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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
The style chosen by the writer is effective in that it creates a kind of mystery and is involved in an atmosphere of suspense and makes the reader to read further. Read morePublished 3 days ago by M.G.Oliveira
The book is well written and readable at a fast pace. I read it over a couple of hours.
However, it comes across as shallow in its portrayal of the protagonists move... Read more
I truly loved this style of narration. The story keeps you immersed, and takes you on a riveting journey into the life, love, and struggles of a Pakistani immigrant.Published 4 days ago by Donald L. Whitt
This book is nearly hypnotic as one is pulled into the drama, wondering, contemplating and finally seeing the same world through different eyes (Proust I think).Published 5 days ago by Judith A
excellent book with an infuriating and undoubtably over-analyzable ending, however the way the style of writing is interesting and definitely inspired. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Student
REally really enjoyed the book - actually so much that I didn't watch the moviePublished 8 days ago by Mahira
The book was an emotional roller-coaster, but the characters were people that you knew well by the conclusion of the story.Published 20 days ago by L. Stone