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Exit West

A Novel
Autor: Mohsin Hamid
Sprecher: Mohsin Hamid
Spieldauer: 4 Std. und 42 Min.
4 out of 5 stars (19 Bewertungen)

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Beschreibung von Audible

Editors Select, March 2017 - Set in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration, Exit West follows Saeed and Nadia, a young middle-class couple in an unnamed country. As their city collapses around them, they are forced to join a wave of migrants fleeing for their lives. But their journey is not what you'd expect. To escape, they decide to seek out one of the doors they've been hearing about, portals to another, safer part of the planet. Using these doorways to exit conflict zones, people emerge in Western societies. While magical and almost fairy-tale like, this novel is sharply modern - where social media is a prime source of information and drones fill the sky. There is also no fluff in the language - the story is told by a detached observer, which is perfectly captured in author/narrator Mohsin Hamid's beautifully measured performance. Spare yet rich, fanciful yet scarily realistic, Exit West brings home the very personal and human struggles people face as refugees. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Inhaltsangabe

From the internationally best-selling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a love story that unfolds across the rapidly changing face of a volatile world.

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet - sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors - doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through....

Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

©2017 Mohsin Hamid (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Kritikerstimmen

"The narrator's style is purposeful, measured, and dramatic. Each chapter leaves the listener waiting to hear what will happen next." ( AudioFile)

Hörerbewertungen

Bewertung

Gesamt

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sprecher

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    7
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    3
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    6
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    1
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Geschichte

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    5
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  • Gesamt
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    2 out of 5 stars

Highly praised but disappointing

I read this book because I'd seen some very positive reviews, but it did not live up to my expectations. The two main characters are flat and uninteresting, and their relationship is clearly supposed to attract the reader's interest, but it's anything but compelling.

But that's not my biggest complaint; I wasn't looking for a convincing romance. In fact, I was primarily interested in the way that this novel represented migration and refugees. Unfortunately, it was disappointing in that respect, as well. There have been a lot of significant literary works dealing in subtle ways with the recent refugee crisis, but this book is not one of them. It essentially transports the current reality into a very slightly different future, which is not all that different from the present except for two things: first, the crises that the world is currently confronting (climate change, military conflict, inadequate support for refugees) have become more acute; and second, there are some magical doors that allow people to teleport from one place to another, but only sometimes, and via a mechanism that remains unexplained. Apparently this minor attempt at magical realism is supposed to add to the interest of this novel, but actually it carries surprisingly little weight, and only means that the actual struggle of many refugees to reach their intended destination is completely elided. Fleeing to a new country seems a lot easier when you can do it through a secret door in the back of a bar.

In addition to this unsatisfying attempt to represent the situation of refugees, this book simply fails in stylistic terms. The audiobook is read by the author, which is always a risk, but personally I didn't object to his reading voice, and I don't think it would have been better with another reader. The problem is on the level of the sentence. This is obviously an author who wants very badly to sound like he has something important to say. You can tell that, for instance, by the fact that he always uses the conjunction "for" instead of "because." To take an example that's not directly from the book, but close enough: "He concluded that the time had come to proceed homeward, for the sun had begun to set." Now, what does that sentence actually mean? It means that he decided to go home, because the sun was setting. I have no objection to literary flair, but it has to be earned. This novel reaches for an elevated tone, but the author seems unable to distinguish between the passages that require it and those that would be better off without it. The pretentious tone often clashes with long passages about mundane topics like people trying to find chargers for their cell phones. Yes, these mundane things are also part of the experience that many refugees confront. But if they aren't told in a compelling way, then they're nothing but mundane. I was surprised by how flat and insignificant many passages of this book felt -- not because what was happening in them seemed unimportant to the characters, but because the author had failed to make either the characters or the events engaging. I have nothing against some fine-grained realism if it's done well, but at some point we move from the realistic to the quotidian to the tedious. Unfortunately, the last of those describes this novel the best.

  • Gesamt
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    4 out of 5 stars

A narration of possibilities

The story of a couple that comes together in difficult times and is then followed when new possibilities of escape open up.
A strange book in the way it is consistently narrated broadly, like in the beginning of a tale, but throughout the book.
A study of humans have to overcome tribalism, but also of the inner workings of a couple in tight spaces physically and in a tight corner as life situation. The responses of fear and grief, while life goes on.
3.5/5

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

Love during wartime

"The apocalypse appeared to have arrived and yet it was not apocalyptic, which is to say that while the changes were jarring they were not the end, and life went on, and people found things to do and ways to be and people to be with, and plausible desirable futures began to emerge, unimaginable previously, but not unimaginable now, and the result was something not unlike relief."

Beautiful and haunting story, set nowhere and everywhere in this volatile world of ours. Nothing is ever safe and nothing is ever final, and yet this open and uncertain future is not simply a threat to life as we know it, but becomes the source for new possibilities. One of the most moving audiobooks I have listened to in a long time.