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Exit West Audiobook

Exit West: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, March 2017 - Set in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration, Exit West follows Saeed and Nadia, a young middle-class couple in an unnamed country. As their city collapses around them, they are forced to join a wave of migrants fleeing for their lives. But their journey is not what you'd expect. To escape, they decide to seek out one of the doors they've been hearing about, portals to another, safer part of the planet. Using these doorways to exit conflict zones, people emerge in Western societies. While magical and almost fairy-tale like, this novel is sharply modern - where social media is a prime source of information and drones fill the sky. There is also no fluff in the language - the story is told by a detached observer, which is perfectly captured in author/narrator Mohsin Hamid's beautifully measured performance. Spare yet rich, fanciful yet scarily realistic, Exit West brings home the very personal and human struggles people face as refugees. —Tricia, Audible Editor

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

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (619 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ron Mellencamp 04-04-17 Member Since 2017
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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

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    Taylor Miller 03-31-17
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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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-25-17
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    David STAMFORD, CT, United States 04-04-17
    David STAMFORD, CT, United States 04-04-17 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Larisa Pearlman 03-16-17 Member Since 2016
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Two Fathoms where in the world are you? 03-14-17
    Two Fathoms where in the world are you? 03-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "a wonderful meditation on migrancy"

    This is a wonderful novel by one of the best novelists. And the narration, done by Hamid himself, is excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    emankcin 04-11-17
    emankcin 04-11-17 Member Since 2016
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Marisol Ramirez 04-10-17
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    "Beautiful book!"

    Wow! I was really moved by this book! Didn't want it to end. The narrator (also the author) did a fantastic job! Very compelling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 03-31-17
    KP Oakland, CA 03-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    William K. Conover WI 04-04-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Compelling and true, with a magical realism twist"

    Hamid compassionately tells the story of a whole world on the move, refugees, migrants in place and time. Through the journey and arc of relationship between Said and Nadiya. Ultimately a realistic evocation of the world future we face with collapse of the worlds political and climatic systems, with an ending that is both "plausible and desirable," a way forward through the falling apart.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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