Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Moshin Hamid

Published: London: Penguin, 2007
Pages: 184
Shortlisted : The Man Booker Prize 2007

Ian's Review
Read: September 2007
Rank: 91/100

Great dynamics as you don't know who he is talking to, but slowly build up an image. And beautiful description of the protagist's experiences - even more intimate than first person as you are privy to his conversation with a stranger - almost vouyeristic and secret. The careful, solicitous and polite language is a big part of it as well!

Love your thoughts on The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Agree with its bravery given the subject matter - do you think that it could actually have a chance to win the Booker, an American prize? Guess it depends on the makeup of the judges - wonder if there would be an outcry! You certainly go through the protagonists journey as he relates it, and feel what he feels, which draws you in to understanding where he is at, which is a foreign place for a western reader! And as he addresses his conversational partner about his reaction to what he said about the WTC attacks, he is also of course addressing the reader. Very clever. His journey is political but also very personal. I really like this book. I am still thinking about it now.

Rach's Review:
Read: 24 Sept 2007
Rank: 92/100

I love the writing style of this book! It is totally not everyday that you come across a book that is written entirely as a one sided conversation and this must have been pretty hard to pull off, and he does it brilliantly! I also think the way that he handles the subjects is fantastic, the way he talks about the confusion and the mix of emotions that the lead character plays is majestic. It is a tough subject, even for the author to condone or seem to be supporting terrorism, but doing it in a way that you do not lose all respect.

That I think is one of the keys to this book, you support and feel for him all the way through. Yes I also felt repulsed, and disgusted at his feelings, but I still 'felt' for him, given that the way the book is constructed, you know the things he says about Western and American culture and attitude is also correct, and this balance allows you to, in some way understand his prediciment.

The other thing that I like about the book is that the day after I read it I thought about it again. This for me is why it went above The Welsh Girl, which was a beautiful book, which totally touched me, but it also answered all my questions, this book didn't, it leave the last question open, and also raises questions about yourself and what you feel about Global Corporatisation and how we see these things but the consequences of them to not directly affect our families and loved ones

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