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The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Movie Tie-In)

Average Rating 3.5
( 210 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Easy and good read, but hard to read well.

From the many poor reviews, I am guessing this one was not for everyone. I'm not totally surprised why though.

The writing is great. He paints a perfect picture of Pakistan, with little details of the heat (because it is hot) or the smell of jasmines. However, this g...
From the many poor reviews, I am guessing this one was not for everyone. I'm not totally surprised why though.

The writing is great. He paints a perfect picture of Pakistan, with little details of the heat (because it is hot) or the smell of jasmines. However, this great writing and story is missed, due to the controversial content.

He is a Pakistani man who lives in America. Went to Yale and is 22 with a fantastic job that pays $80, 000 a year. He has never received less than an A at Yale. So he speaks with aggroance? This aggroance is well-deserved.

The story progresses as he lives in New York post 9/11. What an idenitity crisis for any Middle Eastern in America after 9/11! Living in a land you love, but being called a terrorist constantly!

The story was extremely exciting, because the author places you in the conversation. You are forced to be the constantly neverous American on the other line. And by the end pf the book, like this American who has listened to the narrator's story, you feel ill-eased. Should I agree with him? Or should I hate him?

Many have choosen to hate this narrator. And that is okay. Because in as the story ends, the reader is not told how to feel, they are forced to choose. Meaning, (spoiler alert) the last lines of the book--"Now that I have trusted you with this story, I hope that piece of metal is a busniess card holder." We don't know...is he pulling out a gun? Is he a friend or is he a foe? Are you a friend or are you a foe?

posted by Phia on March 9, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

52 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

A Reluctant Counterpoint to Changez

Customer Reviews
The Reluctant Fundamentalist

135 Reviews
5 star: (44)
4 star: (29)
3 star: (32)
2 star: (16)
1 star: (14)

Average Customer Review
(135 customer reviews)
Share your thoughts with other customers
Se...
Customer Reviews
The Reluctant Fundamentalist

135 Reviews
5 star: (44)
4 star: (29)
3 star: (32)
2 star: (16)
1 star: (14)

Average Customer Review
(135 customer reviews)
Share your thoughts with other customers
Search Customer Reviews

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< Previous | 1 2 . 14| Next > Most Helpful First | Newest First

A Reluctant Counterpoint for Changez, July 29, 2009
By Wordsworth "David" (Greenwich, CT) - See all my reviews
I am now sipping a regular coffee at a Borders Cafe near Greenwich, CT after finishing your novel. Why is it that I am so disappointed in your literary work? As a Pakistani, you have come to know the best that America has to offer. Were you not admitted to the Ivy League at Princeton in place of a brilliant but perhaps more appreciative even a disadvantaged American citizen? Did you not then receive a high-paying job at a prestigious New York financial firm and send your earnings to your homeland? Did you not fall in love with a beautiful and intelligent, although psychologically scarred, Princeton woman from New York? Did you not enjoy prime business assignments and bonuses at the expense of your American counterparts, who were downsized during an economic downturn caused by 911 in New York? And yet you sympathize with the 911 attackers. Isn't this odd attitude of yours quite curious? It makes me think. You then become an anti-American advocate in your native land. I suppose, we should be grateful to you for your ubiquitous but most expressive, veiled ingratitude. The waitress comes with my modest bill. She smiles at me. But she is, no doubt, merely seeking a higher tip, wouldn't you agree? I will return your novel to Borders and seek my money back. I ask myself why I am so deeply offended by your novel. The greatest offense is perhaps that you have become so enriched by book sales in America of your very, very short novella. Another kindess from America plus such radiant critical reviews -- it boggles one's mind, does it not, at your opportunity and good fortune in America? I must deem your ingratitude an enigma but I see you shaking your head. Why do you seem so surprised by my natural counterpoint? Have you ever asked yourself what your life would be like if you had never left Lahore for America. Can you honestly deal with your fundamental, personal ingratitude as your homeland indifferently harbors our most mortal enemy in its mystic mountains -- a fervant fundamentalist who killed 3,000 innocent Americans working productively in the same business as you in New York, including many working parents who left widows and orphans behind in my home town only 35 miles away from Ground Zero? Did you not know that I volunteered to feed the firefighters and rescue squads there after the pernicious attack by radical fundamentalists on the Pile and then the Pit at the Twin Towers? Forgive me, but I am fundamentally offended by your creative work. Forgive me, yet again, if I urge my fellow American readers through an obnoxious narrative conceit, so like your own, to forsake your novel utterly and deeply urge them not to buy it.

posted by WordsworthGreenwich on July 29, 2009

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  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Reluctant Counterpoint to Changez

    Customer Reviews
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist

    135 Reviews
    5 star: (44)
    4 star: (29)
    3 star: (32)
    2 star: (16)
    1 star: (14)

    Average Customer Review
    (135 customer reviews)
    Share your thoughts with other customers
    Search Customer Reviews

    Only search this product's reviews

    > See most helpful viewpoints

    < Previous | 1 2 . 14| Next > Most Helpful First | Newest First

    A Reluctant Counterpoint for Changez, July 29, 2009
    By Wordsworth "David" (Greenwich, CT) - See all my reviews
    I am now sipping a regular coffee at a Borders Cafe near Greenwich, CT after finishing your novel. Why is it that I am so disappointed in your literary work? As a Pakistani, you have come to know the best that America has to offer. Were you not admitted to the Ivy League at Princeton in place of a brilliant but perhaps more appreciative even a disadvantaged American citizen? Did you not then receive a high-paying job at a prestigious New York financial firm and send your earnings to your homeland? Did you not fall in love with a beautiful and intelligent, although psychologically scarred, Princeton woman from New York? Did you not enjoy prime business assignments and bonuses at the expense of your American counterparts, who were downsized during an economic downturn caused by 911 in New York? And yet you sympathize with the 911 attackers. Isn't this odd attitude of yours quite curious? It makes me think. You then become an anti-American advocate in your native land. I suppose, we should be grateful to you for your ubiquitous but most expressive, veiled ingratitude. The waitress comes with my modest bill. She smiles at me. But she is, no doubt, merely seeking a higher tip, wouldn't you agree? I will return your novel to Borders and seek my money back. I ask myself why I am so deeply offended by your novel. The greatest offense is perhaps that you have become so enriched by book sales in America of your very, very short novella. Another kindess from America plus such radiant critical reviews -- it boggles one's mind, does it not, at your opportunity and good fortune in America? I must deem your ingratitude an enigma but I see you shaking your head. Why do you seem so surprised by my natural counterpoint? Have you ever asked yourself what your life would be like if you had never left Lahore for America. Can you honestly deal with your fundamental, personal ingratitude as your homeland indifferently harbors our most mortal enemy in its mystic mountains -- a fervant fundamentalist who killed 3,000 innocent Americans working productively in the same business as you in New York, including many working parents who left widows and orphans behind in my home town only 35 miles away from Ground Zero? Did you not know that I volunteered to feed the firefighters and rescue squads there after the pernicious attack by radical fundamentalists on the Pile and then the Pit at the Twin Towers? Forgive me, but I am fundamentally offended by your creative work. Forgive me, yet again, if I urge my fellow American readers through an obnoxious narrative conceit, so like your own, to forsake your novel utterly and deeply urge them not to buy it.

    52 out of 60 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Be Reluctant to Read This Book

    This book is awful. It ends where it should begin and The author seems to be very anti-American. I will never read any book this author writes again.

    21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    The best thing about this book is the title. It's downhill after that. So cliché - brilliant but naive Pakistani gets Princeton education, great job, boodles of money only to discover that capitalism can be nasty. Then 9/11,the political chaos and America is fair game for the 'reluctant.' Hamid's single speaker technique is clever in advancing the idea of quieting the beast (America) - the one-sided conversation seems to be saying to the U.S. 'Shut up and listen.' Don't bother with this title.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    Arrogant, Flip, and Prejudiced

    A more accurate title would be "The Unreluctant Bigot".

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Through the eyes of a foreigner

    The writer uses the device of talking to someone to tell his story. The tension between leaving his country to study in America then obtain a high paying job right out of school is balanced against his emerging feeling of hatred towards America because the threat of invasion from India into his native Pakistan overwhelms him. The novel's setting is from before the Twin Towers attack through America's invasion of Afghanistan and India's threats against Pakistan. One feels sympathy for the young man torn between his new found income and his family's shrinking wealth.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book came highly recommended however when I finally got around to reading it, I realized this book is ruined by a narrator who is not only foolish, but completely selfish. He is given a full ride to Princeton by Princeton. He is given a cushy job in which he earns tons of money and he falls in love with an American girl. Yet, America is evil. After an entire novel in which this man enjoys the fruits America has to offer, he turns around a complains about this country. On top of that, he foolishly falls for a girl who from the very beginning is emotionally unavailable AND does something so demeaning for her that you lose all respect for him. The ending is supposed to be shocking and just ends up disappointing and vague. I would not recommend this book to anyone!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2011

    Easy and good read, but hard to read well.

    From the many poor reviews, I am guessing this one was not for everyone. I'm not totally surprised why though.

    The writing is great. He paints a perfect picture of Pakistan, with little details of the heat (because it is hot) or the smell of jasmines. However, this great writing and story is missed, due to the controversial content.

    He is a Pakistani man who lives in America. Went to Yale and is 22 with a fantastic job that pays $80, 000 a year. He has never received less than an A at Yale. So he speaks with aggroance? This aggroance is well-deserved.

    The story progresses as he lives in New York post 9/11. What an idenitity crisis for any Middle Eastern in America after 9/11! Living in a land you love, but being called a terrorist constantly!

    The story was extremely exciting, because the author places you in the conversation. You are forced to be the constantly neverous American on the other line. And by the end pf the book, like this American who has listened to the narrator's story, you feel ill-eased. Should I agree with him? Or should I hate him?

    Many have choosen to hate this narrator. And that is okay. Because in as the story ends, the reader is not told how to feel, they are forced to choose. Meaning, (spoiler alert) the last lines of the book--"Now that I have trusted you with this story, I hope that piece of metal is a busniess card holder." We don't know...is he pulling out a gun? Is he a friend or is he a foe? Are you a friend or are you a foe?

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Disappointed at recommendation

    I do not understand how it is that Pakistanis claim to be invading conquerers and at te same time claim the Indus Valley civilization as their own. I doubt that in their constant insecure wish to be thought superior they even understood the intricate civilization they had destroyed. How do they count both the original civilization that they "conquered" as well as claim to be from rhe conquering race. So spare me when you say that the western world was barbaric when you had sewers.What is more when the author asserts frequently that they were once a rich nation, in this tirade against America, he fails to take into account the amount of freely flowing American support that went into building up the economy of his country. I doubt that they expected this in return. I read somewere rhat panislamism was the root of Pakistans behavior and this book made me feel that it was a fairly accurate sum up. What is more here is an educated man who could have sought to take on the problems in his own country but instead he chooses to put on his blinkers and decry how he has been wronged.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    Interesting, hard to put down.

    This book was not exactly what I expected. As the ending began to take shape, I found myself able to identify less and less with the storyteller. Maybe because of the culture difference, but it seemed the young man telling the story was really biting the generous hand that was feeding him. I had a hard time figureing out what his romance had to do with the rest of the story. I didn't seem to have much to do with anything else. I found myself getting angry with alot of what sounded like assumptions on the narrator's part, like blaming the United States for Pakistan's trouble with India. I wanted to ask about his country's part in hiding Osama Bin Laudin and his being "pleased" at hearing about the attack on our country. I have not stopped thinking about this book since i finished it a couple of days ago. Of course, that very well might have been the author's intention. I read the book hoping to understand the mindset of someone who goes to these extremes in the name of patriotism, perhaps it is beyond my understanding. I did read this book in record time, I found it very interesting even if I didn't catch all of what the author was trying to convey. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the countries we are involved with and how the people feel about our involvment.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    What a disappointment!

    I have loved the BN picks. This one however really missed the mark. It went...nowhere! The end was the worst of any book I have ever read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Bad

    Very anti american and disgusting book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Ok nothing what i found was bad but needs some action

    Good

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    A Book you live

    The style and plot are so unique, so real, that you feel you are there; you are the character at the other end of the conversation.
    The history and events wrapped around this story are so real that you feel it is happening now and you are a part of it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    An Interesting Point of View

    This book is written so that the reader feels the author is engaged in a private conversation with him or her. The author tells you on a story of a Pakistani man's love, money and politics in New York pre and post 9/11. The tension builds so that throughout the entire novel the reader is uncertain as to his or her relationship with the author and its outcome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    brilliant writing same old message

    This author is talented. The story is captivating. The same tired lefty message, 'blame America for all the ills of the world',is disappointing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    A Must Read

    Superbly written as a narrative. The book is gripping and moving at the same time. Had a long after-effect on me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Not as interesting as I thought it would be

    Not as interesting as I thought it would be

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Hated it

    Hated it....very anti american,please save your money and buy something else, not worth reading...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    ¿"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fea

    “&quot;If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.&quot; Sun Tzu

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2013

    Short but powerful

    This is a story that will keep you trying to understand the motives of the main (really the only) character. You see everything through his eyes. I couldn't put it down.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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