Poignant and funny, intelligent and awkward, this is one of the rare books that has been made into a wonderful movie. It tends to make an even deeper impression if you identify with the protagonist. Googol is unlucky enough to be subjected to a name that he doesn’t understand or like. He is stifled by Indian culture and incessant fraternising with fellow Bengali families.
Mira Nair paints the screen with the rich hues of Indian life often in sharp contrast with the American way. Gogol grapples with his parents’ overtly Indian lifestyle, resents his shared heritage with an eccentric author and eventually embraces ordinary life in the States. Ashoke’s death is a cruel reminder of his duties – to his family and to himself.