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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Exit West written and read by Mohsin Hamid. 

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017

This is Nadia. She is fiercely independent, with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night. 

This is Saeed. He is sweet and shy and kind to strangers. He also has a balcony but he uses his for stargazing. 

This is their story: a love story, but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow. Saeed and Nadia are falling in love, and their city is falling apart. Here is a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it. Exit West is a heartfelt and radical act of hope - a novel to restore your faith in humanity and in the power of imagination. 

©2017 Mohsin Hamid (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Mixing the real and the surreal, using old fairy-tale magic.... Compelling, crystalline, unnervingly dystopian." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

What listeners say about Exit West

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Sadaat
  • 05-06-2018

Boring, cliched and poorly written

With all of three pages devoted to dialogue, this isn't a story of rich characters and interesting plot development, but a summary of events. The narrative is extremely predictable (it is almost as if the author cooked up the story by reading articles on the refugee experience) and at no point does one feel any empathy or understanding towards the characters. The book has so many problems it is hard to detail them all in one review.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam N
  • 13-03-2021

Everything about this is confused.

The book had so much potential and started off as such. I liked the fact that places where the protagonists came from were obscure and not stated; but the mentioning of so many others then seemed to negate the impact of the first choice.
As the story progresses, it seemed like the authorial intent itself becomes confused and the blending of genre just doesn’t work. The first section is a beautiful love story set against a backdrop of growing fear and tension wherein the listener anticipates a move towards refugees making a dangerous migration to safer pastures. The initial reference to magic doors, I thought would prove a metaphor for trafficking escape routes - imagine my confusion when it proves to be literal and the genre unfathomable shifts to some kind of futuristic sci-fi garble.
That is not to say I dislike sci-or or dystopian fiction - I love them too. My issue is that this is not a strength of the writer - there is no valid basis for which the listener can suspend reality and accept this. I desperately wanted to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • W
  • 23-01-2021

Good but depressing

Was quite good but very depressing look at lives of refugees in a fictional future.

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  • B. Hockley
  • 05-01-2021

An important & prophetic book for this decade?

How will refugees fare in the disruption of the coming decades? This personal story of two refugees fleeing war in an unnamed country for a better life in the West illustrates the economic, social and political pressures they and the populations they join might face as well as the universal struggles associated with being a human being living ones life.

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  • polly geltser
  • 14-03-2020

Great

Opens the heart and the mind, as great art should. An important and sensitive point of view of our rapidly changing world. Thank you

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Family Strudel
  • 02-02-2020

Beautiful book and amazing to hear the author

This is an amazing book, with beautiful language and highly original images and ideas.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-08-2019

simple and beautiful

magical fable of migration crisis we face today. simple and beautifully narrated love story. enjoyed!

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  • RebeccaL
  • 08-12-2018

Poetic dystopia

Beautiful, mysterious and tender. Poetic dystopia with a magical realism grounded in our world and the way it is changing.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Khanitez
  • 19-07-2018

A Tale of Two Halves

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half. It is almost two different tales intertwined together by two common characters. The second half did not feel real. The audio by the author was great.

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  • Madawi
  • 09-04-2018

Great potential

Its sort of disappointing to have this great ideas which could’ve made a great book but end up with a “goodish” one
It’s like the author have this extraordinary loom that have the potential to wave a magical flying carpet but he used it to produce an ordinary rug which can’t fly have nothing magical about it. But it’s still distinguishable because of the great tool used to make it.

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  • Heppie
  • 26-03-2018

Rather a strange story

What did you like best about Exit West? What did you like least?

I found this a difficult book to get into, and realised that it was somewhat fanciful. The narrator (although also the author) did not read it well, as it came across very stilted. I've managed to get hold of a library book to read it as well as it is one we're doing for our book club. Hoping it might be better read rather than listened to.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

struggling to answer this question...

What didn’t you like about Mohsin Hamid’s performance?

The stilted way he spoke

If this book were a film would you go see it?

no

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