The reluctant fundamentalist book

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, published in The novel uses the technique of a frame story, which takes place. The Reluctant Fundamentalist book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man. The Reluctant Fundamentalist [Mohsin Hamid] on Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year A New York Times Notable Book “Extreme times .

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Book

This is a book that pivots on a smile. A third of the way through Mohsin Hamid's second novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” the narrator. Mohsin Hamid's second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is a quietly told, cleverly constructed fable of infatuation and disenchantment with. An alienated Pakistani tells his life story to an American stranger in Mohsin Hamid's mesmerising second novel, writes Andrew Anthony.

I t is a truism bordering on a tautology to note that first-person novels are all about voice, but seldom can that observation have been more apposite than in the case of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Right from his solicitous first sentence, "Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? We learn that Changez is a highly educated Pakistani who worked as a financial analyst for a prestigious firm in New York. But after a disastrous love affair and the September 11 attacks, his western life collapses and he returns disillusioned and alienated to Pakistan. All of this Changez reveals in an almost archly formal, and epically one-sided, conversation with the mysterious stranger that rolls back and forth over his developing concern with issues of cultural identity, American power and the victimisation of Pakistan. The stranger is fidgety and anxious, and at first Changez's elaborate self-justifications for his contentious sentiments begin to suggest that perhaps he is a more sinister figure than he allows. Gradually, however, we are brought to wonder whether the person in jeopardy is not the stranger, but Changez himself. One of the novel's notable achievements is the seamless manner in which ideology and emotion, politics and the personal are brought together into a vivid picture of an individual's globalised revolt. In a sense, he is the embodiment of the argument that says that America has created its own enemies. Although that outlook may be fashionable on some US campuses, it has become practically universal in Pakistan, a country blighted by fundamentalists who display no hint of reluctance at all. Indeed some argue that the social and political crisis into which Pakistan appears to be sinking ever deeper is at least partly the result of its political class refusing to challenge these unreluctant fundamentalists, preferring instead to take refuge in crowd-pleasing anti-Americanism. The Reluctant Fundamenalist is in no way a critique of Pakistan's intellectual denial. If anything it could be described as an example of it.

However, he notes at the end that he did appear to interest the U. The listening man even notes that the two exchanged a signal. That's my interpretation. See all 7 questions about The Reluctant Fundamentalist…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters.

Sort order. I read it a few days back. How did I find it you ask?

Well, it was pretty interesting. I found the narration style of the author quite unique. I think that alone was reason enough to make it worth.

Oh, you are getting distracted. They came out after the movies were released. Are you looking forward to reading the books? I found the books impressive but just my experience with movies inspired from books made me avoid the movies.

Nowadays most of us are. I see in your grip on the book and the way your eyes exuded enthusiasm when you saw the new cover, that you like to download books. What prompted you to find this book then? You heard it from a friend and he recommended it to you. You see, this book is about a young Pakistani who went to the US for studies and later lived there with a very lucrative job. Your eyes are drifting. I think you are becoming bored. You feel this story line has been covered umpteen times in many books.

I must give you something which makes this one different? The emotions displayed by the younger generation of the third world countries when they work for the very country which is making the life of their own people back home miserable.

This is a new breed that has worked their brains hard, can speak English effortlessly and are starting with salaries which are much more than their father's. Now you are able to connect with it.

You are turning some pages to look if you find it interesting. Reading a full page from the middle of the book is also a good idea.

What did you find so astonishing here? Yes, he had a conversation with some man who changed his heart. But let me tell you that he was not a religious fanatic.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Here, you will see some soft emotions. In meeting you the pleasure was all mine. I like to talk to people about books. Many times you will find me standing alone at this or the other corner of the book store. Would you like to recommend some book to me? The next time do tell me about your favorite books.

You are downloading this book. I hope you will not regret it. Let me know how you like it. View all 77 comments. On a flight back to US from India, about half an hour was left to land in San Francisco, everyone was asleep, when we heard the captain speaking over the intercom. All I heard was something about how we were about to land in Japan.

In my sleepy state I assumed that something was wrong with the plane and was about to panic when my husband told me the rest of the captain's message. Apparently we were denied entry into United States because a passenger was on their no-fly list. On landing in Japan, On a flight back to US from India, about half an hour was left to land in San Francisco, everyone was asleep, when we heard the captain speaking over the intercom.

On landing in Japan, as we all emptied the plane, I saw a family of about 6 - a young boy, bearded, about 20, and women of different ages wearing burkha's - sitting quietly in the center seats not meeting anyones eyes. I remarked to my husband about how horrid they must be feeling, that just because they are Muslims they must have shown up on the security radar for US. Once the aircraft had been emptied out, the family was brought out with about 10 men surrounding them and taken away.

We boarded the plane again and went on our way. Once there, we told our friends about our "adventure" and had discussions about racial profiling, heard stories from others about how they had been subjected to profiling.

Pro's and con's of racial profiling, US government, security, prejudice, patriotism, terrorism.. I'm sure you can all imagine what was discussed and debated.

I remember sympathizing with the family on the plane. About a week later, I read that the young boy had later been sent to US and arrested on arrival.

Allegedly he had gone to Pakistan and had taken part in a terrorist camp. I did not follow the case since then. Those of you who are still reading this post, thanks: Throughout the book, as I heard Changez the young Pakistani protagonist talk about his life in America, I followed him on all the various issues he tackles in the book. Be it his social identity, his professional acceptance, America's fair treatment to him and his achievements.

But as I finished the book, my thoughts forked out to this incident. I don't know what happened to the boy in the plane. How accurate were the accusations? Did he or why did he join a camp and many questions that went through my mind.

Many that would remain unanswered. I did wish Mohsin Hamid had ended the book on a definite note, but then that would have made it more fictional than real in account. This extremely fluid, unapologetic, frank, point of view had me hooked from page 1. Changez a young muslim, confident, achiever, confused, looking for acceptance, searching for identity, guilty of abandoning family, trying to define his patriotism, enjoying the fruits of his labor - all his layers come through with such clarity.

I really enjoyed the narrative style. It flowed naturally. It felt like you were right there listening in on an actual conversation. Mohsin Hamid has not held back Changez's thoughts to be politically correct, or tried to portray Changez as a victim. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an honest, at times appealing and at times disconcerting, account of a man's internal thoughts, who knows that he may be a few feet away from death and has nothing to lose by telling all.

For more reviews, go to http: View all 12 comments. A real bowl of literary prawn crackers - you eat and eat and they taste of nothing, they're entirely synthetic, like a form of extruded plastic, but you can't stop and then you realise the whole bowl is gone and what was that all about? This is not a good book and yet it was compelling, I can't deny it, a smooth, snaky insinuating monologue which in retrospect and often in real-time spect is a ridiculous tissue of allegory, you've seen all this in other reviews but it's all horribly true - our r A real bowl of literary prawn crackers - you eat and eat and they taste of nothing, they're entirely synthetic, like a form of extruded plastic, but you can't stop and then you realise the whole bowl is gone and what was that all about?

This is not a good book and yet it was compelling, I can't deny it, a smooth, snaky insinuating monologue which in retrospect and often in real-time spect is a ridiculous tissue of allegory, you've seen all this in other reviews but it's all horribly true - our reluctant hero's name is Changez - that's right Ch-ch-ch-changez to you!

The fundamentalism of the title is from the business slogan of the arbitrage company he works for in New York, "focus on the fundamentals" - that's the fundamentalism he's reluctant about. Okay, nice joke. That said, a lot of the reviews of this book would have you believe it's an apology for al Qaeda - no, it's not, Changez is an extraordinarily secular Muslim - I think the M word is used once only in the whole book, and nowhere does he speak of Islam.

The opposition to America which is eventually accepted and embodied by our troubled young man is entirely political - he does give a faint but pertinent impression of America as the lover who kills you or as the murderer who loves you. But oh dear, this kind of thing is not good: Vietnam, Korea, the straits of Taiwan Two and a half. View all 33 comments. In one sustained monologue, a young Pakistani named Changez relates his life story to an unidentified American man in a cafe in the city of Lahore.

I liked this book for its elegant style and outsider's viewpoint, but my favorite part of it is the mysterious relationship between the narrator and his American listener. Te In one sustained monologue, a young Pakistani named Changez relates his life story to an unidentified American man in a cafe in the city of Lahore.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Wikipedia

Tension and threat bubble beneath the novel's polite surface, and the possible explanations for that tension keep the reader guessing and give the novel sublety, power and depth. View 2 comments. I've been trying to read some good Pakistani writing in English for a while now. Lately, there has been a flowering of young Pakistani writers like Hamid and Kamila Shamsie Cartography, Salt And Saffron , and in many ways, this is the first literary stirring that the country is witnessing.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist looks at t I've been trying to read some good Pakistani writing in English for a while now. The Reluctant Fundamentalist looks at the increasingly volatile and precariously balanced relationship between the West United States and East South Asian Muslim countries , and how without a certain sense empathy, this equation will steadily spiral downwards.

Soon enough, he falls in love with Erica, a rich, pretty and artistically inclined American girl. But this relationship is fraught with troubles. Though there is a great deal of affection and even curiosity between Changez and Erica about their respective backgrounds, theirs remains a largely unfulfilling bond. Erica cannot get over Chris, her boyfriend who died some years back and thereby, can never fully 'open up' sexually too with Changez.

In a moment of frustration and even resentment, the latter asks her to imagine him as Chris and make love. Erica stands for America Erica , and symbolises the deep infactuation Changez feels for her on certain levels. His own company is called Underwood Sampsons, standing for US, a highly competitive firm with a narrow focus on its own progress. Till this point, Changez largely shares a love-hate equation with the US. He loves being a New Yorker, both his high-flying job and girlfriend fill his heart with a sense of pride.

However, at the same time, Hamid's protagonist is no pushover. Clearly, Changez has a mind of his own and feels a deep sense of attachment to his motherland Pakistan. The fact that bright minds like him have to desert their own country, to fill the coffers of an already overdeveloped, supercilious country, leaves him frustrated.

From there on, life is never the same and his disenchantment with America is complete. Erica is afflicted with a mental illness and slowly fades away literally from his life. This is a period when Changez also develops a certain rebellious streak, refusing to either cut off his beard or focus on his job. News of America's attacks on Afghanistan, Pakistan's closest neighbour fills his heart with resentment and from there on, it's only a matter of time before he loses his job.

Once back in Pakistan, Changez becomes a professor at a University, 'who makes it his mission on the campus to advocate Pakistan's disengagement with America' Though the book does not, in any way, glorify fundamentalism, it subtly points at how sparks of fundamentalism can be ignited in the most placid looking people and circumstances.

Hamid succeeds in making his central character-Changez engaging from the word go and it helps that this book is a rather compact, slim one, without too much rambling. But, while Hamid's attempt at constructing an allegorical narrative is interesting, it is hardly intrusive enough to lend the story any kind of depth.

If anything, it slackens its dramatic pace, making it both tedious and essayist. On the other hand, Changez's professional life has been treated with great flair and understanding. There are great stories to be written on the increasing east-west gulf and the growing feelings of mistrust between both continents. The Reluctant Fundamentalist only skims the surface, but nevertheless Hamid does enough to prove that he's a writer to watch out for.

View all 24 comments. Because the voice is just right — formal without being sombre; precise without being stiff. Because of the delicious ironies, among them the fact that Changez works in a US firm that evaluates companies ripe for takeover; virtually the first piece of advice he receives is to stick to the fundamentals. Because in less than pages, Hamid creates both a compelling protagonist and a compelling argument. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. The structure of this is tale is Changez telling his personal story to a burly American visitor probably a spook of some sort to his country, in his function as a guide to Pakistan. The tone was very reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling, at least as far as I recall from my reading of Kipling many years back. This makes sense given the subject matter of the book, colonialism versus the third world. Changez, born to fading gentry in Pakistan, has attended Princeton on scholarship, gotten a lucrative job with a top tier financial company, and is in love with beautiful, blond upper-class Yank.

Life is good. In the newly paranoid USA, his background marks him as a threat to many and life changes. Essentially what we have here is a foreigner Changez falling in love with America get it? The result of this is that amERICA suffers from extreme nostalgia and becomes incapable of truly embracing Changez subtle.

It is no secret that the USA is notoriously unempathetic to the concerns of others since the Marshall Plan. Fundamentals here are the tools taught him in his finance career efficiency. Fundamentals are implied for other things, knowing who you are, what your place is in the world.

There are, surprisingly, no overt connections made to religious fundamentalism. I did not take this as a personal tale. It is a metaphoric one. I mean the main character has but a single name, Changez. For that alone, how could the book be anything other than metaphorical? So I was not troubled by the contradictions in the character. For example, Changez feels an affinity with the jeepney driver in the Philippines, yet the choices he makes are all to strive within the western world.

He manages to get a scholarship to attend Princeton, but feels it necessary to hide his relative poverty. Are there no other scholarship kids at Princeton?

He is elitist in his orientation, wanting to hang with the rich kids, wanting to work for the heavy hitter financial company, even after it becomes clear to him that the work will cost people their livelihoods, wanting to be with the crazy girl when it is clear that she is over the edge.

It is not America that rejects the foreigner here, but the foreigner who rejects America. So it is not a personal tale. It would have been better had the walking symbols here been made more reasonable, had their desires and impulses been a little more grounded in flesh and blood reality. View all 20 comments. An eerie, quietly powerful story. The structure is simple enough a monologue. A cafe in Lahore, and a young Pakistani is explaining to a silent American how he came to be an enemy of America.

There's menace there something is about to happen, and soon. You're not told why the American is there, or what he does, or quite why young Changez is telling him these things. But there it is. This voice educated, articulate, tinged with hostility and faux-bonhomie and self-pity speaking into t An eerie, quietly powerful story. This voice educated, articulate, tinged with hostility and faux-bonhomie and self-pity speaking into the dusk, ordering more tea, and There are reviewers at GoodReads who just didn't get the narrator, who just disliked him out of hand.

After all, they said full scholarship to Princeton, near-six-figure Wall Street job at 22, beautiful American girlfriend: Changez would be From a family with old name and status but no money.

The empire strikes back

Educated someplace where you're almost never aware of being different, where suddenly money is an issue, where status and formalized deference don't soften the edges of not having money. A job with travel to places where you're aware of being American in the eyes of locals, but being a mere foreigner to American customs officials.

Being smitten with a beautiful, gentle Upper East Side girl who slips away from you. Changez turns on the TV in a Manila hotel suite and sees the Towers burning on 11 September and finds himself suddenly, unexpectedly However not? You can see Changez being as surprised as any of his American employers and friends at just how much resentment is there. Just the sort of person who could be recruited, who'd find himself seeking out places where he could open up his anger.

There's no grand political justification here, no sudden acceptance of Islam or jihad. Changez is secular, and his disdain for Americans isn't religious as much it is based on tribe and class and a sense of falling between identities. Mohsin Hamid gives his narrator a disturbing and quiet sense of slowly growing bitterness and isolation, as well as a slowly growing desperation about finding an identity. I am a Kurtz , he tells his nameless American listener, waiting for my Marlowe.

Very much worth reading, and a book where you'll be uncovering layers in Changez's monologue for a long time. View all 9 comments. An Open Letter to America which unfortunately I read late, around 5 years late.

Why unfortunate? Anyway, I was well aware when this book hit the literary world and took it by storm. I know where you are heading. A love story.. I once had a girl Norwegian wood…Yes! Will Smith and request for the memory eraser toy and move on to your next Murakami read.

And Nooo!! It made me uncomfortable throughout rather than excited and the most irritating part is that you are compelled to read it till the end in the hope of getting hold of the whole idea behind this book. At the end, the author hurled a very smart curve ball towards his readers, leaving most of us in dilemmas, some on the side of Changez the protagonist , some on the side of Mr. America envying that delectable Lahori food he had and some wishing to watch the re-run of epic cricket world cup semi-final between India and Pakistan and marveling at its brilliance and that moment when..

I never knew writing the review would be a similar experience like that of reading this book.. This is the second book I read by a Pakistani author, first being My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani, which I judged on the basis of its subject and not on writing style and since I read it around 6 years ago, all I could recall was that it was simple but affected me enough to evoke emotions of empathy which might not hold true at present having read many great books and becoming more aware and objective about the world around me since then so it might not feature in the league of extra ordinary but it definitely left an impression which reluctant fundamentalist, as I highly doubt would be able to achieve.

As the story was unfolding it became, hardly audible and incredibly distant. And the writing style!! This book has some great ideas but somehow fell short of the elements that would have made it a great page turner.

It felt too safe and too confined for my taste. Islamic Fundamentalism is a sensitive subject and needs to be handled carefully without actually conveying any negative message or an ambiguous one but what Mohsin Hamid as seemed, resisted from going out of his comfort zone and stating everything at a superficial level without actually diving deep.

View all 17 comments. One of the most contentiously rated novels I've seen here I'd had the book for years probably, when, a couple months ago, I determined that I needed to make shelf space. This was one of a few books I decided to get rid of, even though it was unread. But it was so short, and I had looked forward to reading it So I put it beside books I was reading and would soon read, then picked it up a few nights ago when I was tired but didn't feel like going to bed, and started reading.

As soon as I'd read a couple pages I was interested. Can't recall reading a story in this narrative style. It's all in the first person, the words are being spoken by the narrator, Changez, to an American man, never named, whose apparently only occasional words are never explicitly heard, simply acknowledged in the narration by something like, Oh, but you mustn't assume that I believed that, sir.

You'd like something to drink? How would some nice tea do for you? Fine, I'd like a cup too, I'll order for us. The entire almost one-sided conversation takes place over the course of several hours, from mid-afternoon perhaps to late at night.

In it, the Pakistani narrator tells a select story of his life, his experiences going to Princeton, being hired by a small, select financial company in Manhattan, and meeting and falling for a young American woman named Erica.

The story of Changez and Erica is very strange, doubly strange when folded into this sort of narrative style. I think I'll remember it for quite a while.

I'm sure the low ratings of many have nothing to do with the literary merits of the novel. They have to do with the attitudes toward America that Changez slowly reveals throughout his telling, attitudes which in fact he only becomes aware of as certain incidents occur which evoke as he tells it surprise on his own part, when he realizes how he has reacted. I don't believe I'll go into any specifics about this, but I found his recounting of these attitudes very believable from the point of view of a person from that part of the world.

The story is something of a mystery — a mystery with at least two, perhaps more, ominous threads which slowly are revealed and slowly grow darker. And it is literature, not a political essay. In many ways, for many reasons, an unforgettable novel.

The Taming of the Shrew Random review: Organic Marxism: Invisible Man Ralph Ellison Next library review: View all 8 comments. No, it doesn't explore it, but makes a joke out of it, through an artificially constructed dilemma of one Changez, a Pakistani expat in the United States, who has turned to "fundamentalism" after the history-making day of nine-eleven. Lahore, the famous Food Street in Old city. The Reluctant Fundamentalist dines with an anonymous person about whom the only information we get is his nationality: How and why he's here we don't get to find out.

The American seems like a phantasmal installation - a dummy of sorts - to lend our Reluctant Fundamentalist an ear. The narrative is almost entirely made up of a monologue; the reader is not allowed to hear the reactions of the American stranger. Changez speaks continuously as he recounts his experiences of student life in the US. Through this unimpressive frame story, as though a flippant Conrad gone berserk, we enter the main story.

Changez has a common migrant story. He goes to study at Princeton yes it is always Princeton or Harvard or Oxford or Cambridge - it seems fictional characters don't go to medium-tier universities but that's a non-sequitur!

The ensuing American invasions unhinge Changez. He begins to doubt himself he just starts doubting, without going through a process of introspection which, included, would have lent some credibility to the narrative , his loyalties change, his outlook on life undergoes a drastic no-angled turn, and he finds himself questioning his life in the United States. This break is symbolically represented by Changez's relationship with an American girl 'Erica', who is actually 'America' - once his beloved, now an undesired castaway.

They have one good sex, a mutual orgasm, and then they go separate ways. It is not so much a tale of a truly reluctant fundamentalist than a person torn between what he sees as two mutually exclusive sets of loyalties. Changez suffers from an identity crisis and religious fundamentalism only makes up a silly excuse.

There's nothing in his new outlook that confirms his born-again religiosity. His opposition to American warmongering is political not religious.

This gives us room for interpretation but we do get the message don't we All in all, it's a fast read, enjoyable for its humour, but nothing much apart from that, and it doesn't require of you to think much before you have finished reading the slender novella.

But if a work of fiction depends so much on day-to-day history, it simply means that it's destined to last as long as the hype lasts. April This is everything I want in a novel. Engaging and somewhat experimental narration and challenging politics.

I plan to make a discussion video about this book, so I'll save a lot of my thoughts, but let me say that this was brilliant. The second-person narration is extremely powerful, as it confronts "you"—the implied American or Western reader—and implicates you directly in the events that have taken place in the novel and as complicit with the politics that shaped the landscape that prod Wow.

The second-person narration is extremely powerful, as it confronts "you"—the implied American or Western reader—and implicates you directly in the events that have taken place in the novel and as complicit with the politics that shaped the landscape that produced it.

Finally, the ending, so ambiguous and heavy with discomfort, is so challenging and so productive. This was a brilliant reading experience for me. I can't wait to talk more about it. You retreated into myths of your own difference, assumptions of your own superiority. And you acted out these beliefs on the stage of the world, so that the entire planet was rocked by the repercussions of your tantrums, not least my family, now facing war thousands of miles away.

Such an America had to be stopped in the interests not only of the rest of humanity, but also in your own. View all 3 comments. It is now , and no doubt many Pakistanis like our titular narrator have reason to be suspicious of America, perhaps over secret agreements and drone strikes.

I will not deny that, nor claim they are unjustified. But this book is written and set much earlier, in the reign of Bush II, where bile flowed more freely and anti-Americanism was more open everywhere. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is trying to be a political allegory yet also a complex psychological piece, yet it accomplishes neither. Most of the characters are flat and pallid stereotypes.

See the unattainable cliche, the firm fit model 'Am-Erica', a blonde Madonna for the narrator to lust over, and her dead lingering boyfriend 'Chris-tian'. The narrator's own name might be too easy to pin as cliche. The plot is only a string of circumstances, which our allegory is knotted on to. A young boy goes to Princeton and Wall Street, he is changed forever, he hates his new successful life and himself.

So on and so on. However, there is one element which impressed me, much so than all the rest combined. I'm not sure who else has reached this interpretation. It concerns the narrator, his own ugly little mind, and how he seeks to change the world to that image he creates.

What sort of person does it take to be a fundamentalist, or some other such extremist belief? An outsider, a pariah, someone who has never part of a cohesive nation to begin with.

It is this pariah who dreams up an image of what a Real better life is really like, dreaming of rebelling or crushing all enemies, real or imagined. History and memory are a builder's putty to them, as they marry their delusions and abandon their ugly reality. See the poor Austrian peasant, Hitler-nee-Schicklgruber, who dreamed of a greater Germanic knightly glory.

See the Georgian peasant, Stalin-nee-Dzhugashvilli, who harnessed socialism to a greater Russian nationalism for his dreams of mechanizing the Soviet people. And so on. See the mentally deformed persons who slouch into White Pride meetings today in America for further examples. There are, of course, those who join terror for personal reasons, against occupying powers.

But is this the case for our Changez? It is this type of person that the author most convincingly portrays. Our narrator smiles, offers you yes, You, another dreadful second-person McInerney bit some lovely Pakistani sweets and tea, sits in a charming part of Lahore, and engages in a long dictatorial monologue about the past, what events have shaped him into who he is, and what he plans to do.

What moral high ground does he have? Not much. He speaks idealism about America's power bestriding the globe, but then lapses into Cold War Realpolitik about Indo-Pakistani relations and nuclear weapons. He drinks beer and lusts like the rest. This book disappointed me. It wanted to look complex issues about nations, colonies, and religion in the eye, but instead blurred them further. I instead found the narrator's rotten mind more interesting.

All of the tempting ideas previously outlined are only superficially treated.

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This is a very well written work of fiction by a Pakistani novelist. The story starts with an extremely intelligent and well educated Pakistani speaking to an American. The setting is Pakistan. The protagonist describes, from his view, his experiences in America and of Americans.

The protagonist was working in America, for an American Company, before and after Sep. I fear saying much more about content as I have no desire to diminish one's reading experience. The novel has a semi autobiographical aspect to it. The protagonist is a Pakistani was educated at Princeton. Mohsin Hamid, the author, is a Pakistani educated at Princeton. I feel I have not read enough author's from Asia and intend to correct that. The novel itself is both unusual to my experience and very well written.

There is suspense that slowly builds that I felt was the product of superior writing skills. I read this book on Kindle while listening to the audiobook simultaneously. The narrator of the audiobook is Satya Bhabha.

Up until the last few of Chapter 3 the audiobook was a perfect reproduction of this excellent novel. Bhabha's narration has been excellent and has added to the reading experience. However a significant part of the end of Chapter 3 is completely missing. It is an important part of the story and if one only listens to the audiobook one will miss it, I think without knowing it. It is approximately the last five paragraphs.

One can still comprehend the story, if one only listens to the audiobook, but the reading experience is altered, and not for the better. Similarly, the last two paragraphs of Chapter 9 are missing.

The narration of this chapter ends at the end of a paragraph. Once again, I believe if one only listens to the audiobook, one will not be able to detect this. Once again, the story does not become incomprehensible, but is, I think, diminished. I paid very little more for the Kindle and audiobook combination than I would have for just the audiobook and I am glad I did so. Thank You I did not know what to expect when I began this book but it grabbed my attention from the first page and didn't let up until the last--and what a last page it was.

The main character, Changez, is a young Pakistani from a family that was once affluent but is now in decline. He receives a scholarship to Princeton where he graduates with all A's at the top of his class. He is promptly recruited by a top corporate valuations company, and in no time, is living a life he could not have imagined. He has a great job, a beautiful American girlfriend, and a non-stop social life. He is tall, handsome, well-dressed and well-liked.

His boss takes him under his wing and it seems his future will be a brilliant one. And then the World Trade Center is attacked and Changez world view shifts. I was quite startled by the author's naked openness about his feelings in this story. Changez is in the Philippines on business when the Towers are attacked and his first reaction is one of happiness.

He is ashamed of himself for feeling that way and immediately regrets the loss of life but, at the same time, cannot help but approve of the symbolism. Yet, he is well-aware that America has given him so much--why would he feel the way he did? Slowly Changez slips into decline--a decline that even he does not understand. He is deeply conflicted and divided inside between his gratitude to a country that has given him so much and the land of his birth that he feels loyal to.

During a business trip to Chile he begins to fall apart and, while visiting the home of poet Pablo Neruda, he makes a terrible decision.

This was not an easy book to read at times but the deep conflict and confusion Changez experiences is gripping. The author takes no shortcuts and avoids the trite and expected. The end was shattering. I am very glad to have read this book but believe it is not for everyone. Verified download. Next level fiction here. To be honest, it took about half the book for me to get really engaged in the story, but I did get there.

Take a look at Mohsin Hamid's resume and it will give you a hint on what's going on here. Born in Pakistan, lived in the states for a bit, returned to Pakistan, came back and went to Princeton for undergrad, harvard law school, took a job at a big time law firm, but decided it was too boring per wikipedia.

He's written for almost every respectable publication and was named one of the world's top global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine. Somewhere in there he became a dual citizen: UK and Pakistan. He absolutely kills it in this book California slang for "does a really good job".

Here are the main parts I see in it: He's in love with a woman who periodically stops responding to him. He thinks she is not interested, and maybe that is what it is, but he keeps racking his brain on what it is and tries different angles to reach her. He is a Pakistani who lives and works in high profile america. He always feels like an outsider. His job is appraising companies and he does a good job of it, but in appraising Philipino and Chilean companies he realizes he is feeding the American engine that is disrupting the lives of many around the world.

It may be a shock to Americans, but it is a very honest one, and I think it is really valid. I am an american who has lived in Mexico, Israel and now China with a lot of travel in between. Hamid contributes thinking that the west, but especially Americans desperately need to at least be aware of and likely, begin to adopt. He struggles with that and with his family being in a place that is on the edge of war.

He sees the effect the US's activity in Afghanistan is having and I think helps us to see it in an honest way. After reading this book, I am excited to pick up his other works and delve into his thinking more. See all reviews. site Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about site Giveaway. This item: The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Set up a giveaway.

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