Friday, March 27, 2009

Final Thoughts

Looking back on the book, I definitely have a lot of mixed feelings. To start with the positives, I really like the general plot, with the two parallel stories being told simultaneously. It was really interesting to get the perspective of a Pakistani-American, and his views on 9/11, as well as the conflict between India and Pakistan. I really liked the insight that Changez provided, and how much I was able to learn about what it was like to be the victim of racial profiling following the 9/11 attacks, and the identity struggle faced by Pakistani-American immigrants. However, I really didn't like Changez's narrative itself, or Changez's character in general. He was really cocky and selfish, but tried to be modest about it in a weird way. It seemed to me like he was trying way to hard to blend in, and never really could be himself. He really pissed me off with the whole Erica thing, and how he was willing to pretend he was Chris just so he could be with her; to me, that seemed way too desperate. Overall though, I did like the book as a whole, and I really liked the mysterious end. I love when books end open for imagination (which is why I hate the epilogue of the 7th Harry Potter) and the way Hamid leaves the situation between Changez and the American so up in the air made the book all the more interesting. It left it open for the reader to analyze the story so far, and assume whatever they like of the American, and whether or not he was going to kill Changez, and whether or not Changez was really a terrorist, allied with the waiter and the other mysterious men. Looking back on The Reluctant Fundementalist, as much as I disliked Changez as a character, I really did enjoy the book.

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