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The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
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Feb 15, 08


a disclaimer: i didnt like the movie.

lahiris brilliant ability to keep all of the various narratives flowing smoothly, to capture the nuances of immigrant life, to portray the absolute difficulty of living one life in front of friends, and one of life in front of parents, shielded a very matter-of-fact part of this book that i missed until i saw the film.

dude, gogol is an asshole.

and i dont mean in that, im trying to find my way kind of naivete; i mean he genuinely is a jerk, and treats the people in his life like hes king douchebag.

i do understand, of course, that it is not expected that we love all the characters of every book we read (indeed, that would be lame, and boring), so perhaps it was lahiris intention to have us not like gogol (ah, authorial intention -- shall we converse on this some more?), but i really did find him insufferable in the film, and then when i went back to the book, found him even more insufferable in there upon third read.

what saves the novel from a lower rating, again, is lahiris sheer talent of presenting a world, especially via the parents, brimming with a surprising love, the ambitions of a young man, a passion for literature, and, of course, the importance of naming and being named.

for fantastic writing without the desire to punch the arguably main character in the face and yell at him to grow the hell up, do read interpreter of maladies, which is a collection of short stories by lahiri.
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message 1: by Ash (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ash i so agree about gogol! ashoke and ashima are the core of what is great about this book.


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