Alena's Reviews > Exit West

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
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really liked it

What an interesting read. I’ve read MANY stories of migration and displacement, but nothing quite like this that felt so intimate and quiet. I admit there were a couple of points I was taken by surprise as the writing moved from intensely realistic to periods of suspension of time and physics. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it magical realism, but more in the vein of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad - I had to just suspend my disbelief a little wider to catch the groove.

At its core this is just a story of what it is to be human, to love, to show courage, to evolve. As the author states so eloquently, “We are all migrants through time.”
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Reading Progress

April 25, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 25, 2017 – Shelved
September 26, 2021 – Started Reading
September 26, 2021 –
page 23
9.96% "Nadia selected a record, an album sung by a long-dead woman who was once an icon of a style that in her American homeland was quite justifiably called soul, her so-alive but no longer living voice conjuring up from the past a third presence in a room that presently contained only two, and asked Saeed if he would like a joint, to which he fortunately said yes, and which he offered to roll."
September 28, 2021 –
page 44
19.05% "Saeed was grateful for Nadia’s presence, for the way in which she altered the silences that descended on the apartment, not necessarily filling them with words, but making them less bleak in their muteness."
October 2, 2021 –
page 72
31.17% "she felt a steel in herself which she knew meant she would have washed them anyway. What she was doing, what she had just done, was for her not about frivolity, it was about the essential, about being human, living as a human being, reminding oneself of what one was, and so it mattered, and if necessary was worth a fight."
October 2, 2021 –
page 79
34.2% ", and when the tension receded there was calm, the calm that is called the calm before the storm, but is in reality the foundation of a human life, waiting there for us between the steps of our march to our mortality, when we are compelled to pause and not act but be."
October 3, 2021 – Finished Reading

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