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Synopsis

Now a major motion picture

“One of those achingly assured novels that makes you happy to be a reader.” —Junot Diaz

At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter . . .

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.

“Brief, charming, and quietly furious . . . a resounding success.” —Village Voice

A Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

A New York Times Notable Book

Ratings and Reviews

Overall rating

3.4 out of 5
(5)
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    Not very compelling

    The book is a mess and never really gets to the heart of the message. Its train of thought structure is often its weakest feature, but its overall lack of cohesion made me thankful that it is a short book.

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    This was a book that I felt had great ideas, but the writing did not live up to the potential. The book delves into the life of Changez, a young Pakistani man whose life changes dramatically when the Twin Towers are struck. It is told entirely through a one-sided conversation that Changez has with an unnamed American man in a cafe in Lahore. The novel deals with issues of Imperialism, capitalism, and asks the question: who is the fundamentalist in the story? Is it Changez, or is it one of the Americans that we meet along the way? Unfortunately, the structure of the novel works against Hamid. The writing is bulky and unwieldy at times to compensate for the way Changez is constantly talking to a antagonist that never speaks. The ending is also somewhat unsatisfying, since Hamid leaves it up to the reader to decide what has happened. As a Lady and The Tiger situation, it works passably well. But it dilutes the points that the novel makes about American Imperialism. A stronger ending would have resulted in a more satisfying book. That said, the book is engaging and interesting, and I look forward to seeing what Hamid does next.

(5)

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