Monday, November 3, 2008

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The first thing I did after I finished reading this was get into an argument with Joe about what the ending meant. That's definitely a sign of a good book! :-)

If you haven't read this yet, I suggest that you take the couple of hours it would take you to do so and get to it. Seriously. In today's world, this is one to read and think about. The book is narrated by a mysterious stranger in a Lahore cafe. I don't think I could describe the rest better than the book's back cover:
Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldly that you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do.
The narrative tells of what can only be described as a love affair with America - a short and passionate love affair ending in pain and betrayal.

I looked up an interview with author Mohsin Hamid in which he stated that how you interpret the ending depends on what your world view is. What you'll get from the book will depend on how you look at what's happening around you today. Isn't that an amazing goal for an author to have? And isn't it incredible when it is accomplished?

Challenges: Man Booker Challenge, Bang Bang Challenge


Marg said...

I really enjoyed this when I read it too.

Lezlie said...

Another one I've had sitting on my shelf for months. I need to get to this one soon.


joanna said...

marg - I'm glad you did!

lezlie - there are simply too many!!

Michele said...

Okay - I will definately buy this one the next time I'm over at the bookstore (I wrote it down!).

joanna said...

michele - I'm glad! :-)

Scribacchina said...

I'm waiting to read this too, and will get it asap, especially after reading such a good review. THanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I didn't love this book when I finished it. It was only when I realised how clever the double ending was that I really apprieciated the quality of the book. It really challenges the way you look at the world.