Modern First Editions Mohsin Hamid Moth Smoke

ISBN 13: 9780374213541

Moth Smoke

Valutazione media 3,8
( su 6.771 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780374213541: Moth Smoke

A fast-paced first novel that paints a dazzling portrait of contemporary Pakistan

When Daru loses his job as a banker in Lahore, he begins a long fall from grace that cascades the length of this lively and inventive tale. Too clever for his own good, he descends into drug dealing, then heroin addiction. Unable to pay the electricity bill, he rapidly loses power, literally and metaphorically, in a society increasingly polarized between decadent haves and discontented have-nots. As Daru spirals downward, he is falling for beautiful, mysterious Mumtaz, the wife of his childhood friend and rival, Ozi. Privileged but restless, Mumtaz escapes the constraints of marriage and motherhood by prowling the city's depths as a journalist. Daru is drawn to her with an intensity that mimics the attraction of moths to candle flames in his darkened apartment. Desperate to reverse his fortunes, Daru takes a partner in crime, the rickshaw driver Murad, but when a heist goes awry, Daru finds himself on trial for a murder he may or may not have committed. The uncertainty of his future mirrors that of his country, which is locked in a jittery nuclear test-for-test with India, as the rich get richer and fundamentalist fervor intensifies. With its assured voice-in equal measure funny, ironic, and impassioned-highly original cast of characters, and sly satire, this debut novel is never less than riveting.

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. He lives in New York City.

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Review:

Since the late 1970s, India in all her infinite variety has been brought to life as a posse of Indian authors writing in English have exploded onto the scene: Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Anita Desai, Rohinton Mistry, Vikram Seth, Bharati Mukherjee--the list is legion. But what of Pakistan--that Siamese twin, painfully separated in the partition of 1947? Though neither as numerous nor as well known as their Indian counterparts, Pakistani writers are beginning to make an impression on Western readers. Novelists from Rushdie to the Pakistani Bapsi Sidwha have written about the partition and the bloody civil war that followed; even stories set in modern-day Bombay or Lahore cannot escape the aftershocks of the division. On the surface, Mohsin Hamid's first novel, Moth Smoke, seems more domestic than political drama: narrated from several different perspectives, it tells the story of Daru Shezad's ill-fated affair with his best friend's wife, Mumtaz. But in a country like Pakistan, the personal and the political are difficult to separate, and as the story moves along, the divisions between gender, class, and opportunity provide a not-so-subtle commentary on the fissures that run through contemporary Pakistani society. The novel begins, tellingly, with a historical fragment about the internecine wars of succession that followed the rule of Emperor Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal):

Imprisoned in his fort at Agra, staring at the Taj he had built, an aged Shah Jahan received as a gift from his youngest son the head of his eldest. Perhaps he doubted, then, the memory that his boys had once played together, far from his supervision and years ago, in Lahore.
Jump ahead several hundred years to Lahore in the summer of 1998. Childhood playmates Daru and Ozi have just reunited again after Ozi's three-year stay in America. Glad as he is to see his old friend, Daru can't keep his eyes off of Ozi's wife, Mumtaz. "You know you're in trouble when you can't meet a woman's eye," he says. But woman trouble isn't his only problem; he's also addicted to hash, which leads to his dismissal from an upscale job as a banker. Soon Daru spirals out of control into a degraded existence on the fringes of society. Then a young boy is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and he is accused and jailed. Shah Jehan would probably recognize this age-old story of love and revenge playing out once more--this time against the backdrop of the Indian-Pakistani arms race. Hamid artfully weaves the subcontinent's tragic history into his characters' no-less-tragic present, rendering Moth Smoke a novel that resonates on many levels. --Sheila Bright

About the Author:

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. His work has appeared in The New York Times. He currently lives in New York City.

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Mohsin Hamid
Editore: Farrar Straus & Giroux (T) (2000)
ISBN 10: 0374213542 ISBN 13: 9780374213541
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Descrizione libro Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0374213542

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Descrizione libro Farrar Straus & Giroux (T), 2000. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110374213542

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