The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid

Doubleday Canada | April 8, 2008 | Trade Paperback

4.25 out of 5 rating. 4 Reviews
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The New York Times bestselling novel, Mohsin Hamid''s The Reluctant Funamentalist is brilliant and powerful, and now a major motion picture!

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is the story of Changez, a young, Princeton-educated Pakistani who goes on to work at a prestigious financial analysis firm in New York City and falls in love with a woman from the upper echelons of New York society. He seems to have achieved the American dream--until 9/11 devastates the city. As the woman and city he loves suffer from new wounds and old scars, Changez finds that his place in society had shifted. With the world seemingly crumbling in front of him, Changez must decide where his true loyalties lie--with his adopted country or his homeland.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.6 in

Published: April 8, 2008

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385663455

ISBN - 13: 9780385663458

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Reviews

– More About This Product –

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.6 in

Published: April 8, 2008

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385663455

ISBN - 13: 9780385663458

Read from the Book

Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America. I noticed that you were looking for something; more than looking, in fact you seemed to be on a mission , and since I am both a native of this city and a speaker of your language, I thought I might offer you my services. How did I know you were American? No, not by the color of your skin; we have a range of complexions in this country, and yours occurs often among the people of our northwest frontier. Nor was it your dress that gave you away; a European tourist could as easily have purchased in Des Moines your suit, with its single vent, and your button­down shirt. True, your hair, short­cropped, and your expansive chest – the chest, I would say, of a man who bench­presses regularly, and maxes out well above two­twenty­five – are typical of a certain type of American; but then again, sportsmen and soldiers of all nationalities tend to look alike. Instead, it was your bearing that allowed me to identify you, and I do not mean that as an insult, for I see your face has hardened, but merely as an observation. Come, tell me, what were you looking for? Surely, at this time of day, only one thing could have brought you to the district of Old Anarkali – named, as you may be aware, after a courtesan immured for loving a prince – and that is the quest for the perfect cup of tea. Have I guessed correctly? T
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From the Publisher

The New York Times bestselling novel, Mohsin Hamid''s The Reluctant Funamentalist is brilliant and powerful, and now a major motion picture!

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is the story of Changez, a young, Princeton-educated Pakistani who goes on to work at a prestigious financial analysis firm in New York City and falls in love with a woman from the upper echelons of New York society. He seems to have achieved the American dream--until 9/11 devastates the city. As the woman and city he loves suffer from new wounds and old scars, Changez finds that his place in society had shifted. With the world seemingly crumbling in front of him, Changez must decide where his true loyalties lie--with his adopted country or his homeland.

From the Jacket

A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2007
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Theatrically entertaining… A 184-page dramatic monologue reminiscent of The Fall by Albert Camus and Robert Browning's My Last Duchess." - The Globe and Mail

"[An] elegant and chilling little novel. . . . Hamid's novel . . . is distinguished by its portrayal of Changez's class aspirations and inner struggle. . . . [With] an Arabian Nights-style urgency . . . . The fundamentalist, and potential assassin, may be sitting on either side of the table." -The New York Times

"[A] taut and absolutely absorbing second novel. . . . The Reluctant Fundamentalist is at least as much about the apparent unease felt by the listener - and reader - in hearing the story, as it is about the growing sense of cultural displacement described by Changez. . . . Hamid . . . makes it impossible for the reader to know for certain what danger actually lurks or whether the reader's perceived sense of dread and underlying malice is nothing more than the product of an overactive, media-fed imagination." -Toronto Star

"In his beautifully accomplished little volume, Hamid . . . succeeds at illustrating not only that Changez changes , but that much else changes too, following 9/11. . . . Hamid is sophisticated with symbols, and the relationship between Changez and Erica is especially affecting, in great part because of what it says about missed opportunities, misunderstanding and the growing rift between Judeo-Christian West and Muslim Middle East." -The Globe and Mail

"An intelligent and absorbing 9/11 novel." -Publishers Weekly
"A quietly told, cleverly constructed fable of infatuation and disenchantment with America. . . . It fosters the kind of concentratedly astute cultural observation at which Hamid excels. . . . An intelligent, highly engaging piece of work."- Guardian
"Beautifully written and superbly constructed. It is more exciting than any thriller I've read for a long time, as well as being a subtle and elegant analysis of the state of our world today." -- Philip Pullman
"A brilliant book. With spooky restraint and masterful control, Hamid unpicks the underpinnings of the most recent episode of distrust between East and West. The narrative is balanced by a love as powerful as the sinister forces gathering, even when it recedes into a phantom of hope." -- Kiran Desai
"A superb cautionary tale, and a grim reminder of the continuing cost of ethnic profiling, miscommunication and confrontation." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"This novel's firm, steady, even beautiful voice proclaims the completeness of the soul when personal and global issues are conjoined." -Booklist (starred review)
"The novel succeeds in wrapping an exploration of the straining relationship between East and West in a gripping yarn, which remains tout until the final pages. . . . In the wake of 9/11, the international political landscape has become warped through mutual distrust and political hyperbole. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an elegant and sharp indictment of the colds of suspicion that now shroud our world." -Observer


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School and worked for several years as a management consultant in New York. His first novel, Moth Smoke, was published in ten languages and was a winner of a Betty Trask award, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His essays and journalism have appeared in Time, The New York Times and The Guardian, among others. Mohsin Hamid currently lives, works and writes in London.

Editorial Reviews

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!
FILM RELEASE: Scheduled in North America for April 26th.
BIG CAST: Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Riz Ahmed are featured in this film, directed by Mira Nair (The Namesake).

"[An] elegant and chilling little novel... Hamid''s novel... is distinguished by its portrayal of Changez''s class aspirations and inner struggle. His resentment is at least in part self-loathing, directed at the American he''d been on his way to becoming... Aptly captures the ethos and hypocrises of the Ivy League meritocracy...  [With] an Arabian Nights-style urgency... The fundamentalist, and potential assassin, may be sitting on either side of the table." --The New York Times

"[A] taut and absolutely absorbing second novel... The Reluctant Fundamentalist is at least as much about the apparent unease felt by the listener -- and reader -- in hearing the story, as it is about the growing sense of cultural displacement described by Changez. Hamid... makes it impossible for the reader to know for certain what danger actually lurks or whether the reader''s perceived sense of dread and underlying malice is nothing more than the product of an overactive, media-fed imagination." --Toronto Star

Bookclub Guide

1. The speech of the narrator, Changez, is rendered in a very literary, formal style. Why does the author choose to do this? How would it have affected your impression of the book if Changez's speech had been reported in a more naturally conversational way?

2. Does the fact that we hear none of the American's speech lead you to identify with him as the listener? Or does it suggest the American is hiding something?

3. None of the names - from Underwood Samson to Erica to the Pearl Continental hotel - has been chosen casually. How conscious were you of their significance as you read the story?

4. At the foot of page 45, Changez remarks: "Yes, we have acquired a certain familiarity with the recent history of our surroundings, and that - in my humble opinion - allows us to put the present into much better perspective." How significant is this comment?

5. What devices and allusions does the author use to create a sense of increasing danger?

6. How important to the novel is Changez's relationship with Erica?

7. On page 114, Changez says: "I did not know whether I believed in the truth of their [Erica and Chris's] love; it was, after all, a religion that would not accept me as a convert." Why does he express himself in these terms?

8. Does it seem logical to you that Changez abandons his career?

9. Do you think Changez tells the whole truth to the American?

10. What is about to happen at the end of the book?

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