“Naqvi’s fast-paced plot, foul-mouthed erudition and pitch-perfect dialogue make for a stellar debut.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
They are renaissance men. They are bons vivants. They are three young Pakistani men in New York City at the turn of the millennium: AC, a gangsta-rap-spouting academic; Jimbo, a hulking Pushtun DJ from the streets of Jersey City; and Chuck, a wideeyed kid, fresh off the boat from the homeland, just trying to get by. Things start coming together for Chuck when he unexpectedly secures a Wall Street gig and begins rolling with socialites and scenesters flanked by his pals, who routinely bring down the house at hush-hush downtown haunts. In a city where origins matter less than the talent for self-invention, the three Metrostanis have the guts to claim the place as their own.
But when they embark on a road trip to the hinterland weeks after 9/11 in search of the Shaman, a Gatsbyesque compatriot who seemingly disappears into thin air, things go horribly wrong. Suddenly, they find themselves in a changed, charged America.
Rollicking, bittersweet, and sharply observed, Home Boy is at once an immigrant’s tale, a mystery, and a story of love and loss, as well as a unique meditation on Americana and notions of collective identity. It announces the debut of an original, electrifying voice in contemporary fiction.
Naqvi's smart and sorrowful debut is at once immigrant narrative, bildungs roman and New York City novel, with a dash of the picaresque…Naqvi is a former slam poet, and his exuberant sentences burst with the rhythms and driving power of that form while steering clear of bombast. Home Boy is a remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs.