Mohsin Hamid

Cover of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist"

Cover of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mohsin Hamid is the Pakistani author of three novels: Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel. I have just finished reading all three and I am impressed with his prose styling which in clarity reminds me of Ernest Hemingway. If you chose to read only one of his books, my recommendation would be The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

It is the story of a western-educated Pakistani who lands a high paying job on Wall Street shortly before the attacks of 9/11/2001. After 9/11, he begins to feel out-of-place working in New York and eventually he decides to quit his job and return to Pakistan. Giving voice to his thoughts, he attracts a group of like-minded followers, some of whom are violent men. He is neither violent himself nor does he advocate violence. However, he is labelled a terrorist leader in the West and an assassin is sent to kill him. The arrival of the assassin is anticipated and prevented from carrying out his assignment.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist grows and evolves as he learns to think for himself and to express his thoughts. It takes courage to speak out in today’s world, and the reader is encouraged to follow suit.

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