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I read this book some years ago now and it remains one of my favourite novels.
The God of Small Things was Arundhati Roy's first novel for which she gained worldwide recognition and success. The story is an imaginative interwoven narrative that mixes light humour with a deeper underlying leitmotif. Like many great works of fiction this is a story of a family with a secret that gradually unfolds with devastating consequences as the novel progresses. Most of the drama takes place in 1969 in the Roy's native Indian State of Kerala. The family consist of upper caste Syrian Christians who own a pickle factory and the story is told mostly as witnessed through the eyes of two children, a brother and his twin sister. We are confronted with many of the grand themes of literature: religion, class, caste, taboo and revolutionary politics and the damage wrought by hypocrisy in relation to each of these. But these themes are woven so subtly as expressed through the eyes of the two children that any political message is not thrown on your face.
I found this a gripping story with vivid descriptions of Indian culture, society and landscape, It is a never ending pleasure to read Arundhati Roy's lyrical prose and wry humour dominate her narration. She has an extremely inventive use of language that captures and reveals a childhood with all its fears and contradictions.
She uses metaphors that pour out across the page, moving the reader into her own creative world. Although sometimes the descriptions might be tedious, the gentle release of details transfers an itense experience of revulsion to the reader when the final events are fully revealed. There is also the beautiful way that Roy interlaces the past and present, that helps to put the firmly in their environments.
A great read that I would highly recommend as an introduction to Roys work and as a novel in itself that acts as a gateway to Indian culture.
The one really positive thing to say about archerfish layout of the site is quite straight forward and easy to navigate. There are no nasty pop ups or pop-unders. The site has plenty of advertising that is expected of such a site but they dont overdo it and keep banners and ads to an acceptable level.
Archerfish is basically a pay to click site. (It is also of course a site were you can advertise you business but here I am only reviewing the earning opportunities for visitors to the site). There are various sections in which banners are displayed for you to click on. The payment varies between a quarter penny and 1p. Earning 1p for a single click is a rare thing however, for most of the time all you get is about 0.25p for a click. After each click a new page will pop up with the ad or webpage of the company. This has to remain open for at least either 15, 20, or 30 seconds depending on the rate of payment - otherwise you won't receive your payment. So you cant click on all the ads at once - you can only do one at a time shutting down each window after its allotted time before you can go on to the next click. The low payment rate for clicks is ok I suppose - archerfish doesn't profess to be a high paying site but be aware that on a site such as Rpoints you can get 5p for just 1 click through on Kelkoo whereas on archerfish the price is just 0.25p.
There is also an email section where you receive emails to click on. You can choose to have these delivered to an in box or to your own email address. The former is the better option. You can also earn money through referrals but given the meagre sums involved this seems hardly worth the effort. Other features of the site is a trivia quiz section where you can gamble your meagre earnings. There are three topical quizzes each week with three questions each. You're supposed to receive a percentage of the winnings but sometimes you receive nothing or even get less than you bet because archerfish charge a 10% admin fee. There is however a jackpot but I have never won it.
I have been active on this site for only about 3 months and have so far not made the minimum £3 payout. The really annoying thing for me though is the unfairness of some of the competitions which amounts to nothing more then deceit and misleading of members. I was referred by a friend and we have discovered some unfair aspects of the site. There is a clicking competition where you can win extra cash of up to £5 each week, but this is unfair because some people get more opportunities to click on ads than other members. Perhaps certain members are targeted with more ads. I know that at present I get far more opportunities to click on ads and banners than my friend who introduced me to the site. She says that she used to get a lot of ads but now they seem to have dried up. She complained to Archerfish about this but they just said that everyone gets the same. This however is not true because we have both tested and compared our click opportunities.
At present I the maximum I can earn is about 6p a day. My friend however, says she can only make 2p a day because there is hardly anything to click. Even leaving this discrepancy aside I still would find it hard to recommend archerfish - a bit of fun maybe but the potential income from this site is so minimal its unlikely it even pay for the energy running costs of your computer whilst accessing the site online!
The leading characters of this film embark on an adventure in search of a ship's treasure. Their journey takes them through Africa in search of what the local people refer to as the Ship of Death: a lost Civil War battleship that may contain the valuable cargo.
The screenplay of Sahara tells two connected stories: Eva Rojas is searching for a cure to a mysterious disease while a group of adventurers are on a quest for lost treasure. Unfortunately these two storylines remain rather disjointed throughout the whole of the film. One plot strand is continuously being discarded for the other and this leaves a huge gap in the film where the treasure hunt is conveniently forgotten about until its reintroduction near the end of the film. The plot of the movie in general borders on the ridiculous as characters appear from one scene to the next without any link up or explanation. The opening civil war scene seems totally unnecessary.
I accept that the director has tried to make a film that is intended as a piece of high action entertainment that will no doubt leave many feeling satisfied but there are no complex clues and convoluted plots to take you through the movie. There are though plenty of stunt sequences, big guns and the obligatory helicopters piloted by nasty army blokes. This is an action adventure movie that's aimed at providing a form of escapism that is a popular reason for many to watch such movies, but I feel that Director Breck Eisner has made a poor attempt at an 'Indiana Jones' type film. The action for the most part is mindless and over the top and the film relies on humour that is not far from the worst that Hollywood produces. Even where it might succeed there is a sense of 'we've been there and done it before'. It's kind of a worn out trail; there are no original angles or themes taken up.
On a more positive note the cinematographer Seamus McGarvey has managed to produce epic vistas that contrast nicely with intimate close-ups of the main leads. There are also some nice desert sequences, particularly at sunrise and sunset. But despite this I feel that opportunities to explore the cultures of the African countries are missed and their local inhabitants are largely undervalued.
If all you seek is something undemanding where you can leave your brain in neutral, then perhaps you will enjoy this film. Sahara won't be on anyone's list of classic "must-see" films, but perhaps it will might fill a few hours of an otherwise boring night in.
Cast Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz, Steve Zahn, Lambert Wilson, Glynn Turman
Director(s) Breck Eisner
Writer(s) Thomas Dean Donnelly, James V. Hart, Josh Oppenheimer, John C. Richards
Genre(s) Action, Adventure
Running Time 127 minutes
PG-13- for action violence
The dvd special features include a commentary by director Breck Eisner and Matthew McConaughey, three featurettes, deleted scenes (with optional audio commentary)
Video format: Widescreen anamorphic
Number of discs: 1
Subtitles: English, Spanish