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Home Boy: A Novel Hardcover – August 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307409104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307409102
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Naqvi's debut novel introduces Chuck, a 20-something Pakistani living in New York and one of the most engaging protagonists to come along in a while. After moving from Karachi to attend NYU, Chuck readily adapts to the customs of his new home—especially those involving alcohol, cocaine and skirt chasing—but he's not the average drunk college kid: he and his friends, AC and Jimbo, are like a Pakistani-American version of the Three Musketeers—in their own eyes, boulevardiers, raconteurs, renaissance men. After graduating, Chuck lands a job as an investment banker (his mother's idea), and after a good run, he's fired during a brief economic downturn. Shortly thereafter, his former office building, 7 World Trade Center, is the third building to go down on 9/11. Suddenly, the act of the debonair dandy is a little harder to pull off: with no job, little money, and the rapidly increasing hostility of Americans towards all things Muslim, Chuck struggles to make sense of his newfound status as an outsider. Naqvi's fast-paced plot, foul-mouthed erudition and pitch-perfect dialogue make for a stellar debut. (Sept.)
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Review

One of the Huffington Post’s “10 Best Books of 2009”
 
"Viciously hilarious, HOME BOY bursts with intelligence and energy and pathos. I haven’t read anything like it.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author, Absurdistan
 
“A genre busting, page-turning debut, HOME BOYfuses street slang and literary discourse, pop culture and politics, history and comedy, East and West. Ultimately, though, HOME BOY is a thoughtful story about a boy who becomes a man in these fraught and frightening times.”
—John Wray, author, Lowboy
 
“A marvelous literary achievement shaped by a refreshingly humane, irresistibly cool, and distinctly curried sensibility. From the word go, Home Boy is populated by larger-than-life characters and big ideas. It will make you think, laugh out loud, possibly cry, and at times, dance with joy.  You won’t even notice that H. M. Naqvi has redefined South Asian literature.”
—Lee Siegel , author, Love in a Dead Language
 
“Naqvi’s fast-paced plot, foul-mouthed erudition and pitch-perfect dialogue make for a stellar debut.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“A breezy, thoughtful and witty novel about the immigrant experience.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Naqvi’s story of immigrant life, ambivalence, and identiy is, by turns, comic and sad…with an endearingly and enduringly sweet sensibility wthat will linger in readers’ memories.”
Booklist
 
“An authentic and honest portrayal of what it’s like to be a Muslim living in post-9/11 America.”
USA Today
                                               
“Naqvi’s smart and sorrowful debut is at once immigrant narrative, bildungsroman and New York City novel, with a dash of the picaresque….Home Boy is a remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs.”
New York Times Book Review
 
“[A] fast-paced and evocative coming-of-age tale.”
 —San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Naqvi’s prose is evocative of Nabokov, in its immense energy….a treasure trove of illuminating language.”
—Anis Shivani, Huffington Post
 
“A witty, humorous yet poignant tale of a Pakistani immigrant coming of age on the streets of New York City.”
New York Press
 
“Witty, sharply observed….a very auspicious debut.”
Connecticut News
 
“One of the best books we’ve read all year—a big-hearted, yet unsentimental page-turner that is letter-perfect in its evocation of time and place….A boisterous and funny coming-of-age story.”    
—MUG [Manhattan User’s Guide]

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I simply loved this book!
Shawn
Its a fun read and an adventure tale about three boys who get taken into FBI custody just as the sun comes up on the end of a night on the town.
F. Husain-ashraf
The plot is compelling and the language is exquisite.
S. Abbas Raza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S. Abbas Raza on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is simply the best novel I have read in years (and I read a lot of novels). Funnier than Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, more substantive than Shteyngart's Absurdistan, Naqvi achieves a masterly comic prose: witty, intelligent, sensitive, poignant, hilarious, all at the same time.

Naqvi is the shrewdest observer of cosmopolitan urban life that I know, with a unique eye for just the right telling detail. Even as seasoned and celebrated a novelist as Salman Rushdie tried and failed to capture the New York City zeitgeist of the new millenium in his novel Fury, but Naqvi succeeds, and succeeds brilliantly where Rushdie couldn't.

This novel shows how people from all over the world (whether from Pakistan or Senegal or Korea) easily become "New Yorkers" in no time. The plot is compelling and the language is exquisite. Buy it. Read it. And then you'll end up buying many copies for friends, just as I did.

Young Husain Murtaza Naqvi is the, ah, new South Asian writer to watch.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Louise Gordon on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
H. M. Naqvi's Home Boy takes the reader to post-9/11 Manhattan through the eyes of Chuck and his two "chums," AC and Jimbo. The three are suddenly wrenched from their bon vivant cosmopolitan lives when they're picked up by the FBI and thrown into a detention center for questioning.

Naqvi's narrative and dialogue are brilliantly rendered, capturing the ethos and ethnicity of the New York experience in tones that for me bring Faulkner to mind rather than Rushdie. Race, religion and tough guy interrogation tactics reveal a coming of age, not only for Chuck and his chums, but everyone in a time when precarious human rights can be dispensed with on the basis of suspicion alone.

By contrast, Naqvi also explores the lifetime bonds of family and friendship. It's a tale of tragedy and laughter, both captured in unforgettable scenes. For instance, the classes and test Chuck has to take before getting his NY cab driver's license after being laid off in the banking business.

H. M. Naqvi is an extraordinary raconteur. His gifts of insight match his gift of gab.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shawn on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I simply loved this book! It's both entertaining ad touching! A lovely journey through the triumphs and losses of young man finding his way in New York. "Homeboy" ends with the bittersweet strength one finds at the remains of a day marking the end of youth. A novel with heart, "Homeboy" is a must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tennessee Reader on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This horribly smart, funny novel is all heart -- with a sliver of ice. You won't know what's been done to you -- or, for you -- until you finish reading, but you'll be riveted all the way. The howling dislocation of being a Pakistani in New York just after 9/11 could not possibly be better rendered, nor could the sea change of that era, the grit that settled forever and made us grow up. This is a work of art that helps to define our times, to answer the nagging question: who are we, really? To do all that, it shouldn't be so much fun to read. But it is. It is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Man of La Book on January 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an appealing, smart, funny and sad book, told from the viewpoint of a Pakistani immigrant in New York City. The book follows three young (mid twenties) Pakistani friends, Chuck, AC and Jimbo, who embraced Metropolis for everything they could while indulging in the joys of girlfriends, as well as a little drugs and not-so-little alcohol.

The story is told through the eyes of Chuck, a student on a work visa who turned banker, turned cabbie.
The three friends' world turned upside-down after the events of 9/11/2001 when the city that they thought embraced them, turned hostile. At this time (about 100 pages into the novel) the book becomes very energetic and fast paced as it turns from a story filled with self absorption hedonism into a story about the coming of age in an unfriendly world.

This is one of those books which are disturbing and delightful at the same time, a view point on the events of 9/11 from the perspective of a young man who has been accused of being someone he's not simply out of the national paranoia that gripped the nation.
The book is filled with prose, funny, energetic and filled with local flavors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Husain-ashraf on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was so good! I first heard the author read at Asia Society and knew this was a book that I would not be able to put down. If you want to get a little taste of this novel go to [...] and click videos and watch Naqvi read. You won't be disappointed. As a native New Yorker I read this book and was simply smiling and cooing at every page. My friends who are not New Yorkers, as we all live in DC, loved the book too. Its a fun read and an adventure tale about three boys who get taken into FBI custody just as the sun comes up on the end of a night on the town. The plot as described here doesn't sound that thrilling. Right? But seriously, its all in the writing. You've got to go to asiasociety.org and listen to the man read. You'll be sold on the book hand down right there!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel, although set in the background of Pakistani experience in a post 9/11 world, provides a deep insight into the broader immigrant experience from the point of view of a young immigrant who comes to study in the US and struggles with making the adopted country a permanent home. It also reflects the struggles of first and second generation of immigrants and the tensions between them.
A moving story, very well told by the author who is observant and sensitive to the world around him.
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