Namesake, The

Lahiri, Jhumpa

  8 Reviews

Gogol is named after his father's favourite author. But, growing up in an Indian family in suburban America, the boy starts to detest the awkward name and itches to cast it off, along with the inherited values it represents. Determined to live a life far removed from that of his parents, Gogol sets off on his own path, only to discover that the search for identity depends on much more than a name.

Comments from Groups

We loved this book. The 'eye of God' writing style meant that the simplicity of the language made for easy reading, while mainly interesting themes. It was a lovely statement on relationships and cultural identifier. Fernside 001

We all loved this book, finding it beautifully written, elegantly descriptive and very thought-provoking. It engendered much discussion on the pros and cons of trying to settle in a foreign country, and the difficulty of making a good transition whilst keeping hold of one's precious indigenous culture. Whitby 002

A nice read. A 'gentle' style of writing about ordinary lives. Tauranga 015

Storyline overdrawn - weak towards the end. Enjoyed the first half and good to learn of another culture's customs. Worth a read. Christchurch 257

We found it full of information and insight into difficulties of new immigrants...The characters were well drawn and the author managed somehow to generate great sympathy. Pahiatua 001



WELL 017
Even though only a couple of people really liked the book, it did generate a lot of discussion as people tried to delve into the characters.
WELL 153
Universally enjoyed by the group. Not considered good enough for the Pulitzer Prize, but immensely readable, with interesting characters and subject matter.
WELL 001
The group felt that the narrative approach, switching between characters, was not completely successful. However, the book certainly stimulated a very wide ranging discussion on immigrant experiences.
AUCK 335
Our group had a clear division between those who loved the book and those who found it interesting, but didn't love it. The latter found it a bit slow and dispassionate, while the former enjoyed the incredible detail that led one into the lives of the characters. All agreed that the notes on the book were excellent and helped us understand it better. It certainly led us into a very lively discussion on migration, dislocation, parent/child relationships, identity, cultural responsibility, and of course, names.
CHCH 262
We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Great style of writing.
AUCK 171
We all loved this book. An Indian story with a modern American twist. A great insight to the integration of different cultures.
Beautifully written but almost depressingly realistic! Really polarised our members. Some loved it, others thought it boring. Lots of debate!
We all thought this was an interesting read - very relevant in today's society. Many of us have relocated into a different culture/society and could relate.