The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West

Imran Ahmad. Hachette/Center Street, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0849-5
Packed with self-deprecating humor and charming witticisms, Ahmad's debut is a poignantly honest and intimate memoir recounting his early struggles with race, religion, and relationships. Having emigrated as an infant from Pakistan to England, Ahmad grew up consumed with conflicting desires to adapt to his Western surroundings while maintaining his family's Muslim beliefs, as when he wonders, "What happens to people who believe in one of the wrong religions? Hey, I'm only seven. I shouldn't have to worry like this." Ahmad's comically fruitless obsession with marrying Janice, his long-time crush, leads him to "never discuss religion" and "rarely mention Pakistan," lest she "think of [him] as ‘different' and derail [their] imminent romance," and when he tells her that his family doesn't "really do Christmas," he fears her reaction to what she must deem "something strange and sinister…below the outer mask of suntanned middle-class English Conservatism." Throughout growing pains (most of the book covers the first 25 years of the author's life) and his efforts to become like James Bond, Ahmad consistently zeroes in on laughs and heartfelt revelations about the nature of faith and individuality. Though Ahmad crams the most recent 20 years of his life into roughly as many pages, his story remains an enjoyable and hilarious Bildungsroman. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4555-0848-8
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4555-2854-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61113-092-8
Open Ebook - 978-1-4555-1045-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.