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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Paperback – Apr 8 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada (April 8 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385663455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385663458
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a brilliant presentation of a personal moral position reflecting a complex political situation from the perspective of one single human being, who narrates throughout - a difficult technical achievement which the author brings off very well.
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
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Format: Paperback
The story line is exciting and the first person narration makes it unusual as well. Reminds me of analyzing poetry. However, we, of the western world should try to understand the mind change of the speaker as he continues his dialogue. At the end is the question of "what happened?" but also "why ?".The Reluctant Fundamentalist
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's engaging style of talking to an unidentified listener is provocative. It provides a good look at the subtle discrimination that exists in the US (and elsewhere) for an exemplary foreign student and how it leads him to return to his home country. But under what circumstances? The reader must confront the realities of the protagonist's experiences and determine the degree to which validity exists for his actions taken. It is a brief but thoughtful telling of life in the global world. Will it ever be possible to mix cultures satisfactorily?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing style is new. The story telling is gripping. It is one of these books that makes you think long after you've put it down. Many immigrants may relate to the fundamental questions of "Do I fit in; Do others see me as an outsider; have I sold my home country out?"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This short novel can be read in an afternoon. Fast paced and riveting, this novel skillfully presents another point of view on war, this time from that of the less powerful. Highly recommend Robert Adams youtube presentation as an adjunct to the novel. Great book! Food for thought.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not seen the movie, but it was difficult to put down the book. Hamid's writing was a bit green at that time, but it is fluid. My only disappointment was not much exposure of Lahore, which I want to visit one day.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always good to read an author who chooses the perfect word to create the atmosphere, mood and emotion relevant at that moment. The idea of an entire book written as a one way conversation is unusual but works,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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!
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