Tuesday, 8 February 2011

World Book Night Challenge 12/25

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

This is a book that I've picked up, looked at and then put down again on many occasions but I wish I had read it a long time ago. It blew me away.

The story telling style is so intimate, two men sitting in a restaurant in Lahore as one tells his life story to the other. One is a native Pakistani who has lived, studied and worked in America. The other is a nervous American who is uneasy in the other's company and country.

The story unfolds beautifully, it is wonderfully understated and totally enthralling. The protagonist doesn't hide his less savoury activities but they aren't extraneous to the tale, they are just what makes him the character that he is.

I'm being deliberately vague here because it is the gentle unfolding of this tale that spoke to me the most and I want everyone to have the chance to discover it for themselves. I realise that calling about a book about a religious fundamentalist 'gentle' sounds odd but it really is the best way I can think of to describe the book.

I've not been chosen as a Book Giver on World Book Night but if I had to apply again now this would be one of the books I want to share with everyone.

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