2008: #30.5 – Terrorist (John Updike)

14590398.JPGThis uncounted book was Terrorist by John Updike. The back of the book reads:

John Updike has written a brilliant novel that ranks among the most provocative of his distinguished career. Terrorist is the story of Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, an alienated American-born teenager who spurns the materialistic, hedonistic life he witnesses in the slumping New Jersey factory town he calls home. Turning to the words of the Holy Qur’an as expounded to him by the pedantic imam of a local mosque, Ahmad devotes himself fervently to God. Neither the world-weary guidance counselor at his high school nor Ahmad’s mischievously seductive classmate Joryleen succeeds in deflecting him from his course, as the threads of an insidious plot gather around him.

Okay, I didn’t exactly finish this one, but I’m finished with it. I gave it 105 pages. Do you want to know what happened in 105 pages? Ahmad met with his guidance counselor, went to church, and went to a lesson with his Qur’an teacher. That’s it. I was so bored with this that I couldn’t even bring myself to care about the blatant anti-Americanism and misogynism. The red light started flashing when I hit the 18 page description of a church mass (or whatever it’s called when it’s not a Catholic church). By the time I hit the 11 pages describing his Qur’an lesson, I was more than done. I need some plot!

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