The Reluctant Fundamentalist

 

This short novel by Mohsin Hamid was recommended to me as some light relief by both my husband and my mum. Large text in a small book meant that this would be a quick one. 

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It is written in a very peculiar but intriguing way in that the main character is talking to you, but you are someone sitting across the table from him in a small cafe in Lahore. I’ve never read a book that is written like this before, and it has a strange way of drawing you in.

 

The premise is that of a highly educated Indian man who goes over to the states for higher education and a job. There is a love story, a history of his work life, and also how he came to be in that cafe at that time. He appears to not know the person who is sitting opposite him and we don’t learn much about them but the way it is written, we get to know the questions that are asked by the man sitting opposite him, by his responses. The end has a wonderful twist that I did not see coming and leaves you asking questions! 

 

It is definitely a book for adults due to the nature of the language, topics and way it is written and I would recommend it as a quick read for a travelling journey or a brief interlude between heavier books. 

 

Overall, this is a brief review for a brief book. One to read if you come across it, but maybe not to actively seek out. Would definitely be good to read and discuss at a book club.

 

If you have read it, let me know what you thought!