I got the book, but not quite.
Maybe Moth Smoke made me expect more. Till the end, I kept waiting for the story to actually happen. The narration got a bit irritating at times, and so I interpreted the excessively respectful tone as sarcasm. It made it easier to read and relate.
So what exactly was ‘Fundamental’ about him, I don’t understand. To me, this was just a story about a man’s disillusionment, his homecoming and him finding his calling. Leaving a high profile job and life in a first world country to go back home and teach. Nothing fundamental about that. What he taught apart from finance, that is left open to the reader’s interpretation. And whether it was right, wrong or whatever, is debatable. The slow transformation of both his appearance and attitude was very well handled. The ‘moment’ in Chile did seem a bit contrived, but it was the turning point, his Bodhi tree. (Disclaimer: I do not support terrorism or any of that jazz, but I also do not support the King of the Universe attitude that certain countries adopt. When it happened, my first reaction was ‘OMG! They were guarding their backsides and got punched in the nose’. Does that make me a fundamentalist? )
The less said about Erica the better. Screamed Naoko from the start. I read a reveiw that said that Erica was America in some symbollic sort of way. Maybe. Maybe I was too superficial to get the depth of it, but it was in-your-face Norwegian Wood.
Who exactly is this American stranger, I didn’t understand fully. Was he a journalist or someone out to arrest Changez? Was that a gun in his pocket? Was he there to kill him?
So many loose ends.
This didn’t seem complete to me. It was more of a prologue or a section of a larger book. Maybe Mohsin Hamid will come up with a sequel or a prequel someday.
PS: I haven’t watched the movie, but reading the reviews, it looks like the movie made more sense than the book.