Mining the Depths

I'll read almost anything and love what captures my imagination. Best of all is responding to books in the larger cultural sense, loving or loathsome. Literature should have a place in the wider world.

 

And I'm another GoodReads refugee. 

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy I'm glad it's over.Not that this is a bad book, exactly, but it's not one I could connect to.First, the good. The language is incredible. This is a book of prose poetry, an extended fiction.And honestly, that's really all I could like about it. The problem with poetry, at least in books, is that it can be distancing. In a few scenes it finally brought the characters' feelings into focus, but mostly it studied them as objects, and pulling back that far makes it difficult to sympathize with, difficult to see as real.The focus is also odd, in the story-telling sense, mostly because there doesn't seem to be one. What is the point of this novel? Why was it written? Velutha and Ammu took over the end, but both the beginning and up to chapter 13, and then the last few pages were about the twins. It was like being asked to consider too many things at once.Roy did, at times, really show her world, that is, India circa 1969, fairly well. Sometimes I could see it. But the setting didn't feel integrated, other than the story couldn't take place anywhere else. So why didn't it work?Intellectually, I can think of many reasons why this story should have worked. But as a novel, it couldn't sell itself to me as a reader, only as an academic. Which I didn't even realize until I started writing this review. Now that I think back, I wish I did like it. I want to have liked it. But I just couldn't connect, like drowning.

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