The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

Original book title: The God of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy 
Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag, 332 pages
Year of publication: 1998
Format: Hardcover
Language: Swedish

This feels like a book that “everyone” has read and that “everyone” loves. When I found it in the second-hand store near my home, I had to buy it. I’m always curious about the books that “everyone” loves/likes and I can’t help but read those books. Unfortunately, I think I had too high expectations.

The book is set in India or rather in Ayemenem and it’s about Rahel, a woman who returns to his childhood home – Ayemenem where her childhood began and ended. She remembers a series of dramatic events from her early childhood and the story jumps between the present and the past. The story is interwoven with religion, class divisions and family grudges.

I tried to like this book, but the language, which for me was confusing, made me lose focus on the story itself. As I understand it, it’s precisely the language that many people like in this book. It’s her way of describing the environment and her portrayal of Ayemenem that make many like this book. For me, the language was beautiful and made me curious at first, but then it became too much. It became too much of describing small details, too much metaphors and too little story. I waited the whole time for the story to actually begin, but instead I got a lot of descriptions of the surroundings and metaphors.

This isn’t a bad book, absolutely not. This is not just a good book, but also an important book. It addresses important topics such as class differences, honor and who may love whom. I just wished that Arundhati Roy could peel off a little of the language. That said, in the beginning it went well with the language, in the beginning I thought it was beautiful but the more I read, the more difficult it was to focus on the story itself.

A lot of people like this book and if you are curious about it, I think you should read it, maybe the language is easier for you than it was for me.