The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mohsin Hamid

Fiction 2007 | 184 pages

four-hearts

I find The Reluctant Fundamentalist to be a beautifully written novel. Changez, a brilliant Pakistani from Lahore, is accepted Into Princeton, and later is recruited and works as a highly effective and interpersonally astute employee in an American corporation, headquartered in New York City.  Success seems to follow him whenever he goes, until his world changes on September 11, 2001.

The venue for this tale is quite interesting.  Changez is back home, living in Lahore, and he tells the story of his young adult life to an American whom he meets in a cafe, and who listens through a long afternoon and evening.  Interwoven in this story is Changez’s love for Erica.  Erica is an incredibly tragic figure, but their slowly building love relationship is fascinating.

I am quite enamored of this tragic story, which leaves threads unresolved.  It is called by many a “short novel” though, at 40,000 words it is technically a novella, which I found oddly paralleled by the novel that Erica writes, which, yes, turns out to be a novella.  The Reluctant Fundamentalist is thought-provoking and enlightening.  I recommend it.

This is another book the mother and son duo read in The End of Your Life Book Club and so I must credit Will Schwalbe again with inspiring me.

November 2021

 

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