Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Exile” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  147 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A downtown Baudelaire of the '90s: that's what New York poet Mark West used to be. Now, at thirty-one, locked in a perpetual adolescence, he's slipping. Even when he takes an artist-in-residence position at a small Oregon college, he finds himself still sleeping with strange women and seeking momentary oblivion in drugs. But when he returns to Manhattan with a new book ide ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 11th 1997 by Scribner (first published June 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Exile, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Exile

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 234)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 20, 2008 Patrick rated it liked it
Shelves: 2001
Pretty good Holden Caufield-in-his-mid-thirties kind of thing. Aging bad-boy who is still coasting on his one published book gets a job teaching at a small college and continues trying to live like he's 20.
Gene Wagendorf III
Sep 25, 2007 Gene Wagendorf III rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: A cynic looking for a good story
Shelves: fiction
Blake Nelson is standing one the line between good writer and good storyteller. His use of language is enough. Never over the top, never lacking, but at the same time, never spectacular. His strength lies in his ability to create believable and sympathetic characters (many times with utterly reprehensible qualities) and put them into engaging situations. The man is, for sure, a snotty little cynic, but it comes off with enough humor to work. Exile follows a struggling, drug abusing New York poet ...more
Paul Anson
Jul 29, 2008 Paul Anson rated it it was ok
man, i wanted to like this. I wish i hadn't read any reviews while i was reading. made all the stinging problems so much more glaring. if you're going to write about portland: please don't change the names of our landmarks. i don't get it. Satyricon by any other name is half as seedy.
Nov 26, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Exile was pretty different and a little wacky for me (at least at the moment). But I enjoy Blake Nelson's writing very much. I was put off by the main character at many points, but that was probably what Nelson was getting at. Glad to have read another one of his books. :)
Nov 17, 2009 Lesley rated it it was ok
Interesting take on what "success" means in poetry (or the artistic life in general). In the middle I really hated the main character... but it was interesting enough to keep on to the end. Hysterical scene near the end depicting a radio interview.
Angela Aubergine
Feb 25, 2014 Angela Aubergine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
I love slipping into Blake Nelson's world. Short fast read. I've been reading his books for 20 years. It's always like going home with his books. His characters become my friends. bits an pieces of them will be with me for the rest of my life.
Jul 28, 2011 Kacie added it
I was actually a big fan of this book. The whole drug-abusing, tortured artist thing really appeals to me for whatever reason. There were times when I really didn't like Mark, but mostly I did. I would probably read it again.
Amy P.
Apr 21, 2011 Amy P. rated it it was ok
He probably should have saved himself the time it took him to write this book. He's such an excellent writer that I don't feel this book really highlights his talent. However, if you are a Blake Nelson fan, it is worth reading.
Oct 10, 2010 Aaron rated it liked it
Another story about a tortured artist who sort of comes to find meaning in his life while doing a lot of drugs and having a bit of sex.
Dec 29, 2007 Jen rated it liked it
When I first read this book, I decided I didn't like it. But I've read it several more times and it's kinda grown on me.
Dec 03, 2008 Shaun rated it really liked it
I like how dark this book is. Basically a slacker story of a guy who just can't get it together.
Oct 05, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
This story is about an aging hipster in Portland. Yawn.
Jan 17, 2010 Joseph rated it did not like it
BookDB marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
Carolyn marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Jay added it
Jun 02, 2016
Nicole Gauss
Nicole Gauss marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Jackie Moore
Jackie Moore rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2016
Karen added it
Jun 02, 2016
Catie marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Stefanie Kowalski
Stefanie Kowalski marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2016
Genevieve marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2016
Kiersten rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2016
Sandra Pfeifer
Sandra Pfeifer marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
Chris Koch
Chris Koch rated it it was ok
Jun 15, 2016
Botaniker rated it it was ok
Feb 01, 2016
Ridge Briel
Ridge Briel marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2015
Amanda Ramos
Amanda Ramos marked it as to-read
Oct 25, 2015
Richa marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2015
Jordi Hayes
Jordi Hayes marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Truck Stop Rainbows
  • Trying Hard to Hear You
  • The Butterflies of Grand Canyon
  • Incubus
  • Red Eye, Black Eye
  • From Rockaway
  • Teenagers from Mars
  • White City Blue
  • Love Child
  • Outside Providence
  • Jokes and the Unconscious: A Graphic Novel
  • The Houdini Girl
  • Bright Angel Time
  • Endangered Species (Lost, #1)
  • Unlubricated
  • Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
  • Like a Splinter in Your Mind
  • Sweetwater
Blake Nelson grew up in Portland, Oregon. He began his career writing short humor pieces for Details Magazine.

His first novel GIRL was originally serialized in SASSY magazine and was made into a film staring Selma Blaire and Portia De Rossi.

His novel PARANOID PARK won the prestigious International Grinzane Literary Award and was made into a film by Gus Van Sant.

His most recent Young Adult novel
More about Blake Nelson...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »