Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Book 108: Reluctant Fundamentalist

Book #:108

Book Title:The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Author:Mohsin Hamid


Pub. Date:2007


Started:December 18, 2008

Finished:December 22, 2008

Time to Read:5 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins to tell the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter...

Changez is living an immigrant's dram of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lehore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned and his 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 maybe even love."


Review:Make no mistake: this isn't nonfiction. But it could be. For any Stephen King fans out there, this story is told in the stylings of Dolores Claiborne - a narrative, unbroken by actual action - and where revelations pop out at the most unexpected times. I find the title interesting - a concept of a reluctant fundamentalist might conjure up images of someone who is reluctant to enter into a different lifestyle because they have misgivings about that lifestyle. In this case, it's because the Changez has been in love with his adopted culture - and now, instead, feels drawn back to his motherland and culture. This is an odd book, hard at many times to read, and harder to identify with Changez - at least for me. I'm glad I read it - but I don't think I'll run out to find his other works.

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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