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Comment: Former library copy. Light/medium cosmetic wear. Good reading copy. No marks on text.
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Journey to the End of Islam Paperback – November 17, 2009

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Journey to the End of Islam + Blue-Eyed Devil: A Road Odyssey Through Islamic America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; Original edition (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762469
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Born Irish Catholic in upstate New York, Knight converted to Islam as a teenager and wrote an influential underground novel, The Taqwacores, about young Muslim-Americans struggling to integrate their religious beliefs with an affinity for beer and the Sex Pistols. His latest, a stream of consciousness chronicle of his pilgrimage to holy sites in Pakistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, resembles nothing so much as the archetypal American road novel complete with a harrowing episode of cannabis-induced psychosis, a breezy tone (I spent two months in Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, doing the madrassa thing and considering jihad in Chechnya) and indifference to whether the reader can follow his references (if you aren't acquainted with Muslim history and terminology, you would be well-advised to stay within close reach of Wikipedia). He probes and prods the boundaries of his faith with unabashed emotion and honesty, even questioning, near the end of his journey, whether he really understands anything about Islam. But the book is most engaging when he turns his gaze outward to make pithy observations on the intersection of religion and global capitalist culture (he describes Saudi Arabia as the Wal-Mart of Islam). (Dec.)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
I understand Muslims' concern with the content of this book.
Michael Muhammad Knight's book is by turns smart, funny, wry, solemn, irreverent, surprising, and always extremely moving.
Rama C. Bauer
He seems to think that everything white and American is wrong.
Jeffrey S. Lindstrom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Journey to the End of Islam is author Michael Muhammad Knight's second travel book about experiencing and documenting lesser known Islamic expressions throughout the world, the first being Blue Eyed Devil: A Road Journey Through Islamic America, which exclusively focused on exploring the United States' "weird" history of Islam. This book begins with Knight musing on the fact that nearly every minority religion has been persecuted and vilified at some point in American history, including its Mormons, Catholics, Jews, etc - and yet all of these faiths have become somewhat "mainstream" over time, especially Catholicism. He then wonders if Islam has become the most "un-American" religion in the nation's history, in terms of how many people regard American Muslims and their faith. Along the way, Knight discovers that there is no such thing as a "real", "fake" or "universal" Islam - and despite the claims of many "moderate" Muslims, culture and religion are intertwined. The only "universal" aspect of Islam is the holy Qur'an in Arabic, but even that is interpreted differently by different people - and even scholars who try to come to a consensus about what this or that verse means, disagree with each other. So nothing, literally no-thing binds Muslims together as a cohesive community - this to the chagrin of many Muslims as well as non-Muslims who want to believe that they are "all the same" for very different reasons. After having had that realization, that there is no such thing as a "universal" Islam, Knight was much more able to objectively explore different expressions of Islam without being overly judgmental.

At one point, however, his "inner fundamentalist" came out while in Pakistan as a man was trying to sell him what appeared to be a Sufi equivilant to a healing voodoo doll.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Knight on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is offensive and might even cause some imams to issue a fatwa, but it's entertaining in every level. This was the second book that I read by Michael Muhammad Knight and after I finished reading it-after 5 hours-I was so blown away that I would've paid $100 for it. This book gives an insight into a man's quest for Islam, his Islam and not some artificial one. This book is brutally honest and makes you question your religion, whatever it may be. Completely worth your time, it'll leave you recommending it to your friends and family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan J. Barber on July 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I first read Blue-Eyed Devil I was blown away. The book pulled me in and wouldn't let me go, even after finishing the book I returned to it to reread sections and even the entire text (at least twice). You can read my review here.

I was hoping for a similarly captivating experience with Journey to the End of Islam and the short answer is that I didn't get it. More than pulling me in this book frustrates me, angers me. That's not to say that it's a bad book just that it goes to some ugly places and this ugliness makes it a harder read than Blue-Eyed Devil.

One of the strengths of MMK's work is the honesty and gentleness with which he treats his real life characters. The difference this time around is that instead of the likable bunch from Blue-Eyed Devil we get a racist Pakistani kid, the religious police of the Kingdom of Saud and "Hater Uncle". It's is hard to like this group, hard to spend time with them on the journey.

The book's saving grace is the one character who appears in both texts; Knight himself. It's obvious that Knight hasn't wasted the time between these two books because he's clearly matured in some outward ways (steady girlfriend, now wife) and some inward ways (being able to peacefully deal with the experience of Hajj). He's no less honest or questioning this time around either. In fact he compassionately points out inconsistencies and hypocritical behavior whenever he encounters it especially when it comes from him.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Horowitz on November 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found almost every one of these chapters magical -- Michael Knight has more to say on a single topic than most writers grapple with in their entire careers. Think I'm exaggerating? He considers the Hermetic connections between the Abrahamic faiths, the uneasy role of Muhammad as both a religious and political revolutionary, Islam's crisis in accommodating the part of women, the charity shown by the faith's most intense acolytes, the harassment of its experimenters in the East and West - and these represent just a fraction of what he confronts. Knight proceeds always with literary precision, historical grounding, and ethical seriousness. Not to mention humor and a right dose of self-questioning. His writing brings a quality to the spiritual search that is missing in other books - a tectonic confrontation of the ancient and the new, with a deep sense of questioning and a willingness to sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong. There is just no voice on the literary world scene like Knight's.
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