Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Namesake

Finished reading the book "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri a few days ago. And I'm in a fix as to what were my thoughts on the book. Yeah..I'm confused. I don't think it was a great book. Just something which can be a good filler if you have nothing great to read in your hands!

There was nothing about the characters that you leave you mesmerized or awed. Or to make you feel for them as such. Or was it just my state of mind when I was reading it?

Anybody read it? Anyone feels the other way about the book?

17 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you...When I heard that this was being made into a movie, I was honestly amazed. Of all the books, this one? I mean it's nice...but not THAT great!!
    But do see the movie for Irrfan Khan, though...He is splendid, as usual!

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  2. Well, haven't read the book but seen the movie and quite liked it for at least the acting part of Irrfan Khan & Tabu.
    It quite depicts the dilemma and dual personality of a typical Indian family settled abroad.

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  3. I can see you haven't picked your trophy for this month's 'Best photo of the month' ?

    It was in Rules section and a few days back I have put on the sidebar as well. Pls pick it up, 20th is approaching. :P

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  4. Bad that the book had to be a huge disappointment. The movie as others too have mentioned, was pretty impressive. and so were the characters, very etched. A definite must-watch i would think!

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  5. The problem is that Jhumpa Lahiri has written herself into a typecast. Her novels have no longer any new-ness to them. There is always the immigrant theme, the finding of social identity for the second generation etc.
    To me, the novel felt like More Of The Same. That's my exact feeling too - its a good filler - but not quite a masterpeice.

    Priya.

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  6. Haven't read the book, but I intend to watch the movie if I can find it here.

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  7. i liked the book. more than the movie. maybe coz i read the book a lot before. but as you said, it maybe that i was in a state of mind to identify with it at that point in time.
    but all her books seem to be around the same theme. i liked namesake coz i'd read it before the others.

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  8. i think when you live away in a foreign land you doidentify with certain aspects - the loneliness, teh need to be ameriocan yet remain indian etc...i saw it with my sister's kids, the struggle to be comfortable with both cultures...

    i read the unaccustomed earth and i find her themes to be repetitive now...

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  9. i wonder why jhumpa is such a darling of the literary circle. i am one of those who carry my books in my head and trust me, i forgot the interpreter of maladies in an instant. as for namesake, i could understand where she coming from as well as where she was going (having indirectly experienced the identity crisis was helpful to me). but she lacks depth. her characters beg to be explored into why they are the way they are. i hated the fact that in Namesake she only half communicated the character of Mosumi and gogol's mom too... i read Unaccustomed earth too. the stories are designed to tug at those chords of our hearts which ring of love that was lost forever. very real, no doubt. but if she trying to be the somerset maugham of the 2000s, i am sorry but that she is not.

    i rest my case :-D

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  10. Interesting comments. I had loved the book because I read it when I was the 'Ashima' in the book but now I understand the other POV.

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  11. @all: I haven't seen the movie but after hearing good reviews from all I guess I will try to watch it soon.

    Usually it is said that the movie wasn't as great as the book was but it seems its the other way round for "The Namesake" :D

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  12. :)

    i have only seen the movie and that was quite nice! and lot of these books... it just becomes an in thing to like them 'coz everyone is saying so!

    cheers!

    abha

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  13. Hmm...I kinda dint hate the book . Thought Ashima's acceptance of a life 'away from home' was touching. And the message I got from it was " Learn to derive joy and satisfaction from all your surroundings, they keep changing!"

    Have to watch the movie now.

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  14. I kind of liked the book. Actually, like Suma says, Indians living and born outside do face this cultural identity crisis which I have seen in my cousins children. I felt that ending was a bit abrupt. In a scale of 1 to 5, I can give it 4 stars.

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  15. The book has a good theme. But Jhumpa has bragged a lot in the latter half.

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  16. I love the book. I love the simplicity of its prose and its narrative.

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  17. i saw the movie first, then came the book. for me, namesake wil always be more of a movie then a book. i strongly suggest you to see the movie, and also 'monsoon wedding' by the same director.

    not very sure of the right technical terms to describe a book, but jhumpa lahiri as an author actually comes out very honest, simple and yet she manages to touch something within, something which you can relate to. she really does that to me. she is not certainly not entertainly as archer..but she sure can make you calm, and think about things.

    anyways, please do see the movie and put your review.

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