Both deliciously funny and deeply insightful, THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN is a beguiling multi-layered memoir that has touched the hearts of readers all over the world. At the age of one, Imran Ahmad moved from Pakistan to London, growing up torn between his Islamic identity and his desire to embrace the West. Join Imran in his lifelong struggle against corruption and injustice, and as he grapples with some of Life's most profound questions. What does God do exactly? Do you automatically go to Hell for following the wrong religion? How do you persuade a beautiful woman to become your girlfriend (and would driving a Jaguar XJS help?) Can you maintain a James Bond persona without the vodka, cigarettes and women - even whilst your parents are trying to arrange your marriage? Imran's unimagined journey makes thoughtful, compelling, and downright delightful reading. With a unique style and unflinching honesty, THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN addresses serious issues in an extraordinarily light way, and will leave readers both thinking deeply and laughing out loud.
Imran Ahmad was born in Pakistan, grew up in London, and went to university in Scotland, before pursuing a corporate career which has taken him all over the world, including five years living in the United States. His career has been mainly in finance and information technology, which he knows little about (but apparently this isn't a problem in management consulting). In April - June 2012 he is conducting a 50-city speaking tour of the United States. Full details are on his website: www.perfect-gent.com
Packed with self-deprecating humor and charming witticisms, Ahmad's debut is a poignantly honest and intimate memoir recounting his early struggles with race, religion, and relationships. Having emigrated as an infant from Pakistan to England, Ahmad grew up consumed with conflicting desires to adapt to his Western surroundings while maintaining his family's Muslim beliefs, as when he wonders, "What happens to people who believe in one of the wrong religions? Hey, I'm only seven. I shouldn't have to worry like this." Ahmad's comically fruitless obsession with marrying Janice, his long-time crush, leads him to "never discuss religion" and "rarely mention Pakistan," lest she "think of [him] as different' and derail [their] imminent romance," and when he tells her that his family doesn't "really do Christmas," he fears her reaction to what she must deem "something strange and sinister
below the outer mask of suntanned middle-class English Conservatism." Throughout growing pains (most of the book covers the first 25 years of the author's life) and his efforts to become like James Bond, Ahmad consistently zeroes in on laughs and heartfelt revelations about the nature of faith and individuality. Though Ahmad crams the most recent 20 years of his life into roughly as many pages, his story remains an enjoyable and hilarious Bildungsroman. (Apr.) 2012 Reed Business Information
Yes, you can laugh while having your consciousness raised. This memoir proves it.O, The Oprah Magazine
If you read nothing else this year, discover this book.New York Journal of Books
"...irresistible-- a charming, laugh-out-loud-funny memoir of a Pakistani Muslim boy growing up in the western world. Full of suprises, hard to put down."John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"...beautifully written, funny and endearing, and in its own quiet way, important."Sue Townsend, author of the Adrian Mole books
"I could not put the book down. I laughed at Imran's memories of his childhood. I marveled at his ability to look at his stumbles with such fearless honesty and I shared his gentle, wry irritation at the unfairness of the world.
The greatness of this book is easy to understand. Read it and you will come to know Imran Ahmad as though you have spent a lifetime growing up with him. You will warm to his wonderfully self-deprecating humor and, almost incidentally, you will learn a lot about yourself and a vast amount about the complex multicultural confusion of growing up as an immigrant Pakistani Muslim in England. This is a wise and witty book about the new cultural reality of globalization."Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald
'Hurrah for a memoir that isn't miserable! Hurray for Imran Ahmad's terrific sense of humor ... an entertaining, moving and thoroughly thought-provoking tale of our times.' The Daily Mail
'A compelling quest for belonging ...' Guardian
"... very clearly and vividly written, it's funny and perceptive about schools and neighbors and friends and girls and especially about the narrator himself, with his continuing puzzlement about religion, his smartly pressed clothes, and his apparently naïve fixation with cars."Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass series
"... humour makes a powerful tool when socially relevant ... successful in striking that balance, by presenting a thought-provoking debate even as it makes you laugh out loud."The Hindu