The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
From experience, I can say that this book is quite polar. People either love it or hate it. I love it.
I think it's very beautifully written, the prose is divine. I can honestly say I have never read a better written book before. Of course, in terms of substance, it is again quite polar.
There are some rather disgusting scenes in the book which understandably, not many people can tolerate, as evident from the negative reviews. Maybe I can accept them better because I'm in medschool because for me, Arundhati Roy described some of the worst and yet normal of real life events in a very tasteful manner. For example, I just saw my very first autopsy in Poland today and when they cut open the large intestine, well, you should know what's inside if you passed high school biology, most of us managed to keep a straight face. So yes, perhaps my threshold for those things is somewhat higher than most. Still, Arundhati Roy would have triumphed in describing what I saw just now in a delicate elegant prose worthy of the Booker Prize. So I salute her for that, and I totally understand why she felt the need to put scenes, no matter how disgusting, into the story. It simply adds to the reality of her characters and her story and well, let's face it, India.
For me, the essence of the story is innocence and how a child is robbed away from it. The book shifts from past to present so fast and so randomly that it does take some time to get your bearings, and some might say it becomes boring and he forgets he's reading the book after a while, but I don't think this makes the book any harder to deal with.
I love how childhood is portrayed in the book. I love the prose.
So Faidhi, I disagree.