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Exit West
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June 2018: Magical Realism > Exit West by Mohsin Hamid - 3 stars

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annapi | 5159 comments Nadia and Saeed meet and fall in love in an unnamed country (which sounds suspiciously like Syria) wracked by civil war. As their relationship blossoms, the war escalates around them until they begin to consider fleeing the country. They hear rumors of doors - strange doors that take people far away, even into other countries, for a price paid to the people who control these doors. Nadia and Saeed decide to take a risk and step through a door, which takes them to Greece.

What an interesting concept. The doors are merely an instrument which the author uses to transport his protagonists to an alien environment and see what it does to their relationship. It's also used as political and social commentary. While I enjoyed the writing overall, I wasn't keen on the lack of a plot once the couple go through the first door, because after that it just meandered along. Hamid has a way with words, but I did get somewhat tired of his run-on sentences that used comma after comma, with a sentence filling up a page and sometimes (it seemed to me - I was reading on a Kindle) spilling over to the next. I think he was probably doing it deliberately for effect, but I felt he did it too often.

I did enjoy this book, and I can see why this has garnered awards, but this type of writing is not really my cup of tea. I'm glad I was able to kill two birds with one stone and read this not just for the month's tag but also for the tribute to Denizen.


message 2: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 830 comments I have been wanting to read this book but thanks for the warning about the writing, I now know that I will need to be in a certain mood to enjoy it.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Interesting about the long sentences! I listened to this one on audio and honestly did not notice that as much as I am sure I would have if I would have read it in print. The audio was quite well done.

Just a tip for anyone considering a nonprint format for reading this one!


message 4: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments So glad someone else commented about the writing. I realle liked this book, but the writing also threw me off.

I wrote this in my review "The writing is flowy, almost fantasy-esque- but with more serious subject matter. It has a sense of confidence- reading like "this happened like this." "this character felt this". This is what made the experience less meaningful for me, and probably the reason for 4 stars instead of 5. The narration seemed detached from the characters somehow for me."


Booknblues | 6891 comments Nicole R wrote: "Interesting about the long sentences! I listened to this one on audio and honestly did not notice that as much as I am sure I would have if I would have read it in print. The audio was quite well d..."


I did not even notice it reading it. I think his prose is so beautiful that I was drawn into the book because of it.


Susie | 4488 comments I was the opposite and loved the writing. I generally like quirky or unconventional structures.


Booknblues | 6891 comments Susie wrote: "I was the opposite and loved the writing. I generally like quirky or unconventional structures."

Agreed, Susie. His writing made me think that i want to read everything he writes.


Susie | 4488 comments Have you read The Reluctant Fundamentalist Booknblues?


annapi | 5159 comments Joi wrote: "The narration seemed detached from the characters somehow for me...."

Yes, I thought that too! It was almost like stream of consciousness. I found it okay at first but eventually it made me restless and wanting more to happen in the story.


Booknblues | 6891 comments Susie wrote: "Have you read The Reluctant Fundamentalist Booknblues?"

I haven't and I so need to. I wish my real life TBR wasn't so big.


Susie | 4488 comments We need a few extra hours in each day that are solely dedicated to reading!


Nicole | 430 comments I just finished this, not thirty minutes ago, and I loved the sentence structure. It made the book flow, in a way. I imagine it’s very specific to the author.

I will say though, there were sentences I had to read twice to understand.


message 13: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen | 1545 comments annapi wrote: "Nadia and Saeed meet and fall in love in an unnamed country (which sounds suspiciously like Syria) wracked by civil war. As their relationship blossoms, the war escalates around them until they beg..."

Unrelated to this thread but... Check out the challenge page for the march madness challenge and then email me your address :)

Congrats!


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