Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West

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 and are soon cloistered in a 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 f...

Details Exit West

TitleExit West
Release DateMar 7th, 2017
GenreFiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Exit West

  • Emily May
    “When we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind.” I thought this book was quietly brutal. And quietly beautiful, as well.If you've come here looking for magical realism, I would advise against it. Exit West contains only the barest of fantastical elements - essentially, metaphorical doors or portals that symbolize the migrant experience. This is not explored in any depth and serves only to propel the characters from their unn...
  • Maxwell
    I want to shove this book into everyone's hands and say, "READ IT." Undoubtedly the best book I've read so far this year and one of the best I will probably read in 2017. Hamid's writing is lush and evocative and so, so beautiful. The story of immigration is incredibly important for today, but it's told in a timeless fashion; the magical realism is done so tastefully and imaginatively and works so well for the story. He probes into the minds of o...
  • Barry Pierce
    I rarely ever do this, but I'm rating and reviewing this even though I haven't finished it. I just cannot continue. Exit West is one of the most bitterly disappointing and downright awful novels I have read in a long while. The novel begins with Nadia and Saeed, a couple living in an unnamed Middle-Eastern city. This setting and story is what we come to expect from Hamid, who also wrote the flawed but admirable The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The c...
  • Larry H
    Sam, I have you to thank for this one."In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak to her."So begins Mohsin Hamid's extraordinary new novel, Exit West . At once both sharply current and dreamily magical, this book is social commentary, fantasy, and an emotion-laded look at how we crave connection even in the most chaotic, the bleakest o...
  • Ariel
    Very fascinatingly, I think I would have liked this book more if I had never read the synopsis. The synopsis makes it sound like we're going to have two lovers who are in a city that is becoming a war zone and then discover magical doors that lead them far away and it's hard but they have each other. That's definitely what happens... but it's also really not what happens. I'd say that's the first third of this book. If I were to give a synopsis i...
  • Diane S ☔
    4+. We need more books like this, or no, maybe that's wrong, what we need are more readers of books like this. The country it takes place is unnamed, but one part makes it sound as if it is in Asia somewhere. A country under siege by opposing parties, a country at war with itself, a dangerous place, how so many in this world live in constant danger, constant war.Saeed and Nadia meet, forge a relationship, when their country erupts in violence, it...
  • Snotchocheez
    2.5 stars What started out to be a gorgeously haunting look at life in a Middle East city at the brink of civil war turned ponderous and perplexing by the end of Mohsin Hamid's slim novel Exit West. In an unnamed city in an unnamed Middle Eastern country (not unlike the similarly themed Guapa by Saleem Haddad), two young professionals (Saeed, a quiet, pious man who lives with his parents and works for an advertising firm specializing in billboa...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
  • Adina
    I finished Exist West almost a month ago and my review will reflect that because I tend to quickly forget details. Yeah, my memory is not that good. It took me a while to write a review due to a combination of hectic days at work and a new kitty at home (our first one). Waiting so long to review also had its perks as I decided to change my rating from 4 to 3. I did not remain with the impression that it was a book that I would warmly recommend. A...
  • Bookdragon Sean
    Exit West had the potential to be the greatest novel published in the last ten years. I don’t say such things liberally; it really did have a certain power due to it being so politically conscious, though somehow it failed to deliver what it could have done.Let us rewind a little. Exit West begins in an undisclosed east, in a city at war. The corrupt government is subsequently toppled and the new regime isn’t exactly any better. The ordinary ...
  • Elyse Walters
    Saeed and Nadia are contemporary young adults who come together "in a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet by war". Nadia is living alone - as a young single female. When she leaves her flat, she wears a flowing black robe over her jeans and sweater which completely covers every inch of her body. This is her choice. Why would a modern thinking young woman - who rides a motorbike - who attends business classes - ...
  • Violet wells
    There’s a clue early on that Mohsin Hamid posits attachment to place, even cultural identity as skin deep, an adaptation rather than any quintessential expression of identity. Nadia, the heroine, covers herself in black veils but as a defence against predatory or bigoted males rather than as an expression of religious or cultural conviction. Living spaces in this novel are depicted as temporary, transient, replacable. Even national identity is ...
  • Trish
    People are on the move in Hamid’s latest book, south to north and east to west. This strange little novel definitely has the feel of a season of sense8, the Netflix Original production about shifts in consciousness, space, and time. Hamid’s characters, Nadia and Saeed, experience the bending of time and place, as when they leave their own war-torn country on the Asian subcontinent, a “passage both like dying and like being born.”Hamid’s...
  • Katie
    I read this with very high expectations because of all the hype. I ended up wondering if a lot of the praise it’s received has more to do with its subject matter than its quality as a novel.Its subject matter is the plight of refugees – without question one of the most potentially moving and pertinent stories offered by the world we live in. But this novel was oddly unmoving for the most part, due to the somewhat anaemic and dispassionate nat...
  • Iris P
    Exit West Mohsin Hamid - The AuthorWe are all migrants through timeMoshin Hamid - Exit West***********************************************Literature fulfills many roles in our lives. We read to learn about a certain topic, to develop a deeper sense of empathy, in search of enlightenment or just as a pure source of escapism. In Exit West, author Mohsin Hamid pursues a highly idealistic but worthy goal, namely, to give us a story that regards our p...
  • Adam Dalva
    I really loved this book, and can say without hyperbole that it accomplishes one of - or in my opinion, THE - main goal of fiction: it generates empathy that allows us to better understand our world. The story here is a close allegory of the contemporary migrant experience, and the clever use of a surrealist device (I won't spoil it) and the close 3rd realism with which the two leads are drawn makes a deep, lasting impact. The surreal/real mix is...
  • Sam
    For when we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind. Though a thin slip of a novel, Exit West packs a powerful punch cloaked subtly in a quiet but dynamic tale of migration, told in exquisite yet plain language that is thought provoking and soothing and enraging and just plain beautiful. Nadia and Saeed of a unnamed nation are the focal points, and we follow their journey through young love in a country on the precipice of civil ...
  • Cheri
    Edit - rounded down stars from 4 to 33.5 Stars (remains the same) ”In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak for her. For many days.” In public, Nadia is always dressed in a flowing black robe, covering every inch of her from her neck to her toes. Saeed has a shadow of a beard, stubble, which he meticulously maintains. They are stud...
  • Carol
    Hamid's novels seem to produce extreme reactions. I am in the camp that finds his writing, his perspective, his understanding of human nature, of history, of lovers, of life, and his run-on sentences (see what I did there?) to be magical. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a book I found to be stunning. Almost no one talks about it. On the other hand, everyone read and talks about The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a novel I found to be fine, bu...
  • Paromjit
    This is a brilliant and moving read from Mohsin Hamid which provides a critically imperative and timely novel of the urgency of contemporary global issues with the rising tide of displaced refugees and migrants. In beautiful prose, Hamid weaves a personal affecting account of being a refugee with providing a social and political commentary on war, and the deplorable experiences that refugees are subject to in various countries in the west. It beg...
  • Kevin Kelsey
    Posted at HeradasMohsin Hamid has created something wonderful with this endearing, and perfectly formed short novel. What an evocative and striking way to discuss refugees, ideological war, tribalism, and love. This book broke through my exterior barriers and nurtured something tender inside of me. It seems for the most part, people are really the same, and we all want the same things regardless of where we come from: security, companionship, and...
  • Nat
    I've seen this book quite a lot online since its release a couple of months back and finally decided to give it a shot yesterday... and I was transfixed almost instantly with that first chapter, especially once the dynamic Nadia was introduced into my life:“When Saeed and Nadia finally had coffee together in the cafeteria, which happened the following week, after the very next session of their class, Saeed asked her about her conservative and v...
  • Simon
    4.5 stars really, why is that function not available on GoodReads in 2017? Ha. Anyway, back to the matter in a hand... With Exit West I think Mohsin Hamid does something quite spectacular. At the forefront this is a novel about the refugee crisis, and worlds turmoil, right now (when you read it you'll notice where the books different settings are) yet set in an alternate near now where people can escape through random doors which take them to oth...
  • Hannah
    This was beautiful, stunning, memorable, and really special; an anti-war and pro-tolerance piece with a human heart. Mohsin Hamid never loses sight of the important factors of his story: his characters and their interactions; he doesn't stray from the emotional heart of this story to make a point; and he writes with a precision and beauty that is absolutely breath-taking. This is Nadia's and Saeed's story; from their first meeting in an unnamed m...
  • PorshaJo
    I'm a firm believer that an audio book can either make or break a book. It could be just a meh book and the narration can be so wonderful it catapults the book to the tops of lists. Then, there is the other side. And this is where that book falls for me.I was so looking forward to this one and grabbed the audio. Sorry, but I will just say it was not for me. The narrator, the author himself, spoke in very short, halting sentences. I have no idea i...
  • Peter
    PerseveranceMohsin Hamid has written a poignant, thought-provoking love story amidst the worldwide turmoil of conflict, disharmony and its horrendous consequences of displacement. These two themes are dealt with in a wonderfully balanced and fluid way, which illustrates Hamid’s clever writing skills, and is a clear observational overview of today's world.The story initially starts in an unknown Middle-East country (unfortunately there are sever...
  • Ammar
    You know that feeling when you have a great meal, but it's missing something, a touch of seasoning or something a bit more filling. That's what I felt about this book, the potential was limitless.. the sky was the limit for this novel, yet it felt short... It's political It's sad It's a post Brexit world There are doors and gaps and different countries and two people in love Saeed and Nadia ... the two heroes. From the East going to the West. The...
  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    3.5 starsI have to admit I missed something here with Exit West and for that I am disappointed with myself, definitely not with the book though. I don't think I got the full enjoyment that many other readers did from this book because of feeling like I did miss out on something. I just keep thinking I should've felt more, understood more or had more insight into my reading experience than I did. Maybe it was my expectations. Not sure. All of Norm...