Moth \t\t Smoke) is an intelligent and absorbing 9/11 novel, written from the \t\t perspective of Changez, a young Pakistani whose sy"/>
 

The Reluctant \t\t Fundamentalist

Mohsin Hamid, Author
Mohsin Hamid, Author . Harcourt $22 (184p) ISBN 978-0-15-101304-3
Reviewed on: 12/11/2006
Release date: 04/01/2007

Hamid's second book (after Moth Smoke) is an intelligent and absorbing 9/11 novel, written from the perspective of Changez, a young Pakistani whose sympathies, despite his fervid immigrant embrace of America, lie with the attackers. The book unfolds as a monologue that Changez delivers to a mysterious American operative over dinner at a Lahore, Pakistan, cafe. Pre-9/11, Princeton graduate Changez is on top of the world: recruited by an elite New York financial company, the 22-year-old quickly earns accolades from his hard-charging supervisor, plunges into Manhattan's hip social whirl and becomes infatuated with Erica, a fellow Princeton graduate pining for her dead boyfriend. But after the towers fall, Changez is subject to intensified scrutiny and physical threats, and his co-workers become markedly less affable as his beard grows in ("a form of protest," he says). Erica is committed to a mental institution, and Changez, upset by his adopted country's "growing and self-righteous rage," slacks off at work and is fired. Despite his off-putting commentary, the damaged Changez comes off as honest and thoughtful, and his creator handles him with a sympathetic grace. (Apr.)

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X