I am reluctant to review Mohsin Hamid's book "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". It is a short novel of under 45,000 words which many will devour at a single sitting. I wish to encourage others to read it, but it would be inappropriate for me to undermine that experience by analysing and therebye describing in detail what it is about or how the subject matter is handled. Yet it would be great to discuss this work with others who had already read it.
In my review of "The Islamist" by Ed Husain, I argued that people like myself who had been brought up to discuss ideas within the Western Political Tradition now needed quickly to get up to speed on a whole range of ideas and understandings within Islam. Mohsin Hamid shows what can happen to an intelligent and able young man with an Islamic background when he comes to absorb both the attractions and complexities of life in the West. It seems to me to provide understandings which help to put some of the tomes I have recently been studying into a clearer perspective.
If I encourage anyone to take up this book and they then come to judge that I have exaggerated my case, then at least I will feel justified in persuading them to have turned to what is by any standards a good read.