Christina's Reviews > The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
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's review
Oct 31, 09

bookshelves: novel, social-justice
Read in October, 2009

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I didn't quite buy the narrative voice of a monologue in this particular case, and got annoyed when he'd say things like, "but you wanted to know who that man in the corner is?" or "but I can see that your hands are clenching into fists as I say this," etc. And I didn't like the character, even at the beginning when he hasn't said anything "objectionable" yet, because I wanted to yell "WHY ARE YOU TALKING LIKE THAT?" and "geez, you talk a lot," and I didn't like the person he's talking to (is that also supposed to represent me? i don't like me?) because he just sat there and didn't say anything and clenched his fists or sighed or drank his tea and their meeting there, their conversation, didn't make any sense to me.

So all of my frustrations with the setup made it difficult for me to pay attention to the story itself, but even then I didn't like Erica -- she just seemed so flat and flighty -- and nothing really rang true to me. I completely realize that I have no knowledge of what it is to be in a situation like Changez's, and many reviewers seem to really like this book, so maybe the fault is with me. I do get the underlying sentiment, the growing bitterness, the change in worldview, the recognition of posturing... But all in all, eh.

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Becky thank you for marking it as to read

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