be able to truly understand the book. The terrible sufferings in life can only be experienced, not taught or read about. As for the victims of this dark time in humans history, nothing can be more painful. Everything else pales in comparison; everything becomes numbed.

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