Reluctant fundamentalist book


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. 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. The Reluctant Fundamentalist book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man.

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Reluctant Fundamentalist Book

Mohsin Hamid's second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is a quietly told, cleverly constructed fable of infatuation and disenchantment with. The Reluctant Fundamentalist [Mohsin Hamid] on Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year A New York Times Notable Book “Extreme times . So begins Mohsin Hamid's Man Booker-shortlisted The Reluctant Fundamentalist , a novel which follows the transnational journey of Changez.

It is short, but as it progresses a grim sense of foreboding thickens until the final sentence, which is a masterstroke of ambiguity. I closed the book with a shudder. The book is narrated by a bearded Pakistani man called Changez, who buttonholes an American traveller and offloads the story of his life. Since the American never speaks, and since Changez addresses him directly throughout here's the first sentence: "Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? This is a hard formal trick to pull off - even over the brief course of a novella - but Hamid manages it with admirable skill. Changez talks about his time in the US, where he attended Princeton before working for a blue-chip financial firm in New York. Unlike many younger writers, Hamid seems to have made his second novel more autobiographical than his first, Moth Smoke: he grew up in Lahore, went to Princeton, and worked for several years as a management consultant in New York. On holiday in Greece before starting his high-powered job, Changez fell in love with Erica, a pretty rich-kid from NYC's plutocracy. After joining his elite employer, he enjoyed rapid success and spent his free time hanging out with Erica and her hipster friends at TriBeCa loft parties. His life felt blessed. Yet Erica, though friendly, seemed distant, even depressive, and Changez slowly realised that he had become embroiled in a freaky love triangle that also included her childhood sweetheart Chris, who had died from lung cancer.

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Man Booker 2007 Prize: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Popular Features. New Releases. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Description The internationally bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted portrait of a man caught between conflicting identities and betrayed by the world he has embraced - from the author of Exit West Adapted as a major film starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland 'Masterful. A poignant love story and a thriller that subtly ratchets up the nerve-jangling tension towards an explosive ending' Metro '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. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

For he is more worldy than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream -- and a Western woman -- and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens.

Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear. Challenging, mysterious and thrillingly tense, Mohsin Hamid's masterly The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a vital read teeming with questions and ideas about some of the most pressing issues of today's globalised, fractured world.

Flap copy At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. The janissaries of the Ottoman empire were captured Christian boys trained to fight against their own people, which they did with singular ferocity.

This interesting class of warrior is described during a business lunch to Changez, the young hero of Mohsin Hamid's second novel, at a moment of crisis over his own identity. Born in Pakistan, educated at Princeton and currently the hottest new employee at a New York firm specialising in ruthless appraisals of ailing companies being targeted for takeover, Changez recognises himself in the description. The recognition completes a process of inward transformation that began when he realised he was half-gladdened by the World Trade Center attacks, and it now prompts him to sabotage his own high-flying career, to give up his pursuit of the beautiful, troubled Wasp princess Erica and go back to Lahore.

There, bearded and generally reacculturated, he meets an American in a restaurant in the Old Anarkali district, and buttonholes him with his life story.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist : Mohsin Hamid :

The novel is his monologue: The richest instance of the latter is in the way it plays with the idea of fundamentalism itself. From the title, and from the increasingly tense atmosphere arising between Changez and his American listener, the expectation is that Changez is moving towards the revelation that he has gone, however "reluctantly", all the way over to the dark side of Islamic fundamentalism, and is possibly, even as he speaks, orchestrating some Daniel Pearl-like execution of his perhaps literally captive audience.

But in a neat - arguably too neat - reversal, it transpires that the real fundamentalism at issue here is that of US capitalism, specifically that practised by Changez's former employer, Underwood Samson, whose motto, as they do their pitiless bit for globalisation, is "Focus on the fundamentals". The subverted expectation very efficiently forces one to reconsider one's preconceptions about such words and their meanings, and a point is duly scored for relativism.

This precise, rather classical orchestration of symmetries and reciprocities is both a strength and a weakness in the book. It fosters the kind of concentratedly astute cultural observation at which Hamid excels. At frequent intervals the narrative executes a nice flourish in the form of some densely emblematic image or epigrammatic remark. Changez pithily summarises, for instance, the experience of every happy Manhattan transplant when he declares: But at the same time, this aphoristic tendency gives the story a slightly abstracted, thin-blooded quality.

You notice this especially in the relationship between Changez and Erica. This privileged, patrician girl has a tragedy in her past: Her growing intimacy with Changez, while interestingly free of the racial tensions that traditionally afflict such couples in literature, is nevertheless thwarted by her inability to forget Chris or allow Changez to take his place.

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