Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Updike

Narrated By: Christopher Lane

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Date: June 2006

Duration: 9 hours 47 minutes


The ever-surprising John Updike's twenty-second novel is a brilliant contemporary fiction that will surely be counted as one of his most powerful. It tells of eighteen-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy and his devotion to Allah and the words of the Holy Qur'an, as expounded to him by a local mosque's imam. The son of a bohemian Irish-American mother and an Egyptian father who disappeared when he was three, Ahmad turned to Islam at the age of eleven. He feels his faith threatened by the materialistic, hedonistic society he sees around him in the slumping factory town of New Prospect, in northern New Jersey. Neither the world-weary, depressed guidance counselor at Central High School, Jack Levy, nor Ahmad's mischievously seductive black classmate, Joryleen Grant, succeeds in diverting the boy from what his religion calls the Straight Path. When he finds employment in a furniture store owned by a family of recently immigrated Lebanese, the threads of a plot gather around him, with reverberations that rouse the Department of Homeland Security. But to quote the Qur'an: Of those who plot is God the best.


  • Debbie

    Not his best work. Characters made no sense at all. Why Ahmad wanted to become a terrorist at all was incomprehensible and his acts became more and more nonsensical as the plot progressed. Don't read it.

  • Anonymous

    Updike is top notch, so smart, such a great character study. It's slow build of story is very compelling. Makes you care about these people living quiet lives of desperation. He's as good an American writer as there is.

  • Anonymous

    Using his characteristically clear, sharp prose, Updike depicts the reasons he feels many Muslims hate the Great Satan, America. What motivates his protagonist to undertake an act of terror are all the evils of our culture today: using sex to sell products, the superficial goals of many of our young people, you name it. But how successfully has he entered the mind of his main character? Is this really the way an 18-year-old Muslim son of an Egyptian father and an Irish-American mother would view our American culture, even if he had sat for years at the feet of a Muslim teacher who thinks our society is bankrupt of relgion, morals, and ethics? Did Updike talk to many Muslims here in the States? Are there really lots of young men like Almed walking among us? I don't know. At times I felt the character stretched the limits of credibility. But I enjoyed the book. My only other two adverse reactions would be that there was too much gratuitous sex and the ending was cheesey.


by John Updike

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Terrorist, John Updike