Thursday, October 20, 2022

The reluctant fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

This is the story of a well groomed, clever and charming Pakistani young guy who moves to the US, graduates brilliantly from one of the best American colleges, finds a well paid job in a successful New York financial firm and gets a rich and beautiful - although troubled - girlfriend.
Everything seems to progress perfectly for Changez, when, all of a sudden, 9/11 happens. Little by little all the bricks of his apparently solid fortress start to crumble and he finds himself torn between affection for his own culture and gratitude towards the country that has adopted him, between his love for his girlfriend and the effects of her tragic memories.
The protagonist tells his story through a monologue directed at a mysterious American man who’s visiting Lahore, the Pakistani city where Changez was born and raised. The foreigner’s actions and words are conveyed through remarks that briefly interrupt the flow of the account, and maybe this is the weakest of the techniques employed by the author. A mere trifle if compared with the elegant prose, the rich vocabulary and the well knitted plot.
An excellent novel with an ending open to interpretation.

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