08 May 2008

The reluctant fundamentalist

This book is a conversation between two enigmatic characters. One of these characters is played by you, the reader, and says little. The other is Changez, whom you have met Lahore and who tells you the story of two loves, and of how he lost them both.

He is enigmatic because his story seems to have another story, untold, beneath it. You are enigmatic because you say almost nothing.

Why does he detain you, and tell you this story unbidden?

Why do you sit and listen, why do you jump at every shadow, and why do you reach so often beneath your jacket?

There seems to be a level of threat in the air - but who threatens whom?

It's a skilful and deeply thought provoking book on many levels.

Mohsin Hamid, The reluctant fundamentalist. 2007, London: Penguin. 9780141029542 (pbk.)

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