By Teddy Wayne
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061873218, 295pp.)
Publication Date: April 2010
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"Sometimes you do not truly observe something until you study it in reverse," writes Karim Issar upon arrival to New York City from Qatar in 1999. Fluent in numbers, logic, and business jargon yet often baffled by human connection, the young financial wizard soon creates a computer program named Kapitoil that predicts oil futures and reaps record profits for his company.
At first an introspective loner adrift in New York's social scenes, he anchors himself to his legendary boss Derek Schrub and Rebecca, a sensitive, disillusioned colleague who may understand him better than he does himself. Her influence, and his father's disapproval of Karim's Americanization, cause him to question the moral implications of Kapitoil, moving him toward a decision that will determine his future, his firm's, and to whomand wherehis loyalties lie.
- Did Karim’s brand of English make you think differently about your own use of the language? Which of his recurring words or expressions felt most meaningful?