The Reluctant Fundamentalist Paperback – Apr 8 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Hamid grabs hold of the American Dream as seen through the eyes of a young Princeton grad from Pakistan in a post-9/11 world. As the protagonist, Changez, finds moderate business success and romantic love in New York City, his heritage and identity will be lost in a sea of subtle and blatant bigotry as well as international politics. In relating this journey from loving to loathing of all things American, Changez speaks to a nameless and speechless American whom he encounters in the marketplace of his home city, Lahore, Pakistan. Bhabha's English-influenced Pakistani accent proves soothing and inviting for listeners. His gentle demeanor captures the courteous and polite manner of Changez. His American accent comes in the form of a Midwestern accent with a confident—almost arrogant—lilt. He lapses when it comes to vocalizing women. Though lighter, his voice exudes a stoic resonance instead of a feminine one. But the casual tone of Changez telling his life story translates perfectly with the help of Bhabha's velvet voice.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* Presented in the form of a monologue, which is a difficult technique to manage in a novel because the author has to ensure plausibility while guarding against monotony, Hamid's second novel succeeds so well it begs the question--what other narrative format than a sustained monologue could have been as appropriate? Generally, this is a 9/11 novel or, rather, a post-9/11 one. But to see it on its own terms, which, because of its distinctive scenario, is impossible not to do, it eludes categorization. A young Pakistani man, educated at Princeton and employed in a highly prestigious financial-analysis firm in New York, was about to start a brilliant career and had fallen for a young woman whose commitment to him, it must be admitted, was partial and elusive when the terrorist attacks occurred. Answering to his own conscience, he could not remain in the U.S. By the pull of his true personal identity, he must return to Pakistan, despite his reluctance to leave the enigmatic but beguiling young woman behind. From the perspective of a few years later, the young man relates his American experiences to an American man he meets in a cafe, whose visit to Lahore may or may not have to do with the young man's recent anti-American activities. This novel's firm, steady, even beautiful voice proclaims the completeness of the soul when personal and global issues are conjoined. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The previous review exposes some strands of this narrative but draws conclusions from it that not all may share, and for me underplays the uncertainty of outcome at the story's conclusion. I would also add that in a subtle way the book presents a richness of cultural perspective that is powerfully influential and extends the book beyond either the personal or the political realms.
The ambiguity that is woven into this book is one of its major strengths. There are no certainties - personal, political or moral - and this is a book for those who wish to make up their own minds in a world which is frequently presented to us with clear rights and wrongs. If you think that you know the answer to fundamentalism, you don't understand the problem
Most recent customer reviews
I dislike inconclusive endings and this book left me guessing as to the outcome of events . Not so good.Published on Nov. 11 2013 by Jean Coughlan
well written, short, but not really a book I liked all that well. I had expected more from the book and the endingPublished on Aug. 17 2013 by Mary E. Mcewan
Brilliant novel. Loved the subtle 'derisive' aspect of the whole book, I recommend it to everyone. It's already been made into a movie, releasing shortly, so read it before that!Published on April 1 2013 by Ahsan Kamal