Sunday, September 02, 2007

67. "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" - Mohsin Hamid


Like When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, this is a vision-altering book for me. I truly believe in this quote: "War is God's way of teaching American's geography." This is why I am addicted to pages... not just the visits to world's unknown, but also visiting real situations unknown to me.

Pakistani writer, Mohsin Hamid, writes about the increasing frustration of his character, Changez, with American relations with India and Pakistan, amid his relationship with a depressed young woman.

The story is told in the second person, as if Changez is speaking to a nervous American visitor in a cafe throughout an afternoon and evening. I thought I would get annoyed - "I'm not afraid. I'm not a man." - but the use of this device increases the tension of the story. Who is this man? How does he fit in?

There is no immediate answer at the end, but one can assume by Hamid's careful plotting what the final action entails.

I've never read a book like this, at least, one where I could stand that second person POV long enough to enjoy the book. And it has made me more aware of the plight of Pakistanis. Another reason why I'm looking outside American media for news information.

4.0 out of 5.0 Graveyard Spirits.


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Now playing: Cake - Comfort Eagle
via FoxyTunes

3 comments:

Emz said...

I totally agree. I read this only recently and was blown away by the perspective it gave me on a group of people and their situation, that I had never really understood before. Felt so moved by it in fact, that I blogged about it. And you're right about him handling the 1st/2nd person narrative expertly. Usually, that tenchique sends me to zzz...but Moshin Hamid pulled it off so well. I think he's got a gem of a book there...

Bibliolatrist said...

Comfort Eagle = awesome

That's all :)

Kristin Dodge said...

I knew I liked you. :-P

EMZ... excellent post on your blog.