The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy, 1997

I'm working through my recommendations list and this was on it. Looking at summaries after the fact, it seems in the abstract like the sort of thing I'd like. But it's yet another book I gave up on early.

Last week I read a review by Paul O'Brien of the first issue of a new Authority series. He observes, "On one view, in fact, it's premature to try and review the first issue at all. Certainly any opinion is going to have to be revisited once the book fully hits its stride. But by the same token, it's really no use claiming that people shouldn't reach an opinion on the strength of issue #1. They have to. They need to decide whether to buy issue #2."

This isn't only true for periodical literature. When I was involved with interactive fiction I often made the point that an IF writer has to give the player a reason to type something other than >QUIT. And while a reader of a novel does have to give the author a chance to get started, the older I get (ie, the less time I have remaining before I die), the less time I'm willing to donate without a compelling reason to read on. I got to the end of chapter one and thought, "Okay, that wasn't terrible, but do I have any interest in reading chapter two?" and I didn't, so I didn't.

Return to the Calendar page!