The Namesake: Jhumpa Lahiri

Reviving my old review and republishing it. Needless to say, I cringe now when I read it.

The book is about an Indian boy, born and brought up in America, albeit with a weird name. His name is Gogol and he doesn’t like it. He revolts against his name and wants to change it, his parents don’t want him to. The book talks about the repercussions his name has in his life.

The book covers two generations – Gogol’s and his parents’ – and shifts focus between the two. As my friend puts it, the book would have been better as a short story. It could have fitted well in Lahiri’s first book “Interpreter of Maladies’.

The ending is good. The book ends with the right note, although a little late. It could have ended a few pages earlier.

It’s a typical Lahiri story with an American-settled-NRI-family. The same smooth writing style follows. The book is like a short story stretched (too far) to convert it into a novel.

If you have already read her first book and didn’t like it, then don’t even try `The Namesake’. If you liked it and if you think you will like a lengthier version, this book is for you. This might not suit the taste of fantasy book readers and lovers of thriller book.


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