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Exit West cover art

Exit West

By: Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Exit West written and read by Mohsin Hamid. 

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017

This is Nadia. She is fiercely independent, with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night. 

This is Saeed. He is sweet and shy and kind to strangers. He also has a balcony but he uses his for stargazing. 

This is their story: a love story, but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow. Saeed and Nadia are falling in love, and their city is falling apart. Here is a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it. Exit West is a heartfelt and radical act of hope - a novel to restore your faith in humanity and in the power of imagination. 

©2017 Mohsin Hamid (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"Mixing the real and the surreal, using old fairy-tale magic.... Compelling, crystalline, unnervingly dystopian." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

What listeners say about Exit West

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Everything about this is confused.

The book had so much potential and started off as such. I liked the fact that places where the protagonists came from were obscure and not stated; but the mentioning of so many others then seemed to negate the impact of the first choice.
As the story progresses, it seemed like the authorial intent itself becomes confused and the blending of genre just doesn’t work. The first section is a beautiful love story set against a backdrop of growing fear and tension wherein the listener anticipates a move towards refugees making a dangerous migration to safer pastures. The initial reference to magic doors, I thought would prove a metaphor for trafficking escape routes - imagine my confusion when it proves to be literal and the genre unfathomable shifts to some kind of futuristic sci-fi garble.
That is not to say I dislike sci-or or dystopian fiction - I love them too. My issue is that this is not a strength of the writer - there is no valid basis for which the listener can suspend reality and accept this. I desperately wanted to.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting start but tailed off

Good start with mixture of vivid description and high concept fantasy but did not maintain narrative tension

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An insight into a migrant's life

Skilfully written and beautifully read, the insights into living in a war zone resonated at this time.. It shows how migration affects people and what they have to go through.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Tideous

I had to 'read' this book for a literature course and it was a struggle. I thought it would be way more critical than it was but it seemed to shy away from an interesting topic to focus on stupid irrelevant details: like the decor of a room or the sex life of characters never again mentioned.

The story was original but it left a lot to the imagination - but I didn't feel compelled to think about it deeper because it was so awkwardly written and poorly described. The narrators voice is dry and monotone which really didn't help.

It was a disappointment.
I was happy when it ended.

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Beautifully written

Written so well and read meaningfully and relaxing to listen to enjoyed it very much would recommend

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • W
  • 23-01-21

Good but depressing

Was quite good but very depressing look at lives of refugees in a fictional future.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An important & prophetic book for this decade?

How will refugees fare in the disruption of the coming decades? This personal story of two refugees fleeing war in an unnamed country for a better life in the West illustrates the economic, social and political pressures they and the populations they join might face as well as the universal struggles associated with being a human being living ones life.

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Great

Opens the heart and the mind, as great art should. An important and sensitive point of view of our rapidly changing world. Thank you

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Beautiful book and amazing to hear the author

This is an amazing book, with beautiful language and highly original images and ideas.

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simple and beautiful

magical fable of migration crisis we face today. simple and beautifully narrated love story. enjoyed!

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  • Sadaat
  • 05-06-18

Boring, cliched and poorly written

With all of three pages devoted to dialogue, this isn't a story of rich characters and interesting plot development, but a summary of events. The narrative is extremely predictable (it is almost as if the author cooked up the story by reading articles on the refugee experience) and at no point does one feel any empathy or understanding towards the characters. The book has so many problems it is hard to detail them all in one review.