Soon after they arrive in Cambridge, their first child is born, a boy. According to Indian custom, the child will be given two names: an official name, to be bestowed by the great-grandmother, and a pet name to be used only by family. But the letter from India with the child's official name never arrives, and so the baby's parents decide on a pet name to use for the time being. Ashoke chooses a name that has particular significance for him: on a train trip back in India several years earlier, he had been reading a short story collection by one of his most beloved Russian writers, Nikolai Gogol, when the train derailed in the middle of the night, killing almost all the sleeping passengers onboard. Ashoke had stayed awake to read his Gogol, and he believes the book saved his life. His child will be known, then, as Gogol.
Lahiri brings her enormous powers of description to her first novel, infusing scene after scene with profound emotional depth. Condensed and controlled, The Namesake covers three decades and crosses continents, all the while zooming in at very precise moments on telling detail, sensory richness, and fine nuances of character.
©2003 Jhumpa Lahiri; (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a Division of Random House, Inc.
"This production is a treat for the sheer combination of Lahiri's striking, often enchanting descriptions and Choudhury's graceful rendering of them." (Publishers Weekly)
"This poignant treatment of the immigrant experience is a rich, stimulating fusion of authentic emotion, ironic observation, and revealing details." (Library Journal)
"This is a fine novel from a superb writer." (The Washington Post)
"An effortless and self-assured bildungsroman that more than delivers on the promise of...Interpreter of Maladies." (Book Magazine)
Creating readers in high school English. Choice matters. Let them read!
The story of Gogol is important. How do we get our identities if not from our families, our cultures, our choices? The narrator is superb, adding such an authenticity to my experience that would not have happened if I'd read the book on the written page
The descriptions and the characters leap off the page and enter your heart where you will want them to remain forever.
A plot of some kind might have made this book better. The emigrant's struggle to belong in a new culture is interesting, but nothing new. This was more of a chronology, than a story.
Most Interesting - The later stories of the boy's mother as she was forced to find and do for herself
Least Interesting - The main character just seemed to whine about his life way too much
Someone with less of a monotone voice
I was very disappointed with this book. So many people loved it, but it felt like just another story of assimilation into a new culture. I feel like I have read it over and over.....just with different cultures and religions as the focal point.
yes, because the details of this story are charming
She gave the characters personality
That's no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.
Out of all my downloaded Audible books, this one was the biggest disappointment, I have persevered with this audible book, but if I can describe this book as a colour, I would give this book a grey palate. The Character of Ashima is so Grey, that what else would her offspring be but a duller shade of grey, who despises his Grey Ancestry, and Name. It promises so much more , a melodic story with colorful characters , strong, vibrant however I am more than 1/2 way through and I would like to poke my eardrums out with a skewer as this book is boring me to tears. Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdi, Abraham Vergehese. Don't waste your money seriously
I was mildly disappointed by this book. I found that it was less about the Ganguli's acclimatisation to American life and more of a disdain for the author's perceived view of quaint, but silly Bengali customs. I also thought that she had a particular fondness for the more "worldly and sophisticated" New England crowd. I got the distinct impression that she, perhaps due to her upbringing, was embarrassed by the native culture of her parents which was probably imposed on her as a child.
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