The legendary author’s newest work focuses on a likable 18-year-old would-be suicide bomber. The N.Y. Times and, to a lesser extent, the Washington Post pan the book.


Novelist John Updike watched the first tower of the World Trade Center collapse, yet he speaks with affection of the idealistic Muslim teen-ager in his new novel “Terrorist” who plots to blow up a New York tunnel.

Reviews of Updike’s 22nd novel, to be published on Tuesday, have been good, though the sympathetic portrayal of the title character, 18-year-old Ahmad, sparks unease in some.

“To me it seemed like the most obvious thing in the world. Anybody can write a novel about an evil terrorist,” the Pulitzer prize-winning author said in an interview on Sunday.


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