Exit West Pdf is a Magical Fiction Fantasy novel By Mohsin Hamid. Exit West follows two characters:Nadia and Saeed as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Exit West Book Summary
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 for a price. As the violence escalates, 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.
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About Mohsin Hamid Author of Exit West Pdf Book
Mohsin Hamid Author of Exit West Pdf is the author of five novels — Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Exit West, and The Last White Man — and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations.His writing has been translated into forty languages, featured on bestseller lists, and adapted for the cinema. Born in Lahore, he has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.
Exit West pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; First Edition (March 7, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735212171
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735212176
- Lexile measure : NC1660L
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.7 x 0.87 x 8.53 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #139,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #453 in Political Fiction (Books)
- #729 in Cultural Heritage Fiction
- #9,712 in Literary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars 4,350 ratings
Exit West Book Reviews (Amazon.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Is Now
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 20, 2022
Mohsin Hamid opens his story in a fictitious nation resembling an amalgam of Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen where distant revolts in the countryside soon engulf an entire nation and where every citizen has to find a way out.
Saeed and Nadia are two such people who are able to work around the growing chaos and death until Saeed’s mother is brutally murdered. They hear of a black door nearby, one so dark that even light can’t penetrate it, which can somehow transport them immediately to another location on the globe. But as this door and others like it begin to appear so also do governmental soldiers who try to restrict or forbid access to those deemed undesirable by destination lands. Payment becomes a necessity to enter through newly created ones and nobody leaving knows just exactly where they’ll end up and in what condition.
In a way we are all migrants, refugees, always seeking better conditions, hoping for better futures, looking for an ideal just beyond the horizon. The author not only knows this but takes it a step further into a potentially promising future as everyone, refugee and native, becomes impacted.
Hamid’s book is a compelling story, not one to be tied up in political semantics but in the very humanity of living in constant change. His views of human nature are likewise very revealing. In describing Saeed’s parents in their earlier married years a very human and humorously vivid scene occurs.
“He smoked and she said she didn’t, but often, when the ash of his seemingly forgotten cigarette grew impossibly extended, she took it from his fingers, trimmed it softly against an ashtray, and pulled a long and rather rakish drag before returning it, daintily.”
It’s scenes like these with which Hamid seasons his story that elicits the poetry and the humanity of a happily married couple, allowing us to see them, identify with them and recall people from our past who resemble them.
He is a keen yet sensitive observer of the human spirit with its contradictions as well as its dreams. I am able to open the book to any page and find examples.
After a very long day of hard physical work in construction, each at different sites, Nadia and Saeed arrive home. As they practically collapse near each other they realize that they are physically touching one another.
“Her leg and arm touched Saeed’s leg and arm, and he was warm through his clothing, and he sat in a way that suggested exhaustion. But he also managed a tired smile, which was encouraging, and when she opened her fist to reveal what was inside, as she had once before done on her rooftop a brief lifetime ago, and he saw the weed, he started to laugh, almost soundlessly, a gentle rumble, and he said, his voice uncoiling like a slow, languid exhaustion of marijuana-scented smoke, ‘Fantastic.”
This is a story not to be missed by the very gifted author of Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but lost its way
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 4, 2018
As with any book by Moshin Hamid, the writing is exquisite. He’s the kind of author who could make a telephone book read like a masterpiece. And he does it without ever sounding pretentious or like he’s trying too hard. As a reading experience, it’s pleasurable. Hamid is an evocative writer – you feel as though you are there in places he describes with the characters. I can clearly visualise each place from the novel.
The trouble with this book, for me, is the plot. The concept is an interesting one – by some sort of unexplained magic, portals start opening randomly all over the world between different places. This of course creates some serious migration issues, as the poor and desperate can suddenly access wealthier countries in a safe, easy way. Most of the story revolves around Saeed and Nadia, a young couple in an unnamed war-town city (presumably from the context in either Syria or Iraq). It charts their life in the city as it descends into chaos, then their escape to Europe through a magical portal, and their lives afterwards.
Both Saeed and Nadia are interesting characters, who were likeable. I didn’t feel a very powerful connection with either of them, but I did like them. The first part of the book, describing their relationship developing against the backdrop of a city falling prey to war and violence, was the strongest. The descriptions of life for ordinary people when a developed city becomes a battlefield were extremely well done and moving.
For me, the concept of the doors and the point where Nadia and Saeed went through the door was where the book became less strong. I liked the authenticity of the writing in the first part, but as soon as we got to the teleporting portals that was lost. The descriptions of life in the post-portal world were believable, but the story never regained its momentum after that. I wasn’t sure what point was being made – I felt like there must be some profound metaphor underlying the text that I was too dim to see.
Hamid missed an opportunity here. He could have taken his sympathetic Middle Eastern couple and given them a realistic journey to Europe – people smugglers, sinking boats, nations putting up fences etc. I am certain he would have done it in a very believable and hard hitting way that might have given us more insight into the horrible plight of people trying to access Europe that way and all the dangers they face. Giving characters the chance to just open a door and walk through to a safe European country feels like dodging the harsh reality.
Overall it was a well written book that I enjoyed reading but I don’t think it will stick in my memory. If anything, I feel puzzled by it. I’ll certainly read more of his books, but this one needed a stronger plot structure.
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary and revealing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 10, 2021
A book, a narrative of two lives, intertwined and fated. A book not of journeys, but destinations and consequences. An extraordinary book.
Hamid has deliberately avoided the obvious route of encapsulating the refugee experience, that of escape and journey. Instead he has chosen to focus on the state of displacement, of arrival, of the sense of detachment, unfamiliarity, intolerance and unacceptance.
The lives of Nadia and Saeed are enmeshed so tightly as they embark on their reluctant escape from a war torn, violent unnamed Middle Eastern city. But their journey is through a medium of doors…portals to destinations.
From the refugee camps of Mykonos to a bizzare, Dystopian almost Orwellian London – divided into Dark London (migrant and refugee) and Light London, purpose built satellite refugee encampments, and on to a new world on San Francisco’s Pacific coast.
Hamid reveals much of the psychological impact displacement, loss of home and family, uncertainty and the need for companionship the refugee experience must entail. But he focuses primarily on the relationship, the strain such displacement places on the seemingly unbreakable bonds between people.
At times a little disjointed, at times a little confusing, but overall a challenging and different insight into a troubled world and the displaced millions that have been forced to choose to inhabit it.
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