Exit West

Exit West

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, a love story that unfolds in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West is an epic compressed into a slender page-turner--both completely of our time and for all time, Mohsin Hamid's most ambitious and electrifying novel yet"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017
ISBN: 9780735212206
Characteristics: 231 pages ; 22 cm


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CMLibrary_sdeason Feb 13, 2020

The author did an amazing job of creating characters that almost any reader can relate to upon some level. You are cheering for the young adults and then holding your breath with each day in the conflict. Excellent for book clubs.

Feb 11, 2020

I feel like this book was overrated. The premise sounded great but the execution was severely lacking.

Jan 02, 2020

I read this book in two sittings because I was so swept away by the gorgeous sentences, compelling characters, and a premise illustrated with the perfect amount of detail. Nadia and Saeed meet and begin to fall in love as unrest and instability in their [unnamed] city grows. Meanwhile, mysterious “doors” are popping up around the world, granting access from continent to continent, hemisphere to hemisphere.

The premise is carried off with subtlety and thoughtfulness — it’s not a puzzlebox and you never find out why or how these doors came to exist. That’s not a spoiler; it’s pretty evident from the first couple chapters that the “how” is not the point, as the narrative instead explores this concept that the universe will find a way to open itself to refugees, even if its people and policies won’t. Amidst that concept, Hamid also explores questions that include (but are in no way limited to!): What does it mean to be “from” a place, and how does leaving that place impact your identity? What does love look like in a time of chaos and how does it shift?

Also, it’s kind of a short read! So if you think you don’t have time for a beautifully written magical-realism-refugee-love-story, good news! You definitely do!

Sep 16, 2019

This was a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.
I enjoyed this book and felt like I was there experiencing it with them.

Aug 30, 2019

I finished this book in two days, though it could have been one if not for other commitments. The way it's written almost reads like poetry. I found it a moving and insightful look into what it means to be human in a world that's more diverse and more rapidly-changing than ever. I challenge anyone to read this, and not come away with a little more understanding of, if not compassion for, others.

Aug 29, 2019

Timely topic, interesting narrative, visual imagery...well worth your time if contemporary/futuristic life interests you. Recommended.

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / April 2019

Aug 26, 2019

I asked staff for some book recommendations and this is one of the books pulled from the shelf. I can't believe how quickly I got absorbed into this story and finished the book in only a few days because I simply could not put it down. The concept of travel in this book is fascinating. The story itself parallels the ebb and flow of immigration currently experienced in our real world. Great read!

Aug 21, 2019

Here's the thing: it's got beautiful imagery, a great plot, and all in all it is a good book.

However, the book is written entirely in run-on sentences (and a good chunk of things drags on as a result). If you can stand run-on sentence after run-on sentence, you'll like this book. If you can't (like me), you're going to find this book okay at first-- but barely a third of the way through you'll be dragging your feet and hating your existence because you're reading this book. Literally, I gave up 80% of the way through and skipped to the last two pages. For 50% of the book, I was forcing myself to continue entirely due to the run-on structure.

This isn't to say I have anything against the author (or the plot-- it's an amazing story, which I can't stress enough!), but it is to say that variety in sentence length can be a lifesaver. Personally I think it needs a LOT more variety, to the point where I can't give it a lot of stars: I love the story, but I dreaded continuing reading it so much that all I feel when I think about this book is dread.

So, to recap: great plot, beautifully done story; sometimes descriptions drag on. Written entirely in run-on sentences, so don't read if you're like me and cannot deal with that style of writing.

Jul 08, 2019

A one-sitting read - subtle, bittersweet, moving. Don't let the blurb on the cover fool you; the magical realism is a very minor part of this book, which is more grounded and real than a lot of realistic fiction. Saeed and Nadia are refugees and their lives and romance are impacted by that in every possible way. But Hamid shows us that "we are all migrants through time" in this affecting little book. Excellent.

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