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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.
“One compelling and surprising ride.”–USA Today
“The startlingly contemporary story of a high school student . . . whose zealous Islamic faith and disaffection with modern life make him a pawn in the larger conflict between Muslim and Christian, East and West. They also make him a powerful voice for Updike’s ongoing critique of American civilization.”
“A chilling tale that is perhaps the most essential novel to emerge from Sept. 11.”
–People (Critic’s Choice)