At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with a suspicious, and possibly armed, American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful meeting. Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by Underwood Samson, an elite firm that specializes in the valuation of companies ripe for acquisition. He thrives on the energy of New York. But in the wake of September 11, he finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and perhaps even love.More
"Bhabha's English-influenced Pakistani accent proves soothing and inviting for listeners." (Publishers Weekly)
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I was expecting a consistent and persuasive account of how a Westernized young man can adopt (or rise to) fundamentalism. All I found is Hollywoodian run-of-the-mill storyboard made to become a movie, and thus directly falls target to its own criticism of being driven by capitalist motivations.Half the book is about the protagonist's professional life. Very detailed in the beginning (garduation from Princeton, job interview, etc) but sketchy and precipitated towards the end as the hero embraces fundamentalism. The other half of the book is intertwined with the first one and describes his romantic -- and occasionally erotic -- relation with an American girl. The mixture is not a happy one. I wish some repetitive romantic stretches were replaced by a better explanation of the fundamentalist motives.
Should be required reading for North Americans
- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."