The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid
3.6 216

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 216 reviews.
WordsworthGreenwich More than 1 year ago
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 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.
huckfinn37 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A more accurate title would be "The Unreluctant Bigot".
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Dorobo More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although there are numerous bad reviews on here I ask that you not be too deterred. This book has some wonderfully written descriptions, a quite intersting way of presenting itself, and a very thorough and engaging story. What I see to be a pretty common reason for poor reviews is that many people do not agree with the narrator/main character. But one does not have to fully agree with a character in order to appreciate their story. This book will put you in a precarious situation where you will have to think for yourself (oh my!) and make decisions about how far you agree and/or disagree with the narrator as well as his American companion. You will be given a rare view into the ideas, upbringings and insights of a terrorist, whom after finishing this book you might not even be sure that's what he actually his. This story also ends on a large cliff hanger where you are left quite uneasy and unsure about what might have actually happened. I would personally recommend this book if you are capable of being openminded. This does not mean you have to agree with the narrator as I myself did not fully agree with him, but you will atleast have to see his point of view and learn to understand the events that can lead people down a certain road. I would would also like to add a small warning. This book contains a few, almost disturbingly graphic sex scenes so I would not hand this book to a child.
book-worm62 More than 1 year ago
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.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This author is talented. The story is captivating. The same tired lefty message, 'blame America for all the ills of the world',is disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have both a natural curiosity and a professional interest of other cultures. This book did not disapoint! It is a wonderful read. I was almost angry at the ending... until I stepped away from it for awhile. When you've finished reading the book, step away from it and think about it. Look at it from the perspectives of all those involved. Why did they all feel/react the way they did?
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britsmom7 More than 1 year ago
It took me one page to realize that I'd be getting to bed a lot later than usual. To say much more than this would result in a spoiler alert. This isn't a recreational read; your brain will be whirring away non-stop. The only reason for four stars is that the language (mainly the sentence structure)is a bit formal and it might require close attention; once you become used to it, there's no issue. But be warned, it WILL impact you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and tragic! A novel that explores the experience of a person who bridges two worlds during a period of American history where to do this, was looked at with suspicion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Superbly written as a narrative. The book is gripping and moving at the same time. Had a long after-effect on me.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as interesting as I thought it would be
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