Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamed.

Untitled-1Changez’s personal journey of transformation and the conflicts driving it were believable enough I guess, but not particularly dramatic or striking (and lacking almost entirely in fundamentalism). His critique of American society/empire was also fairly tepid. I suppose that’s where the “Reluctant” comes from in the title, but it made the novel somewhat bland, like Confessions of an Economic Hitman Lite. On the other hand, the unusual narrative style worked well and kept me interested in the identity of the American agent till the end. I also liked the nuanced images of Lahore, Pakistani society and Changez’s position in it. So I think I’ll still pick up Moth Smoke or Rising Asia which play to RF’s strengths, taking place entirely in Pakistan and featuring experimental styles of narration.

Goodreads page.


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