Friday, January 30, 2009

Reluctant Fundamentalist


The Reluctant Fundamentalist

I've just finished reading Moshin Hamid's book The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Anybody else read it?
I really loved the whole thing
but I want to make sure I understood the ending?
or at least talk about different interpretations

6 comments:

Rosa Hunt said...

Yes I read it nearly two years ago when it was nominated for the Booker prize. I also thought it was brilliant but my memory is a bit hazy...it turns out that the polite conversation in the bar is a bit more sinister doesn't it.... It reminded me very much of Kazuo Ishiguro with the anger hidden under a veil of impeccable politeness. I read a review which pointed out that Erica is America (Am-Erica) and that the USA needs Changez...I'd totally missed that I confess. Also that it poses the question of who the real fundamentalists are.

Rosa Hunt said...

Another book I loved which poses big questions about fundamentalism is "Oscar and Lucinda" - anyone read that?
And what about "Autograph Man", which contains possibly my favourite all time joke about the Pope and the Rabbi?

Craig Gardiner said...

Rosa whats the joke about the pope and the rabbi

Baptist Bookworm said...

Is it:

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to leave Italy. There was, of course, a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal. He would have a religious debate with a leader of the Jewish community. If the Jewish leader won the debate, the Jews would be permitted to stay in Italy. If the Pope won, the Jews would have to leave.

The Jewish community met and picked an aged Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate. Rabbi Moishe, however, could not speak Latin, and the Pope could not speak Yiddish. So it was decided that this would be a 'silent' debate.

On the day of the great debate, the Pope and the Rabbi sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waived his finger around his head. Rabbi Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine. Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple. With that, the Pope stood up and said, "I concede the debate. This man has bested me. The Jews can stay."

Later, the cardinals gathered around the Pope, asking him what had happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us of our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish community crowded around Rabbi Moishe, asking what happened. "Well," said Moishe, "first he said to me, 'You Jews have got three days to get out of here.' So I said to him, 'Not one of us is going to leave.' Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of Jews. So I said to him, 'Listen here, Mr Pope, the Jews… we stay right here!"

"And then?" asked a woman.

"Who knows?" said Rabbi Moishe. "We broke for lunch."

Rosa Hunt said...

Yes,that's it...

Rosa Hunt said...

Though actually my current favourite joke is less theological. It is: what's the difference between roast beef and pea soup? Answer: everyone can roast beef...