He has lived in his birthplace — Lahore, Pakistan — for the past nine years, but before that moved between Pakistan, the US and the UK, seemingly equally at home in each. There was a return to Pakistan for high school and then Princeton, a spell at Harvard and a law firm, and some time in London as a management consultant. I ask him what caused him to return to Pakistan. She went to London with Hamid but, like him, felt an urge to return.
Hamid recognises that it took a degree of bravery to make the move home. But Pakistan, politically, has been a tumultuous place. There have been moments when the law and order situation or the terrorism situation have been alarming. In some senses yes. Since Trump came to power, Hamid has stopped reading newspapers or watching the news. He also shies away from social media. When I look for him online, I find a couple of tweets from and a mothballed personal Facebook account. There is a more active Facebook profile , but this, he tells me, is maintained by his publisher.
He wrote seven drafts of the novel, many of them while studying at Harvard Law School, before he and his mother — he showed her the second draft and she said: Moth Smoke , the riotous tale of an out-of-work Lahore banker who falls into a spiral of drugs and crime, was a huge hit in south-east Asia and won critical admiration and awards across the world.
Whether in business or literature, everything Hamid touches turns to gold. I ask him whether he recognises himself in this portrait of a man who has enjoyed seemingly effortless success. Now I think that there is a real problem to this. I try to root myself in the present. Mohsin writes at the heart and centre of the 21st century: It explores how we never cease to conjure new identities for the express and urgent matter of survival. No characters other than Saeed and Nadia are named; the city from which they set out, even the country, also remain unnamed. While the lack of proper nouns is not as extreme as in How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia , where the only names are those of continents, the nonspecific locale does intensify the allegorical atmosphere of the novel.
Hamid tells me he wanted to explore a question: The coming months hold a return to Pakistan for Hamid and his family, and the beginning of work on a new novel — in itself a daunting task. A nuclear bomb is detonated in Tel Aviv, cutting Israel in half. The Arab armies then invade and take over Israel.
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Meanwhile, the backstory in the U. Not from the book. The Israelis are fleeing their conquered country and the U. A couple of boatloads of refugees ends up in Boston harbor but are denied entry. The actions of the U. I enjoyed the book.
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I had two problems with it. One, Jewish people contribute a lot, repeat a lot, of money to U. Especially to the Democrats. Two, the conservative Christians in the U. I know both of these points were mentioned and explained in the book. But to change them goes beyond fiction and into pure fantasy. This book grabs you from page one, and keeps you on the seat of your pants the entire way through until the end. Mr Schwartz' description of how the US would react both to the initial bombing in Tel Aviv and then to subsequent 'Jewish' problem in the United States is chilling and within the realm of possibility.
I highly recommend the book, and hopefully long nights reading won't make you too tired for your day job: Although written a decade ago, today's political atmosphere provides an environment whereby the events depicted in this novel could possibly occur.
The Reluctant Terrorist: A Novel of the American Holocaust by Harvey A. Schwartz
A very good book for book clubs as there are numerous moral and ethical dilemmas presented. I totally enjoyed reading The Reluctant Terriorist: The fact that my family is Jewish, and keeping up with world events makes it all the more real. The phrase "Never Forget" is all to real is todays society. No matter what faith you happen to be, this could happen to any one of us with world politics and politics in our own country USA.
I think this is a must read for everyone, so we do not let what happens in this book happen in real life.
Mohsin Hamid on the rise of nationalism: ‘In the land of the pure, no one is pure enough’
Having recommended this book to friends, I think all kindle readers will enjoy this story, remember it's fiction but can happen as it has in the past. I couldn't put this book down. From cover to cover it held my attention The writing was superb and the author knew how to keep the reader fixed on each page.
The problem I had, as a Jew, was that the book frightened me. Could this happen here in America? It happened once in Nazi Germany and the thought that it could happen again was very scary. With today's racial tensions against Muslems it was too real. Perhaps this time it would be Muslems instead of Jews. I pray it never happens. Very good ebook written as a novel, portraying domestic terrorism. An edge of the seat, heart pounding, page turning story.
It really portrays the world as it is now--Tel Aviv is nuked, Israel retaliates, everyone condemns Israel for reacting. No one ever tries to find out who bombed Tel Aviv.
The Reluctant Terrorist: A Novel of the American Holocaust
It also shows how the new anti-terrorism laws can be used to discriminate against any ethnic group in the US. I highly recommend this book. See all 18 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 year ago.
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