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Synopsis

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is more than the usual immigrant book of adaptation, struggle, and identity. It is the gripping tale of a young man who comes to America from Pakistan just prior to 9/11. The protagonist, Changez, is a Harvard educated businessman who works for a high-profile company that assesses the economic value of other companies. Changez is very successful in his chosen career, but then September 11 happens and everything changes. The setting is Lahore, Pakistan and the tale is told by one narrator, that of Changez, as he speaks to a nameless and faceless American tourist. The narration takes place in the span of a single evening, in fact, during a single meal, and Hamid manages to swing the reader on a pendulum of conflicting emotions and thoughts. The Bookclub-in-a-Box guide explores a number of important questions: who is this nameless American and why is he in Pakistan; how can one person have equal love for two countries that are at odds with each other in culture and outlook; how does such a person come to terms with his two worlds; and what is the significance of the word “reluctant” in the novel’s title, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide also includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style and interesting background information on the novel and the author.

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