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Based on his seven-month journey across the Asian continent, Naipaul explores the life, culture and current ferment inside four nations of Islam: Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He depicts an Islamic world at odds with the modern world, fueled only by an implacable determination to believe. Naipaul's controversial account of his travels through the Islamic world was hailed by The New Republic as "the most notable work on contemporary Islam to have appeared in a very long time."