This is one of the most brilliant and beautifully written (although painful) novels I've ever read -- although not an easy read. Arundhati Roy is a master of language --- and of slowly enchanting the reader in a nonlinear plot that is both mystifying and compelling.
Readers might want to be aware that there are free online guides to the book at gradesaver.com,shmoop.com, litchart.com and wsu.edu - all are a great help in reading and understanding it! Be sure to google the title, as there are also a few excellent articles online on the book. The character lists provided by the study guides are helpful, but some contain spoilers. You may want to create to create a character/genealogy chart identifying each character as she appears and his/her relationship to the others. I've created and posted a genealogical chart here:
I've created one and posted it at: http://www.windweaver.com/literature/gost.png
I'm also teaching the book in continuing ed in the Boston area, both in a literature course and a creative writing course focusing on imagery, simile and metaphor. Please message me if interested in either one.
Absolutely amazing, must-read! Roy tells the story in backwards order and it's just fascinating.
This is an incredible book, and just like the river that is so central to the haunting yet beautiful lives of the main characters. The prose will catch you up and carry you along in its flow, while the story meanders and ebbs and flows -- sometimes tranquil, and sometimes fast and furious. Wow.
Roy is an amazing story-teller and wordsmith. Her exotic descriptions are vivid, haunting and her rendering of children's thoughts and habits very life-like. The non-linear plot has you a bit confused at first but once you settle into the rhythm of the book, you enjoy each chapter as it comes, expecting the story to unfold to finally tell you what "terror" the book hints at all along. Roy is a gifted writer and well worth your time. I will definitely seek other books by her.
Congratulations to anyone who finished this book. You are a better person than me! I thought it was horrible, the writing was hard to follow, the characters were uninteresting and the dialogue could not be slower. I understand that it got great reviews and won awards for its literary genius, but it was lost on me. I think the more awards the further I should stay away from it, the flowery description and wordy intros to the norm are not necessary and to me are a waste of the readers time. If you want a story that is intersting and gets to the point so you can care about what happens next, leave this one go, if you are into the fowery text and the long flowing sentences about one small item not essential to the book, then grab ahold and become bored. I made it 59 pages and it felt like 590! I can't waste my time on books that don't interest me and carry on forever about what I consider nothing. As you can tell I was highly disappointed by the professional and literary reviews on a book that I felt didn't come close to the mark.