HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
Loading...

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Mohsin Hamid

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4511881,557 (3.68)455
Member:acardin11
Title:The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Authors:Mohsin Hamid
Info:Harvest Books (2008), Edition: 1, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Books I read in 2009, favorite

Work details

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (2007)

  1. 20
    Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (sushidog, rjuris)
    sushidog: Perhaps an odd recommendation, but both novels explore a (temporary) immigrant's experience in America.
  2. 10
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: First-person narratives of growing disenchantment
  3. 00
    The House of Journalists: A Novel by Tim Finch (calvert-oak)
    calvert-oak: Slowly and ruthlessly breaks down the relationship of the empire to its former subjects.
  4. 00
    The Dinner by Herman Koch (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: A first-person narration over a single long conversation with loads of backstory skillfully woven in.
  5. 01
    Falling Man by Don DeLillo (Mouseear)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 455 mentions

English (178)  Norwegian (2)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (187)
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
Libro muy interesante de un chico pakistani que va a estudiar y mas tarde trabajar en EEUU y sus conflictos internos cuando EEUU empieza a hacer juegos geopoliticos con su pais natal.

Me gustaron las analogias entre su empresa y EEUU y el hecho de que sea un libro corto y ameno.

Lamentablemente, podria haber dicho mucho mas, podria haber ahondado mucho mas en la psique del protagonista o los conflictos politicos/religiosos/culturales que toca ligeramente.
Supongo que entre hacer un libro ligero y rapido y uno profundo, conscientemente eligio lo primero. Exitosamente. 4 estrellas. ( )
  trusmis | Apr 30, 2016 |
I listened to this one and thought the narrator was very good except for accents. I really enjoyed the way the story was told and how much Hamid was able to pack into such a short novel. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
I listened to this one and thought the narrator was very good except for accents. I really enjoyed the way the story was told and how much Hamid was able to pack into such a short novel. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Hamid explains the conflict in his identity fairly well and entertainingly so, but I did not enjoy the frame which felt somewhat shoehorned into his heartfelt description of a dual identity. The frame felt a little jarring because of the present tense and what I like to call Erotica style addressing of the reader. Maybe this was by design due to the themes in the book, but they personally made me uncomfortable. ( )
  angarrc | Mar 14, 2016 |
An intriguing book with a very interesting story. A young Pakistani man goes to study in the US and achieves success in his career. However, after 9/11 he becomes completely disillusioned with the American interference in the middle east and their invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. He gives it all up to return home where he becomes an activist. He tells his story to a mysterious companion in a restaurant who at the end of th book seems to be his assassin although this is only left to supposition. ( )
  lesleynicol | Feb 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 178 (next | show all)
It seems that Hamid would have us understand the novel's title ironically. We are prodded to question whether every critic of America in a Muslim country should be labeled a fundamentalist, or whether the term more accurately describes the capitalists of the American upper class. Yet these queries seem blunter and less interesting than the novel itself, in which the fundamentalist, and potential assassin, may be sitting on either side of the table.
 
There's undoubtedly a great novel waiting to be written out of the anguished material of these kinds of east/west encounters. This book may not be it, but its author (who won a Betty Trask award for his first novel, Moth Smoke) certainly has the potential to write it.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, James Lasdun (Mar 3, 2007)
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
"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."
Quotations
"For despite my mother's request, and my knowledge of the difficulties it could well present me at immigration, I had not shaved my two-week-old beard. It was, perhaps, a form of protest on my part, a symbol of my identity, or perhaps I sought to remind myself of the reality I had just left behind; I do not know recall my precise motivations. I know only that I did not wish to blend in with the army of clean-shaven youngsters who were my coworkers, and that inside me, for multiple reasons, I was deeply angry." (p.148-9)
"...one of my coworkers asked me a question, and when I turned to answer him, something rather strange took place. I looked at him - at his fair hair and light eyes and, most of all, his oblivious immersion in the minutiae of our work - and thought, you are so foreign. I felt in that moment much closer to the Filipino driver than to him; I felt I was play-acting when in reality I ought to be making my way home, like the people on the street outside."
(p.77)
"Have you heard of the janissaries?" "No," I said. "They were Christian boys, he explained, "captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. They were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to... How old were you when you went to America?"
(p.171-2)
"There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with kinship to mine and was perhaps colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war. Of course I was struggling! Of course I felt torn!"
(p.173)
"But at that moment, my thoughts were not with the victims of the attack - death on television moves me most when it is fictitious and happens to characters with whom I have built up relationships over multiple episodes - no, I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees." (p.83)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
At a café 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 an elite valuation firm. 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 Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.

Author's home page
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0151013047, Hardcover)

Mohsin Hamid's first novel, Moth Smoke, dealt with the confluence of personal and political themes, and his second, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, revisits that territory in the person of Changez, a young Pakistani. Told in a single monologue, the narrative never flags. Changez is by turns naive, sinister, unctuous, mildly threatening, overbearing, insulting, angry, resentful, and sad. He tells his story to a nameless, mysterious American who sits across from him at a Lahore cafe. Educated at Princeton, employed by a first-rate valuation firm, Changez was living the American dream, earning more money than he thought possible, caught up in the New York social scene and in love with a beautiful, wealthy, damaged girl. The romance is negligible; Erica is emotionally unavailable, endlessly grieving the death of her lifelong friend and boyfriend, Chris.

Changez is in Manila on 9/11 and sees the towers come down on TV. He tells the American, "...I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased... I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees..." When he returns to New York, there is a palpable change in attitudes toward him, starting right at immigration. His name and his face render him suspect.

Ongoing trouble between Pakistan and India urge Changez to return home for a visit, despite his parents' advice to stay where he is. While there, he realizes that he has changed in a way that shames him. "I was struck at first by how shabby our house appeared... I was saddened to find it in such a state... This was where I came from... and it smacked of lowliness." He exorcises that feeling and once again appreciates his home for its "unmistakable personality and idiosyncratic charm." While at home, he lets his beard grow. Advised to shave it, even by his mother, he refuses. It will be his line in the sand, his statement about who he is. His company sends him to Chile for another business valuation; his mind filled with the troubles in Pakistan and the U.S. involvement with India that keeps the pressure on. His work and the money he earns have been overtaken by resentment of the United States and all it stands for.

Hamid's prose is filled with insight, subtly delivered: "I felt my age: an almost childlike twenty-two, rather than that permanent middle-age that attaches itself to the man who lives alone and supports himself by wearing a suit in a city not of his birth." In telling of the janissaries, Christian boys captured by Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in the Muslim Army, his Chilean host tells him: "The janissaries were always taken in childhood. It would have been far more difficult to devote themselves to their adopted empire, you see, if they had memories they could not forget." Changez cannot forget, and Hamid makes the reader understand that--and all that follows. --Valerie Ryan


A Conversation with Mohsin Hamid
Set in modern-day Pakistan, Mohsin Hamid's debut novel, Moth Smoke, went on to win awards and was listed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His bold new novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is a daring, fast-paced monologue of a young Pakistani man telling his life story to a mysterious American stranger. It's a controversial look at the dark side of the American Dream, exploring the aftermath of 9/11, international unease, and the dangerous pull of nostalgia. Amazon.com senior editor Brad Thomas Parsons shared an e-mail exchange with Mohsin Hamid to talk about his powerful new book

Read the Amazon.com Interview with Mohsin Hamid



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"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. 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 Lahore. 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"--Book jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
81 avail.
110 wanted
9 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5 6
1 10
1.5 4
2 52
2.5 18
3 298
3.5 135
4 432
4.5 70
5 148

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,852,804 books! | Top bar: Always visible