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The shape of the beast by Arundhati Roy

The book is a collection of interviews given by her to various media persons and like over a long period of time, which have all been compiled and brought out in this format. As was the case with Roy’s two essay books, these interviews are also extremely provocative as well as passionate. She certainly has a strong sense of rhetoric associated with her views, which is somewhere derived from the need of it being so. Somewhere, in the slumber of the middle class, we have all lost the ability to discern information and pretty much accept it as it is packaged and presented to us. Arundhati challenges this notion and shouts from the pits of her lungs to bring out the common facts to us.

A couple of extract from the book, which would provide ample evidence with regards to style and delivery, are as follows:

‘I think it was in Tanania that farmers began to shoot hippos because they were raiding and destroying the crops. When the hippos disappeared, so did the fish in the river. Later they discovered that these fish used to lay their eggs in the shit of the hippos. When human beings don’t respect something that they don’t understand, they end up with consequences that you cannot possibly foretell.’

Why is it that every time a government goes to war, the only reasons offered are moral reasons? “to support democracy, freedom, feminism, to rid the world of evil-doers.” Why is it that the state expect morality of us, but we as individuals can’t debate an issue in moral terms?’

The one flaw with this book is that there is a lot of repetition in it. And that primarily occurs as the questions put to her by different journalists are pretty much the same. So you would have to skim and scan through the book actually.


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