Customer Reviews for

The Namesake

Average Rating 4
( 304 )
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5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(103)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Amazing!

I began this book simply because my cousin said she loved it. I can now see why. It captivates the heart and soul. I was in tears by the end of the novel. Being an Indian raised in American, there was also a lot I could relate to and understand. An absolute must for you...
I began this book simply because my cousin said she loved it. I can now see why. It captivates the heart and soul. I was in tears by the end of the novel. Being an Indian raised in American, there was also a lot I could relate to and understand. An absolute must for your personal library!

posted by 179730 on May 30, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

good plot...not so good execution of the plot

The story began well enough and I found myself emotionally invested in the lives of the young immigrant couple as they welcomed their first-born child, Gogol. However the story soon changed its focus from the parents to Gogol and that is where I lost interest in the st...
The story began well enough and I found myself emotionally invested in the lives of the young immigrant couple as they welcomed their first-born child, Gogol. However the story soon changed its focus from the parents to Gogol and that is where I lost interest in the story. It was difficult to feel emotionally invested in Gogol's life. This is because the book was at times too detailed (describing every last item visible in the room) and then at other not detailed enough (glossing over entire scenes such as when Gogol learns his wife has been cheating in the space of a paragraph). There were so many potential dramatic and moving moments in the book, but instead of creating gripping and climatic passages, these were delivered in a cold and factual way. I wanted to like the book, but I was so detatched from the main character that I could not. It was still an enjoyable read though, with a solid plot and good insight into the life of an immigrant family.

posted by barnsiefan on July 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Amazing!

    I began this book simply because my cousin said she loved it. I can now see why. It captivates the heart and soul. I was in tears by the end of the novel. Being an Indian raised in American, there was also a lot I could relate to and understand. An absolute must for your personal library!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good plot...not so good execution of the plot

    The story began well enough and I found myself emotionally invested in the lives of the young immigrant couple as they welcomed their first-born child, Gogol. However the story soon changed its focus from the parents to Gogol and that is where I lost interest in the story. It was difficult to feel emotionally invested in Gogol's life. This is because the book was at times too detailed (describing every last item visible in the room) and then at other not detailed enough (glossing over entire scenes such as when Gogol learns his wife has been cheating in the space of a paragraph). There were so many potential dramatic and moving moments in the book, but instead of creating gripping and climatic passages, these were delivered in a cold and factual way. I wanted to like the book, but I was so detatched from the main character that I could not. It was still an enjoyable read though, with a solid plot and good insight into the life of an immigrant family.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    Mislead by reviews.

    My friends and i read this book as a book group. We didn't like it because it was boring, had no climax, and wasn't very exciting. This book reminded us more of a documentary than a novel. As we were reading, we were expecting a climactic action, but there was none. Although we didn't enjoy the book, it gave us a good insight on Indian culture.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Book!!

    I started reading Jhumpa Lahiri in a college English course, starting with "Interpreter of Maladies." I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't wait till she wrote her next book which was this one, "The Namesake." It is an excellent book. It gives you a view into the world of another culture, and it also touches on some of the things that ethnic people deal with everyday in America; being different...having a different name, weird spelling to your name, having an accent, skin tone, dressing differently, trying to assimilate, etc. I totally recommend this book. She just came out with another book, also, so in total she has 3 published works.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2003

    What's in a Name?

    How does a writer follow up a Pulitzer Prize-winning debut? Jhumpa Lahiri, who at the age of 32 was awarded the coveted literary prize for her masterful story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, once again marvels readers with smooth and elegant prose in her novel, The Namesake. Jhumpa Lahiri clearly illustrates what it is to live an entire life in America, but still feel a bit out of place at times. Her stunning images of the elaborate feasts, the traditional clothing, and the ceremonial rites of the Indian culture make The Namesake a very rewarding and worthwhile reading experience.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    A quality author and quality book!

    I had previously read a collection of short stories by this author and was lukewarm about it. But when I saw that she had written a novel I wanted to try it. I'm glad I did. It gave me insight into the trials and tribulations of a family which emigrated to the U.S., the parents being steeped in their Bengali traditions but giving birth to 2 children born here in the U.S. who are very "Americanized" and resent the ways of the old world. Very very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Loved this!

    I loved the writing style, the flow, the characters. Very well written, believable, and relatable. One of those couldn't-put-it-down books. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2013

    If you are looking for a way to better understand and help you c

    If you are looking for a way to better understand and help you connect to your family and cultural then The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is the book for you. Lahiri does a wonderful job of giving you a well thought out and organized story of a young boy named Gogol who grows up into a man while searching for his identity and dealing with family relationships.
    This novel is a great fictional depiction of very real circumstances and the trials of being a first generation child in America. It shows how hard it is to be a young kid in the United States and trying to keep cultural traditions and values. The novel clearly depicts how there is always a constant struggle no matter how long one has been living in this country. This is a book about life, and life can sometimes be boring and at parts the book is slow but if you keep reading in the end you will get a great message out of it.
     I would definitely recommend this book because it is a very well written novel. It is a very moving and inspiration story that becomes very memorable. The language she uses to express her thoughts is very well crafted. Lahiri really has a way of making the reader want to keep turning the page 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Alright - wouldn't spend money on it

    This book started off very slow, but towards the middle it got kind of interesting. I had to force myself to read it and stop counting the pages until I was finished. However, I would not recommend buying it if you are to purchase a book. It's not worth it. Buy something that's actually worth your time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    She never ceases to amaze me.

    I don't know if it's because I'm a Bengali-American girl myself, but I find this book amazing. Lahiri's small details are perfect and at times I feel like I'm reading about my own life. I empathize with Gogol because I too have two names and at time feel like I'm two different people, one living a Bengali life and one living an American life. This book does a perfect job of capturing what it's like to be a second generation Bengali growing up in the US. Lahiri does a great job of making you feel the myriad of emotions that each of the characters, especially Gogol go through. I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially to all the other ABCDs out there.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    I think this is a totally shallow and vapid book, in poor prose,

    I think this is a totally shallow and vapid book, in poor prose, with
    shallow, uninteresting characters.

    I'd recommend it as an "airplane read", to be left in the airport lounge
    or hotel room,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    A read for everyone!

    Although this book is about a family from India it touched many memories and emotions from my upbringing making the story have universal appeal. Families are the same everywhere.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Very highly recommended.

    I enjoyed "The Namesake" so much that i went out and bought her others.Jhumpa Lahiri writes with the gentlest hand...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Pup naming contest.

    Please give more than one idea.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Names-- by Angel

    There is Fallen, Star, Miss, Kiss, Sweet, Darling, Tragic, Blew, Cloud, Emrald, lacy, Cara, Smallone, Hidden, Onlyone, Newsflash, Dream, Daydream, Dreamcatch, Hiddenchild, Lost, Found, Storm, Lightning and more if you ask

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Compelling Family Saga

    This book *nearly* lived up to the hype for me. I really enjoyed the look into the lives and practices of an immigrant Bangladeshi family in America; being a Caucasian American myself. Lahiri gives great descriptive passages and time seems to flow by seamlessly. My only wish is that she had let me more into the minds of the characters, instead of just telling me about what they were doing. You don't really, truly get a feel for who they are as people. Instead, it is more of an account of their activities and actions. Still a great read, though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Excellent

    I enjoyed the character development and insight into the indian experience, i was teary more than once

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    I just finished reading this book and found it absolutely riveti

    I just finished reading this book and found it absolutely riveting. It seems like just a quietly told story, but it is impossible to put it aside without reading at least 50 pages at a sitting. Excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Captivating

    This books does a phenomenal job at portraying first and second generations' issues with assimilation. Even though I am not an Indian descendant, as a second generational immigrant myself, I can relate to many of the issues identified in this novel. It's a simple read that captures many struggles that are usually unexplainable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    A brilliant book

    This book is incredible. The author is a master story teller. I do not have any familiarity with the background of the characters but i felt as if they were as close to me as a neighbor down the street. Only a brilliant writer would be able to make that possible. Two thumbs up

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