Exit West

A Novel
Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
Length: 4 hrs and 42 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (2,852 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a love story that unfolds across the rapidly changing face of a volatile world.

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....

Exit West follows these remarkable characters 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.

©2017 Mohsin Hamid (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The narrator's style is purposeful, measured, and dramatic. Each chapter leaves the listener waiting to hear what will happen next." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Exit West

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Where to Live?

Exit West offers a provocative look at the choices people make when their cities succumb to extremist violence. Saeed and Nadia, who want to get on with their ordinary but romantic lives in an unnamed country, find their jobs lost, their families sundered, their homes threatened by the growing street violence around them. They choose to escape, finding themselves in one affluent Western country after another. They live in impoverished refugee areas, struggling to get by and to maintain their love.

The novel was beautifully written. Mohsin Hamid does a competent job reading his own work. His tone is flat, as if he were deliberately repressing his anger and even rage at the way the world is harming his honorable young characters.

But authors should not read their own works. A professional actor would have brought more energy, more subtlety and more feeling to the novel. Nevertheless, an excellent listening experience.

28 people found this helpful

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Great book, horrible narrator

I appreciate when authors want to narrate their own books, but at some point the sound engineer should have woke up from the coma this guy's voice probably put him in and suggest getting a professional. The entire reading is as droning and single note as can be, nothing is given emphasis or any kind of emotion at all. Every now and then the voice will start a sentence or even thr first bit of a paragraph a bit louder than normal as if he had gotten some sleep and was finally awake, but this never lasts and he quickly sinks back into the drone.
If you don't need the audio book, I highly recommend sticking with the print version and do this good book justice.

28 people found this helpful

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very good

pace was a little slow but overall great book. really like that the story focuses on the young refugees relationship, not the political issues forcing them to leave their country.

5 people found this helpful

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interesting for a while

I thought this book was interesting until about 3/4 of the way through when things just sort of fell apart for the characters. I was interested in the two main characters' journey and the refugee aspect, but then there was no climatic action, and it just sort of drifted to an end. the narration was ok, but the dialogue had no distinction, and it was sort of like just reciting the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • KP
  • 03-31-17

Notice the Doors

Exit West was beautifully written. It seemed like an allegory about immigration. Although Saeed and Nadia were the main immigrants, Hamid beautifully captured the experiences of just about ALL immigrants. It is his contention, in this book, that we ALL are immigrants in one sense or another. He demonstrates this by interspersing very short anecdotes that are unrelated to the main plot. These anecdotes seem to add up to a picture of the scope and variety of immigrants and immigration. A couple of these anecdotes didn’t really make much sense to me, but if I view them ALL as examples of immigration pure and simple, then a picture of the vastness of his definition for immigration emerges. In fact, it seems that almost any movement in space and through a door or portal could be construed as immigration according to Hamid. He uses the symbol of a door throughout the book to stand for various movements both in and out of any situation… thus immigration. This inclusivity serves to make the reader feel a part of the situation involving immigration in the world today, which is what I think Hamid was trying to do.

Not only does he do a good job of making the reader aware of the vastness of the immigration situation, he beautifully conveys male/female relationships through the progression of Saeed and Nadia’s partnership. His descriptions of their relationship are achingly beautiful, I thought. In fact , his descriptions of other relationships throughout the book are beautifully conveyed, as well.

It is a well written book that also carries a very timely message.

9 people found this helpful

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insightful

An insightful captivating glimpse of a brave new world with doors that almost instantaneously change life. A hopeful look at our world today.

4 people found this helpful

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Utter drivel

I can’t believe this book won the Booker prize. It started off with promise and I was intrigued about where the story would go but then it fell flat and got worse from there. The writing style was annoying.”he went up the mountain and she went up the mountain with him. He came down the mountain and she came down the mountain so they came down together”. It was a waste of time and of a credit.

8 people found this helpful

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Such an intriguing idea for a plot

Maybe it was the author/narrator 's flat tone that kept me from getting on board with the plot yet it wasn't just the plot that kept from liking it, I just didn't find it very engaging. I could put it down too easily.

2 people found this helpful

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Stirring, exquisitely written.

Lilting prose, wise insights into the human condition. juxtaposes unreconcilablecontradictions to great effect.

Pauses and teaches as he narrates.
Mr. Hamid: please keep writing!
With respect,
Marta Resnikov Reisman

8 people found this helpful

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Did not live up to the hype

I had heard a lot of great things about this book but it really didn't live up to it. The characters and storyline are largely forgettable, and the fantasy element (which is what made the book sound unusual and special) was similarly a let down.

1 person found this helpful