The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Book - 2007 | First edition
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Jul 04, 2019

Written in an elegant style, this is also an intriguing read. I didn't want it to end. The ending incidentally, is both predictable and a mystery. This is great fiction as well as a window for the reader to view and perhaps understand the frustration and pain of one whose sense of adaptation and belonging is only illusory.

Apr 19, 2019

It's a story about an egoist who has trouble accepting his own faults and blames his problems on everyone else. A mindless read with no climax - a real letdown. The author can write a sentence, but the story could use some work. Shallow arguments do not carry weight.

Jan 11, 2019

A great fast read with a fabulous plot, although the two main characters never leave the Lahore restaurant table where they're conversing, except for the last few pages where they walk towards a hotel. The narrator, very, very finely drawn, tells the entire story to his companion, repeating and commenting sometimes on what his companion has said, but all the words are his own. It is his life story he tells. You will be mesmerized! I can say no more without giving something away.

ontherideau May 25, 2018

Read this short novel to gain a different perspective of 911.

LPL_MeredithW Aug 30, 2017

If there's such a thing as an edge-of-your-seat elegy, that's what this book is. Beautifully written, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" would make a good read-a-like for "The Remains of the Day."

Mar 18, 2017

Americans should read this book with the hope that they would begin to understand why most of the world distrusts them. This is a trim, well-written, and marvelous book.

Feb 14, 2017

Loved it. Very thought provoking.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Changez, a young Pakistani, happens upon an American in Lahore, invites him to tea and tells him the story of his life in the months before and after the 9/11 attacks. That monologue is the substance of this elegant and chilling little novel.

Dec 06, 2014

It shows the mechanism of radicalization, when you belong to the wrong, race, ethnic group or religion; from pain of not fitting in to anger at those who refuse to see more to people than the racial profile; smart, provocative and offers lot of food for thought.

May 31, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing. The layers of hidden meanings of what the author means by "Fundamentalist", sets one to pondering.

Apr 11, 2014

Unlike anything I've ever read in my 60+ years of wide reading in 3 languages. I think I might finally have a glimpse inside the fundamentalist mind. Current reading of "Ruins of Empire" is a good follow-up.

Compelling read with cliff hanger ending. Highlights American culpability in its foreign policy and sublimated xenophobia.

Aug 22, 2013

Read this book and then you must see the extraordinary film directed by Mira Nair, also titled The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Both the book and the novel force us to think beyond the great American success story of family wealth or immigrant success to examine what happens to the soul of those who are blighted by what they are born into or what compromises they make to gain wealth and approval. Both the book and the film are haunting and brilliant.

Dec 29, 2012

thoroughly enjoyable and quite scary in aspects of just how a certain situation can have such a profound and devastating effect on a person. It is written in an unusual style to in the way it links the past narrative with the present day reality.

Jane60201 Dec 26, 2012

Excellent commentary on how nationals of other countries feel about America without the overbearing feeling of political science tomes.

Oct 18, 2012

5 Stars because this is a quick and easy read. Subject, of course, it's very controversial and this book can be seen as full of hate for everything American.
But I think that the main thing in this book - an idea against the war, against the resumptuousness towards "third world" from the "all-powerful", against racism, against the "punishment" of all population of a country just because of the terrible acts of some individuals from that country. But, again, opinions of the main character, and I think of writer, about some things he tries to resist - related to the material prosperity of capitalist America, its desire to be "the ruling hand" of the world, despite the fact that the history of America is very short, compared with the history of many countries against which its military operations are directed. But at the same time, the the main character is not very different from those he accuses and condemns. If it were not for the tragedy of September 11, I am confident that he, like many others with a similar fate, would have lived and thrived in the same America.

Apr 04, 2012

A brillant book, well written. Keeps you interested til the end!

Jan 08, 2012

Written in the style of "The Prophet" which would have normally turned me off. The author kept me engaged throughout.

Aug 05, 2011

A beautifully written, thoughtful and perceptive piece that should be read by anyone who wants to understand how bigotry ignorance flourish in a time of understandable tension. A very good read.

Aug 04, 2011

This book is easily read within one sitting but the memory of it will linger a long time. The framework is unusual - it's like a play, a monologue with only one speaker. For the reader, it's like listening to one side of a phone conversation. But the author does so much with that one side. The story of a Pakastani man attending Princeton and becoming successful in America was fascinating. His subsequent transition to becoming a "reluctant fundamentalist", I felt, was less comprehensive, and therefore less believable and less understood. However, the writing is excellent and the perspective of a Middle Eastern man both pre and post- 9-11 is important. I heartily recommend it.

crankylibrarian Jul 09, 2011

Gripping, with a mounting air of menace and foreboding. The narrator's elegant, old fashioned prose contrasts sharply with the nature of the story he tells. Framed by an encounter in Pakistan between a mysterious American and the even more mysterious narrator, this spine-tingler blends a classic story of immigrant disenchantment and the perils of post 9/11 cultural isolation.

Mar 11, 2011

Interesting perspective on the Middle East and the US of A. You never hear the “American”, which is a nice change especially in English fiction on this topic.

debwalker Nov 07, 2010

A post 9/11 literary virtuosity.

Feb 27, 2010

Excellent. Quick read.

Oct 05, 2008

how to create a terrorist, fiction

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