The Reluctant Fundamentalist
By Mohsin Hamid
Penguin Books (2008)
I was channel surfing in the hotel room during a recent holiday, when I heard that there was a movie being made known as “the Reluctant Fundamentalist” which was being based on a novel of the same name.
The name had a certain fascination for me, so the next time I was at a bookstore, I was looking out for this book.
This book is certainly different from other books I have read recently in that it is a sort of monolog. The hero, Changez, is narrating his story to an unknown American tourist visiting Lahore.
I think it would be easy to many people from the East who study in the West, to relate to the early optimism that they encounter when first they reach there. Sometimes that optimism leads to a feeling of betrayal when things don’t always go the way we want it to.
The book is also about 9/11 and the way it has shaped our thinking – how heroes and villains are sometimes two sides of the same coin, and it often depends on the side one is looking at.
An easy, entertaining book or a deep, thought provoking one – either way an interesting read.