From Me and my big mouth:
I distinctly remember tackling the first few pages of The Path Unimagined over a cup of tea in my office at Waterstone’s. An hour later my tea was cold and I was nearly half-way through the book. When the time came to trot off to the boardroom for a meeting, I found it painful to have to put it down. It was remarkable: funny, moving, intelligent, beautifully observed. The amiable confessional style along with short pithy chapters with titles such as Jesus, Spam, Muhammad, Wogs and Spock, reminded me of Nigel Slater’s excellent memoir Toast. Only with added Islam. This was an excellent book and I was convinced it could be huge. But not with a cover like that it wouldn’t.
Here is a small sample to give you an idea of the style and subtle humour:
I came second in the Karachi ‘Bonnie Baby’ contest. I was wearing a black suit, white shirt and dark tie. Smartly dressed, suave and handsome, I looked like James Bond, although I was too young to have seen either of his movies. I was also somewhat unsteady on my feet. People were particularly impressed by my light skin.
First prize went to the child of the organiser. The judges were her friends. This is absolutely typical of third-world, banana-republic unfairness. In the West, the organiser’s child would not be allowed to enter the contest. I was denied the title of ‘Karachi’s Bonniest Baby’ by blatant nepotism. I began my lifelong struggle against corruption and injustice.