Taka's Reviews > The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
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's review
Dec 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, iu-fall-2011
Read on December 23, 2011


I read it in one day, and I was immediately taken in by the narrator's voice—courteous and friendly—and the story he tells. The framed story of the narrator talking to "you," an American tourist in Pakistan, is well done without being gimmicky (until the very end when the narrative mode becomes burdensome as rapid actions unfold).

One thing I need to point out is that the love story of Changez and Erica, though, is really similar to Murakami's Norwegian Wood: a relationship with a broken woman who's in love with her dead boyfriend, not being able to get wet, succeeding only once, and there are other quite obvious similarities, and so I didn't really like that part of the story. The story of his rise and fall in the corporate America, though, was quite gripping, despite or because of the Princeton background (something I'm familiar with).

The author's move half way in the story indeed caught me off guard and I was pleasantly surprised (you'll see if you read it), and I think it succeeded in achieving the effect it wanted (of making the reader sympathetic to, or at least identify with, an "anti-America" view like Changez's.

Overall, a good read.
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