A Reader posted a review at 2009-07-25 07:16:21.
Yes, it might be "equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama" but the linguistic pyrotechnics seem more the point than the actual story and characters in this novel. It is also as if Roy had a laundry-list of what should go into a memorable Indian novel: incest (between twins, for a more disturbing effect--check), sex-with-an-untouchable (check), politics (communism in Kerala--check), religion (Syrian Christians--check), child-abuse (a paedophiliac-cum-homosexual encounter, no less--check) etc. The writing is gorgeous. This has to be said. But the gimmicks on every page (the belaboured descriptions, poetic commentaries, repeated segues between time-frames etc.) encourage me to appreciate the novel more at the level of form than content. Once the book is over, I find that the narrative fades quickly from memory, leaving no imprint.