HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007)

by Mohsin Hamid

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4252301,796 (3.68)535
"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)
  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. 20
    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 535 mentions

English (216)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
I read this because it's a year twelve text this year and I tutor a year twelve student. In some ways, I can see why it's a text – there are obvious themes and metaphors and all that stuff they like you to talk about in year twelve exams. Personally, though? I didn't like it. I found the style obnoxious and the protagonist completely unsympathetic. Glad to have it over and done with.
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Update: according to The Guardian Erica is an allegory for America. Why can't Erica just be Erica? I don't understand. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/mar/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

--------------------

Erica is a girl who lives in her head because it is the only place she can be with the person she loves. Of course, there is a price to pay for this.

Unfortunately, this is not the point of this otherwise ordinary book. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Update: according to The Guardian Erica is an allegory for America. Why can't Erica just be Erica? I don't understand. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/mar/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

--------------------

Erica is a girl who lives in her head because it is the only place she can be with the person she loves. Of course, there is a price to pay for this.

Unfortunately, this is not the point of this otherwise ordinary book. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Update: according to The Guardian Erica is an allegory for America. Why can't Erica just be Erica? I don't understand. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/mar/03/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

--------------------

Erica is a girl who lives in her head because it is the only place she can be with the person she loves. Of course, there is a price to pay for this.

Unfortunately, this is not the point of this otherwise ordinary book. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Ingenious. Good book ( )
  leebill | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (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)
 

Belongs to Publisher Series

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
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

No library descriptions found.

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

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5 6
1 13
1.5 4
2 71
2.5 20
3 343
3.5 154
4 505
4.5 79
5 182

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 149,300,706 books! | Top bar: Always visible