Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Exit West

Exit West Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For my second Mohsin Hamid book, I picked his latest - on Aimal Farooq's recommendation, just like with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Rather similarly to that book, Exit West is short and lyrical. Unlike TRF, this book is very low-key, not so much a geopolitical thriller, but very much rooted in magical realism. It follows two young lovers, Saeed and Nadia, as they escape their war-torn home and migrate around the world, going a little further west each time. Greece, Austria, England...and then, finally, about as far west as they can go, to the San Francisco suburb of Marin City. Along the way, they keep running into more of the same kinds of trouble - refugee problems, war following them wherever they go, the works. Though this book feels like a short story padded to novella length with its run-on sentences and frequent interludes looking into happenings around the world that are pretty much disconnected from the main narrative of Saeed and Nadia, it's no less quick and addictive a read for it, and is very much worth a look for its unique, dreamlike feel.

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