I had heard a lot of good things about Hamid's novels and I am forever interested in furthering my knowledge on Pakistan. Alas, the author's 'dispatches' are only a perfunctory glance on Pakistan society, Indo-Pak-US relations etc. Here,the humor is bland, the turns of phrase are missing and the brevity is mostly unnecessary. Mohsin is at his most powerful when he describes some very personal moments like his journey on a London underground train and his 'sweat'y encounter with a veiled lady. But those moments are few and far in this book. As we,in North India, say, "Not at all paisa vasool."
Mohsin Hamid loves his middle-class life but unlike Richard Crasta he is not brutally frank. He is not a radical. If you are not a radical, you can only mumble and grumble about your existence but can never come to a solution. How nicely he puts it, drones don't solve the problem! What is the problem? Which terrorist? The terrorist that smuggles all the tax into Luxembourg or that camel driver in a desert. Their heat seeking missile will not distinguish between BBC-educated Pakistani and a camel driver.