Saturday, August 22, 2009
In no book in my recent memory, have I recalled a book that has so much in so little as this one does. At less than 200 pages, Mohsin Hamid creates a story with as much character, heart, and wit as longer novels. Along with an engaging and unique writing style, creates a truly memorable experience for the reader.
The entire story is told from a cafe in Lahore, Pakistan,from a second person narrative. Our protagonist, Changez meets an American tourist and discusses his entire story.Changez, a Pakistani who immigrates to America at the age of 18 to attend Princeton and subsequently moves on to a high paying job to work for a New York evaluation firm leading up to 9/11.
And that is where the story begins,taking us through his job, his relationship with the much trouble Erica, and how the recent political happenings drastically change his life.
The characters are well designed but the center piece of the show is Changez,we really get inside his head and his story is quite believable. This is an attribute to the author as he made a ivy league grad with a envious starting salary, great looks and personality, really come off as sincere, but also with the many problems that end up around him, we feel a bonding with him, which great writers achieve with their characters.
The writing is engaging, you feel Changez is having a conversation with you which adds to the connection. However you would never confuse his talking in this book with a real life conversation, as due to the restrictions of the narrative mode,he must say everything for everyone essentially, so it could come off as feeling a bit gimmicky.
The book wishes to defeat stereotypes about Muslims as it is plainly stated in the book. But it does not, as some of you may be thinking, turn America completely against Changez, quite the contrary, Changez after 9/11 and other experiences, changes his view about America, its patriotism and its foreign policy, ultimately leading to a very different life for him.
In conclusion, you would be hard pressed to find such an intriguing and emotionally enticing book as this in such a short fashion as this one. A great story for any book reader.
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