Thursday, July 17, 2008
Late last night I finished The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.
It's the life of Gogol Ganguli. It begins with a Bengali family who move from India to America and they have a son. The father, Ashoke, was in a horrible train derailment as a young man, and when he is found he is clutching part of the book he was reading by by Russian author Gogol. He was saved that day and from then on he changes his life. He moves to American, has an arranged marriage and then has his first child whom he names Gogol. Most of the story is about the life of Gogol. He is very awkward, absolutely hates his name, and this is story of his life growing up an American with immigrant parents. Eventually something tragic happens that makes he go back to his parents' culture he's been trying to avoid his entire life. Reading it was like a little window to a life I would never experience.
I was very excited to see it had already been made into a film a couple years ago. I watched it today on surfingthechannel.com. It starred Kal Penn. It was really good. I was surprised because movies from books are usually terrible, but this one stayed very close to the story. The only exceptions were they changed the place he grew up and a few things that happened in this life they changed to different ages to flow better. All in all I was very impressed with the movie. It was very sweet and as usual it made cry.