Search This Blog for Authors, Publishers, Reviewers and Books

Add Your Logo or Avatar to This New Book Review Reader List:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Political Thriller Important Study in Culture

Title: The HomeGrown: Narrative of a conversion
Author: Harry Deshpande
Author's Website: www.thehomegrown.info
Genre: Political thriller
ISBN: 1460998316



When recent college graduate Anwar, a Muslim born in Denmark, marries Nahgma, an Indian Muslim, her prosperous father is keen to celebrate the union by treating them to a honeymoon in Hawaii. However, Anwar's father has a markedly different idea in mind to launch their marriage: a visit to the family homeland of Pakistan to acquaint the new bride with Pashtun culture. Reluctantly agreeing, Anwar finds himself in the province of Quetta, and in the forbidding company of Hamid, a member of his extended family who has a palpable madness in his eyes.

Regrettably, this meeting will forever alter Anwar's worldview. When he takes up Hamid's offer to visit a site of American attack as proof that the United States is targeting innocents, Anwar lands in the middle of a skirmish between American Special Forces and the jihadist elements. From there, one traumatic event after another calls into question Anwar's accepted Danish mores, his relationship with his new bride, and his comprehension of Denmark's complicity to Pakistani atrocities at the hands of Americans.

From there, rigorous Jihadist brainwashing quickly transforms a benign Western accountant into an avowed Muslim with a new wife, for whom he has a passion that even surprises him. With that love rendered asunder, Anwar now has the fire to enact the unimaginable, right in his once-beloved Denmark.

With each turn, The Homegrown charts the grave and all-too-common trajectory from world citizen to public enemy, casting crucial light on why terrorists succeed with their message of hatred, and why the United States may be losing in the war of propaganda.

The story is told through Anwar's eyes; fundamentally, it is the story of the definition, breaking, and re-making of his character. Thus he moves from being a more or less vague, dissatisfied, vacillating, and anonymous character to an equally anonymous character, albeit re-made and somewhat hardened in the mold of a terrorist. The irony at the heart of the story is that, in the end, Anwar is no more his own man than he was at the outset, but his closely mentored suffering, combined with his exposure to an exotic and seductive religiosity that appeals to his weak and sentimental nature, makes him an ideal weapon in the hands of higher-ups who, like officers of every stripe, nationality, and era remain safely behind the lines.

-----
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

No comments: