The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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9780141029542: The Reluctant Fundamentalist
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Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America. I noticed that you were looking for something; more than looking, in fact you seemed to be on a mission, and since I am both a native of this city and a speaker of your language, I thought I might offer you my services.

How did I know you were American? No, not by the color of your skin; we have a range of complexions in this country, and yours occurs often among the people of our northwest frontier. Nor was it your dress that gave you away; a European tourist could as easily have purchased in Des Moines your suit, with its single vent, and your button­down shirt. True, your hair, short­cropped, and your expansive chest – the chest, I would say, of a man who bench­presses regularly, and maxes out well above two­twenty­five – are typical of a certain type of American; but then again, sportsmen and soldiers of all nationalities tend to look alike. Instead, it was your bearing that allowed me to identify you, and I do not mean that as an insult, for I see your face has hardened, but merely as an observation.

Come, tell me, what were you looking for? Surely, at this time of day, only one thing could have brought you to the district of Old Anarkali – named, as you may be aware, after a courtesan immured for loving a prince – and that is the quest for the perfect cup of tea. Have I guessed correctly? Then allow me, sir, to suggest my favorite among these many establishments. Yes, this is the one. Its metal chairs are no better upholstered, its wooden tables are equally rough, and it is, like the others, open to the sky. But the quality of its tea, I assure you, is unparalleled.

You prefer that seat, with your back so close to the wall? Very well, although you will benefit less from the intermittent breeze, which, when it does blow, makes these warm afternoons more pleasant. And will you not remove your jacket? So formal! Now that is not typical of Americans, at least not in my experience. And my experience is substantial: I spent four and a half years in your country. Where? I worked in New York, and before that attended college in New Jersey. Yes, you are right: it was Princeton! Quite a guess, I must say.

What did I think of Princeton? Well, the answer to that question requires a story. When I first arrived, I looked around me at the Gothic buildings – younger, I later learned, than many of the mosques of this city, but made through acid treatment and ingenious stonemasonry to look older – and thought, This is a dream come true. Princeton inspired in me the feeling that my life was a film in which I was the star and everything was possible. I have access to this beautiful campus, I thought, to professors who are titans in their fields and fellow students who are philosopher­kings in the making.

I was, I must admit, overly generous in my initial assumptions about the standard of the student body. They were almost all intelligent, and many were brilliant, but whereas I was one of only two Pakistanis in my entering class – two from a population of over a hundred million souls, mind you – the Americans faced much less daunting odds in the selection process. A thousand of your compatriots were enrolled, five hundred times as many, even though your country’s population was only twice that of mine. As a result, the non­Americans among us tended on average to do better than the Americans, and in my case I reached my senior year without having received a single B.

Looking back now, I see the power of that system, pragmatic and effective, like so much else in America. We international students were sourced from around the globe, sifted not only by well­honed standardized tests but by painstakingly customized evaluations – interviews, essays, recommendations – until the best and the brightest of us had been identified. I myself had among the top exam results in Pakistan and was besides a soccer player good enough to compete on the varsity team, which I did until I damaged my knee in my sophomore year. Students like me were given visas and scholarships, complete financial aid, mind you, and invited into the ranks of the meritocracy. In return, we were expected to contribute our talents to your society, the society we were joining. And for the most part, we were happy to do so. I certainly was, at least at first.

Every fall, Princeton raised her skirt for the corporate recruiters who came onto campus and – as you say in America – showed them some skin. The skin Princeton showed was good skin, of course – young, eloquent, and clever as can be – but even among all that skin, I knew in my senior year that I was something special. I was a perfect breast, if you will – tan, succulent, seemingly defiant of gravity – and I was confident of getting any job I wanted.

Except one: Underwood Samson & Company. You have not heard of them? They were a valuation firm. They told their clients how much businesses were worth, and they did so, it was said, with a precision that was uncanny. They were small – a boutique, really, employing a bare minimum of people – and they paid well, offering the fresh graduate a base salary of over eighty thousand dollars. But more importantly, they gave one a robust set of skills and an exalted brand name, so exalted, in fact, that after two or three years there as an analyst, one was virtually guaranteed admission to Harvard Business School. Because of this, over a hundred members of the Princeton Class of 2001 sent their grades and résumés to Underwood Samson. Eight were selected – not for jobs, I should make clear, but for interviews – and one of them was me.

Revue de presse :

A GLOBE & MAIL BEST BOOK OF 2007
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Theatrically entertaining… A 184-page dramatic monologue reminiscent of The Fall by Albert Camus and Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess.” — The Globe and Mail

“[An] elegant and chilling little novel. . . . Hamid’s novel . . . is distinguished by its portrayal of Changez’s class aspirations and inner struggle. . . . [With] an Arabian Nights-style urgency . . . . The fundamentalist, and potential assassin, may be sitting on either side of the table.” — The New York Times

“[A] taut and absolutely absorbing second novel. . . . The Reluctant Fundamentalist is at least as much about the apparent unease felt by the listener — and reader — in hearing the story, as it is about the growing sense of cultural displacement described by Changez. . . . Hamid . . . makes it impossible for the reader to know for certain what danger actually lurks or whether the reader’s perceived sense of dread and underlying malice is nothing more than the product of an overactive, media-fed imagination.” — Toronto Star

“In his beautifully accomplished little volume, Hamid . . . succeeds at illustrating not only that Changez changes , but that much else changes too, following 9/11. . . . Hamid is sophisticated with symbols, and the relationship between Changez and Erica is especially affecting, in great part because of what it says about missed opportunities, misunderstanding and the growing rift between Judeo-Christian West and Muslim Middle East.” — The Globe and Mail

“An intelligent and absorbing 9/11 novel.” — Publishers Weekly
“A quietly told, cleverly constructed fable of infatuation and disenchantment with America. . . . It fosters the kind of concentratedly astute cultural observation at which Hamid excels. . . . An intelligent, highly engaging piece of work.”– Guardian
“Beautifully written and superbly constructed. It is more exciting than any thriller I've read for a long time, as well as being a subtle and elegant analysis of the state of our world today.” -- Philip Pullman
“A brilliant book. With spooky restraint and masterful control, Hamid unpicks the underpinnings of the most recent episode of distrust between East and West. The narrative is balanced by a love as powerful as the sinister forces gathering, even when it recedes into a phantom of hope.” -- Kiran Desai
“A superb cautionary tale, and a grim reminder of the continuing cost of ethnic profiling, miscommunication and confrontation.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This novel’s firm, steady, even beautiful voice proclaims the completeness of the soul when personal and global issues are conjoined.” — Booklist (starred review)
“The novel succeeds in wrapping an exploration of the straining relationship between East and West in a gripping yarn, which remains tout until the final pages. . . . In the wake of 9/11, the international political landscape has become warped through mutual distrust and political hyperbole. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an elegant and sharp indictment of the colds of suspicion that now shroud our world.” — Observer

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Mohsin Hamid
Edité par Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10 : 0141029544 ISBN 13 : 9780141029542
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 10
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Description du livre Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. État : New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is Mohsin Hamid s thrillingly provocative international bestseller Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007 Now a major film directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America . So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldy than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream -- and a Western woman -- and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear .Challenging, mysterious and thrillingly tense, Mohsin Hamid s masterly The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a vital read teeming with questions and ideas about some of the most pressing issues of today s globalised, fractured world. Masterful .A multi-layered and thoroughly gripping book, which works as a poignant love story, a powerful dissection of how US imperialist machinations have turned so many people against the world s superpower - and as a thriller that subtly ratchets up the nerve-jangling tension towards an explosive ending Metro Beautifully written . .more exciting than any thriller I ve read for a long time Philip Pullman A brilliant book Kiran Desai Admirably spare and amazingly exciting Rachel Cooke, New Statesman Mohsin Hamid is the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has contributed essays and short stories to publications such as the Guardian, The New York Times, Financial Times, Granta, and Paris Review. Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he spent part of his childhood in California, studied at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and has since lived between Lahore, London, and New York. N° de réf. du libraire APG9780141029542

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Mohsin Hamid
Edité par Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10 : 0141029544 ISBN 13 : 9780141029542
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Description du livre Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. État : New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is Mohsin Hamid s thrillingly provocative international bestseller Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007 Now a major film directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America . So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldy than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream -- and a Western woman -- and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear .Challenging, mysterious and thrillingly tense, Mohsin Hamid s masterly The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a vital read teeming with questions and ideas about some of the most pressing issues of today s globalised, fractured world. Masterful .A multi-layered and thoroughly gripping book, which works as a poignant love story, a powerful dissection of how US imperialist machinations have turned so many people against the world s superpower - and as a thriller that subtly ratchets up the nerve-jangling tension towards an explosive ending Metro Beautifully written . .more exciting than any thriller I ve read for a long time Philip Pullman A brilliant book Kiran Desai Admirably spare and amazingly exciting Rachel Cooke, New Statesman Mohsin Hamid is the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has contributed essays and short stories to publications such as the Guardian, The New York Times, Financial Times, Granta, and Paris Review. Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he spent part of his childhood in California, studied at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and has since lived between Lahore, London, and New York. N° de réf. du libraire APG9780141029542

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Description du livre 2008. Paperback. État : New. 129mm x 198mm x 14mm. Paperback. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is Mohsin Hamid's thrillingly provocative international bestseller Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007 Now a major film directed by Mira Nair and st.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.159. N° de réf. du libraire 9780141029542

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Description du livre Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is Mohsin Hamid's thrillingly provocative international bestseller. It is shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007. Now a major film directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland. 'Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America.' So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldy than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream - and a Western woman - and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear.Challenging, mysterious and thrillingly tense, Mohsin Hamid's masterly "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is a vital read teeming with questions and ideas about some of the most pressing issues of today's globalised, fractured world. "Masterful.A multi-layered and thoroughly gripping book, which works as a poignant love story, a powerful dissection of how US imperialist machinations have turned so many people against the world's superpower - and as a thriller that subtly ratchets up the nerve-jangling tension towards an explosive ending". ("Metro"). "Beautifully written .more exciting than any thriller I've read for a long time". (Philip Pullman). "A brilliant book". (Kiran Desai). "Admirably spare and amazingly exciting". (Rachel Cooke, "New Statesman"). Mohsin Hamid is the author of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", "Moth Smoke" and "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia". His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has contributed essays and short stories to publications such as the "Guardian", "The New York Times", "Financial Times", "Granta", and "Paris Review". Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he spent part of his childhood in California, studied at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and has since lived between Lahore, London, and New York. N° de réf. du libraire B9780141029542

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