First, let me say that, unlike Ashoke and his grandfather, I have never really liked the Russian classics. Too long winded for my tastes. Maybe something’s lost in translation, I don’t know. To me, they make excellent movies but extremely boring reading.
That said, when I realized how important The Overcoat was to this story, I found it online and read it before I went any further. Stylistically, it rather reminded me of Poe and Dumas, both of whom I love.
As always, the bits about Bengali culture I learn by reading Lahiri fascinated me. It’s always interesting to learn about other peoples, that’s one of the thrilling things about books.
The story itself, is that of a young man who wants to conform. To be normal. His parents embarrass him with their Bengali ways and attitudes. He just wants to be an ordinary American guy. Eventually, like all who attempt to mold themselves to convention (hopefully), he finally realizes that it is our differences that make us who we are.
This was an excellent story, well written, with lots of depth in the plot and in the development of the characters. I greatly enjoyed The Namesake and highly recommend it, and everything else written by Ms. Lahiri.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars