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I'm a huge fan of Jorge Luis Borges, "The Labyrinth" is my all-time favorite short story, so I really enjoyed the mysterious passages that pull Hamid's main characters through his narrative. It was a heart wrenching window to a reality far from my own, and also highly relatable though Hamid's revelatory descriptions of the complexity of love and commitment in the face of life's challenges.
Excellent, sensitive novel, proves that often fiction tells a greater truth than nonfiction--in this case about the immigrant experience.
This book is timely in providing a brief glimpse into refugees from countries of conflict and their losses and hopes. I fell for the characters as they grew to know each other despite the trials of a country in civil war. A fantastic turn takes place as they become refugees in various countries with new cultures created by the emigres. Ill watch for the next book by this author.
Saeed and Nadia are two young people living their lives and falling in love- normal things that normal people do. Then the wars start and doors start opening and their lives are thrown into disarray. This elegantly written Science Fiction offering examines issues of migration, immigration, the refugee crisis, and how human nature seeks out love and family even in the darkest of times. This book was so beautiful, that even readers (like me!) who do not usually enjoy this genre, will be left touched by its gorgeous writing and relatable characters.
Ohio State 2018 list: https://www.osu.edu/alumni/news/ohio-state-alumni-magazine/issues/summer-2018/10-books-to-add-to-your-summer-reading-list.html
Very interesting blend of fantasy elements and a realistic look at the problems immigrants face when forced to leave their home country and attempt to assimilate into other cultures. The book does a good job of blending these elements into a character-centered story that keeps you interested in the young couple's plight. Very relevant to today's current cultural climate.
emigrants saeed and nadia
the world has opened itself up in a mysterious but beautiful way, as doors are appearing that transport anyone who walks through them to other parts of the world.
A powerful book about escaping from a country, relationships and how people change over time, adjusting to new places and people....with a touch of "magic" or science fiction. "Doors" can help people escape from one country to another. So many people have escaped that the places they land have changed socially too, with locals reacting negatively or fleeing the area. IN the end one country comes up with a novel solution. The main story follows the two protagonists and they meet, decide to escape together, and the experiences they go through in each place. It is a powerful, beautifully written book.
Important attempt by Mohsin to conjure up the horrifying circumstances that propel refugees to leave their homelands and seek asylum elsewhere. I chose this for Book Club and we had a great discussion, but I did find myself wishing I cared more about the two main characters. Their situation was frightening, but I didn't feel emotionally engaged by them and didn't find their relationship credible or compelling. The suggestion that refugees can slip into new worlds via the internet/social media/phones/black rectangles was interesting - some in the group I was with found the magic hokey or confusing. Important book to read as our country drifts toward xenophobia. But if "Show, don't tell" is still the rule for fiction - and I think it is - this book got a bit too tell-y as it went on.
Beautifully written and bittersweet, a true human story not isolated to the experiences of war and immigration. This book made me think and feel in new ways.
Beautifully told with fluid writing. A touch of magic but the story is still very relevant and real. Timely and thought provoking.
Exit West is an incredible insight on the refugee experience - an experience most of us will never know first hand. The writing is quite striking, so much so that I found myself copying down certain passages to hold on to and remember. I was expecting a more sci-fi/fantasy aspect to the storyline, but enjoyed it nevertheless.
I think readers that pick up Exit West expecting either fantasy or a war story will be disappointed (in fact, if you can avoid reading the synopsis, please do). If you approach this novel without those expectations, you'll find a subtle but powerful story about seeking refuge from conflict within a relationship. The doorways in this novel are a small magical concession within an otherwise achingly realistic story about a romance that intensifies quickly under the thumb of war, and two people who have to find themselves - and each other - within the context of an entirely new world.
It's a story about immigration but it is also a love story. A story about humanity. It is sad and tragic and beautiful and it filled up both my heart and my head.
A book about an apocalypse that is not cataclysmic but seeps into life and creates "norms" that are bizarre. Saeed and Nadia leave the crisis of their own country for an unknown place by stepping through a "door" that drops them into other places around the world. The parallels to the immigrant crisis in Europe and England are strong but the story is intelligent and compelling and not a simple statement.
Sparse and beautiful story of a relationship forged in dangerous times.
In addition to many positive comments on world migration, I found this book to be rich in metaphors.
Subject, of course, to interpretation, yet for me, the 'doors' signified the paths we take on our journey through life and possible outcomes. There were many other instances, that would be significant to the reader. Beautifully described interludes of location with deep exploration of relationships. Perhaps, as a very senior senior, I found it a profound overview of life, and the transition of interpersonal relationships. It was like a tapestry with woven threads defining the big picture.
Man Booker short list. This is a timely novel for 2018, about migration and its effects. It is hopeful in the end.
Powerful, poignant, prose-driven novel.
In some ways an allegorical novel, it is the story of Saaed and Nadia deciding to leave their home in unnamed majority Muslim city torn apart by violence through one of the magical doorways that serve as portals to other, hopefully safer places. It is a migrant story but also the story of the human condition, "we are all migrants through time". The story of how some people evolve from migration and some cling harder to the past. It asks how bad would conditions in your home have to get before you took the plunge to another uncertain fate? It asks is the current system of nations sustainable and/or the best system? It asks what are "nativists" so afraid of. It is simply fabulous
This is a book that is written for world current events. What happens when the immigrants seem to take over the world…moving to countries and creating a new lifestyle for the world. I found it a creepy book, yet I couldn’t put it down. This book brings up as many questions as answers. If you are a member of a book club and want a thought-provoking book I recommend this. What if…..
This book is not an easy read and certainly not entertaining but rather political and, at times, philosophical. The author created a weird cocktail of sexuality and war, death and romance, hardships and weed smoking. A few narratives that sounded intriguing led nowhere and some of the topics mentioned above didn't help to explain a serious and controversial topic of mass migration to Europe that the world has witnessed within the last few years. I did finish this book but it was challenging to keep my involvement with it.