Welcome to the Immskar Online Book Club!
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
I bought this book purely because it was winner of the Booker Prize (1997). I am yet to read a book either nominated or awarded this prize that I haven’t enjoyed. This was no exception.
The book centres around twins in a small Indian village. It tells a story of love and tragedy, customs, boundaries and consequences of action. There is great suffering and yet Arundhati does an amazing job in describing the most awkward and non-verbal of human behaviours in a way that is so accurate it makes you laugh out loud.
To be honest, however, I had a false start the first time I opened this book. It has a very poetic, rambling, almost lyrical style and I wasn’t in the mood the first time. Second time round, I started reading and was hooked from the first page. I raced to get through.
Have you read The God of Small Things? Tell me what you thought!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I listened to the Audible audio book and I am so glad I did, as it allowed me to binge through this book in a way that made me feel both incredibly full and incredibly sad that it was over already.
This book, to me, showed a beautiful insight into a life of trauma, a life of self-protectionism and a period of growth aided by friendship and support. I do find myself attracted to fiction that delicately weaves multiple characters across timelines and moments in conflicting lives.
Eleanor Oliphant has a fabulous ability to tell a “simple” story in the sense that there are only a handful of characters and the story line spans across a short period of time. Yet it loses nothing for it, in fact I was so captivated that after finishing this audio book I was literally thinking of Eleanor and her surrounding characters, wondering how they were doing and what they were up to. Now that is talent!
Colored Contradictions: an anthology of contemporary African-American plays
This book was offered to me off the bookshelf of a friend. Oh my, do i ever love a good recommendation! In all honesty, outside of University study I haven’t spent a lot of time reading plays, essays or the like. I find biography, fiction, faction, fantasy, more “escapist” and if I’m brutally honest a lot of the time “easier” reading than this style of book.
However, I am always willing to give everything a go! So I dove in and wow, was I impressed. I am Australian. I have done some study and reading into the history of African-Americans and the trials they suffered (and, of course, continue to suffer).
I found this book a fabulous and insightful peep through a window of how theater/art can articulate the social struggles so eloquently, and at times “on the nose”, whilst not making me feel overwhelmed by the issues and burdens others have suffered. I would like to say that I absolutely expose myself to documentaries, news articles, all these things, in the pursuit of seeking truth of peoples’ plight. But I found myself laughing out loud at the “menstruals” singing and cringing at the characters painting black face onto their faces to disguise them, in an effort to allow them to represent themselves in their own play… The twists and turns of the anthologies and the change in pace each play kept me on my toes, kept me interested and kept me flicking across the pages as fast as I could.