- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 3, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
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
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
The Post piece goes on to lay out an autobiography which in considerable part became the plot of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist." Hamid returned to Lahore at the age of nine, growing up there pleasurably before the city was adversely impacted economically and culturally (strict morality codes, intimidation of politicians, academics, and journalists) by American backing of Pakistan's dictator Mohammed Zia ul-Haq in exchange for Zia's support of the mujaheddin, the Afghan guerrilla group fighting the Russian occupation which later became an American holy war adversary. Like the character Changez in the novel, he returned to the United States to attend Princeton University.
How much of the remainder of the book (Changez's outstanding performance in a business evaluation firm prior to being fired in debilitating disenchantment when he recognized the havoc his work was causing in the global workplace, the American girlfriend who ultimately fails him, et cetera) is unknown.Read more ›
So, let me start by stating the two key themes I am not going to be discussing: the sort of "coming-of-age" and maturing of an individual as a consequence of the social and political events around him, and the analysis of the transition that a society goes through as exemplified by the impact of some dramatic events on an individual or a family. I think both these themes are played out in this book, and played out very well like almost everything else in it, but they are still secondary themes. The real objective of the book I believe is to showcase the entire generation of "reluctant fundamentalists" that have spawned among Generations X&Y across the globe (primarily as a result of the huge economic disparities between the developed and developing nations, but that's an altogether separate debate and something I won't go into further here). These fundamentalists are not born so, they are not trained to be so, they often feel ashamed to be so, and are quintessentially not so, but nonetheless, when cornered, they become so as a natural outcome of some primal human behavioural traits like love for one's own and protecting of one's territory. These are the circumstantial fundamentalists. Changez is just one such man, and the dichotomy playing out in the minds of these reluctant fundamentalists is demonstrated in an excellent fashion through his actions in this book.Read more ›
The story centers around a meeting at an outdoor café in Lahore between a Pakistani man named Changez and a suspicious-looking American with the bearing that makes him out to be either military or intelligence agent. Changez engages the man initially in tea and conversation. After awhile, seeing the American most attentive --and also a bit wary of his surroundings, the Pakistani orders dinner for the two of them; meanwhile going deeper into his memories about times spent in America, as a student at Princeton and later as a rising star at a New York valuation firm. Changez also recollects his budding romance with Erica, the daughter of a wealthy investment banker who was sure to enable Changez's entry to high society. Changez was well on his way to success when the twin towers of the World Trade Center came tumbling down on September 11, 2001.
Changez's reaction to their collapse alarms and confuses him; he finds himself smiling and overjoyed. The elation, however, isn't over the deaths of 3,000 innocent people, but rather thet there are those who are able to strike at the United States --an entity which has long held him in awe with its almost limitless power, wealth and ability to affect the world: sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. As America becomes enraged and seeks revenge upon anything and anyone Muslim, he reads reports of Pakistan becoming coerced into the war against Afghanistan and of India taking advantage of this situation threatening his homeland. Becoming ever more distanced from our society and his work, it becomes increasingly harder for Changez to continue at his career.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ultimately, I found the arch tone of this book to be tedious. But it raises an interesting mirror to American assumptions about assimilation, our place in the world, and the fog of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by georgesand
This book is wonderful. HOWEVER, if you are not interested in fully analyzing it, you will not get it. Read morePublished 5 days ago by MacKenzie
Fascinating story from an insider perspective from which every non-Muslim could benefit. Discussion of the comparison of capitalistic values vs. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Douglas A. Asbury
I liked the author describes the first person feelings and how his thoughts evolve during the storyPublished 26 days ago by Carlos Villavieja Prados
When I first read this book, I was disappointed because I hate assuming and coming up with a conclusion for books myself, but it's obvious that Hamid didn't give an identity to the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Shaffan
Had to read it for a college class, otherwise would have never picked it up.Published 1 month ago by Brandon T.
This fantastic book is about the life of a young man from Pakistan who gets lost in the lonely world of corporate America. One of my best reads ever. Highly recommended.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book details a first-person narrative of what it's like to be a Muslim immigrant trying to make a new life in the US, particularly in college and the first year of employment... Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Dieng