The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780141029542 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 3/13/2011
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, March 13, 2011
This 'World Book Night' edition came to me from a bookcrossing friend - well passed on via my wife actually. Anyway, a great choice as I haven't read it. Thank you :)

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan at Woodbridge, Suffolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 29, 2011
(28/03) *includes slight spoiler*
This is deceptively quiet and simple novel, but it contains a lot of strong emotion and insights, written in a very understated 1st person narrative (a bit like Ishiguro I thought?)

Changez – I can’t remember if we learnt his surname – is a Pakistani, retelling his life story to an unnamed American outside a restaurant in Lahore. We learn that Changez was a seemingly successful and well adjusted Princeton graduate working for a top New York accountancy firm, until he begins to question his role, the differences between his culture and home and his adopted America. There are 2 other triggers that eventually cause his ‘conversion’ not so much a radicalisation, more a shifting of perspective; the mental illness of his girlfriend, and 9/11. The former is sad but less convincing, but I thought the viewpoint of a westernised Muslim and Arab, and the way he reacts to the terrorism (a vague uneasy sense of joy), and the subsequent national outrage, paranoia and military retaliation in the Middle East, was unique and fascinating.

The book seems to drift to an unconvincing ending; is Changez a true militant fundamentalist? Is the shady American out to get him; what really happened to Erica? But I think these apparent loose ends are left for the reader to make up his own mind, and they do leave plenty of room for conjecture, but I think it also allows for reflection on the broader subject rather than knowing categorically what happens. Clever and very well written.

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan at The Lion Hotel in Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (3/29/2011 UTC) at The Lion Hotel in Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom

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Left in the reception at the hotel. If you pick this book up please journal here and read...and pass on if you can :)

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