culture and mores. The novel begin's with Gogol's birth - actually just before - and continues throughout the first 30+ years of his life. It covers a lot of time and appears to gloss over a lot in its progression forwards. Whole years are skipped over; important details are simply referenced as having happened without allowing the reader to experience them. Lahiri seems to violate the "show not tell" rule repeatedly. However, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. Because it's darn good. Lahiri's writing is masterful; she has a wonderful command of the language. And despite its structure (or maybe because of it?), I was continually interested in what was happening to Gogol. (And I say "what was happening to" because Gogol himself doesn't really do all that much.) And the final 25 or so pages were infused with such a sense of sadness and melancholy that I nearly choked up. I liked Lahiri's story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies, better, but The Namesake was a satisfying read.