The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Book - 2007
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From the author of the award-winning Moth Smoke comes a perspective on love, prejudice, and the war on terror that has never been seen in North American literature. At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with a suspicious, and possibly armed, American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful meeting. . . Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by Underwood Samson, an elite firm that specializes in the valuation of companies ripe for acquisition. He thrives on the energy of New York and the intensity of his work, and his infatuation with regal Erica promises entree into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. For a time, it seems as though nothing will stand in the way of Changez's meteoric rise to personal and professional success. But in the wake of September 11, he finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and perhaps even love. Elegant and compelling, Mohsin Hamid's second novel is a devastating exploration of our divided and yet ultimately indivisible world. Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America. I noticed that you were looking for something; more than looking, in fact you seemed to be on a mission, and since I am both a native of this city and a speaker of yourlanguage, I thought I might offer you my services as a bridge. --from The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, c2007
ISBN: 9780385663441
Branch Call Number: F HAM
Characteristics: 184 p. ; 22 cm

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LPL_MeredithW Aug 30, 2017

If there's such a thing as an edge-of-your-seat elegy, that's what this book is. Beautifully written, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" would make a good read-a-like for "The Remains of the Day."

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dirtbag
Mar 18, 2017

Americans should read this book with the hope that they would begin to understand why most of the world distrusts them. This is a trim, well-written, and marvelous book.

m
melaniebrownster
Feb 14, 2017

Loved it. Very thought provoking.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Changez, a young Pakistani, happens upon an American in Lahore, invites him to tea and tells him the story of his life in the months before and after the 9/11 attacks. That monologue is the substance of this elegant and chilling little novel.

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Lucky_Luke
Dec 06, 2014

It shows the mechanism of radicalization, when you belong to the wrong, race, ethnic group or religion; from pain of not fitting in to anger at those who refuse to see more to people than the racial profile; smart, provocative and offers lot of food for thought.

g
gemini07
May 31, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing. The layers of hidden meanings of what the author means by "Fundamentalist", sets one to pondering.

m
marydave
Apr 11, 2014

Unlike anything I've ever read in my 60+ years of wide reading in 3 languages. I think I might finally have a glimpse inside the fundamentalist mind. Current reading of "Ruins of Empire" is a good follow-up.

Compelling read with cliff hanger ending. Highlights American culpability in its foreign policy and sublimated xenophobia.

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yiayia
Aug 22, 2013

Read this book and then you must see the extraordinary film directed by Mira Nair, also titled The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Both the book and the novel force us to think beyond the great American success story of family wealth or immigrant success to examine what happens to the soul of those who are blighted by what they are born into or what compromises they make to gain wealth and approval. Both the book and the film are haunting and brilliant.

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bookwormjeph
Dec 29, 2012

thoroughly enjoyable and quite scary in aspects of just how a certain situation can have such a profound and devastating effect on a person. It is written in an unusual style to in the way it links the past narrative with the present day reality.

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Liber_vermis
Jul 11, 2014

"... she was utterly detached, lost in a world of her own. Her eyes were turned inward, and remarks made by her companions would register only indirectly on her face, like the shadows of clouds gliding across the surface of a lake." (p. 86)

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