Exit West ~ by Mohsin Hamid x2

A second read for me because the Booker Group chose it for our December discussion and I read it in March of 2017, which is probably 250 books ago. So although I do remember it, much was fuzzy and because that’s the nature of the book anyway,  it was really fuzzy.  

This is dystopian fiction taking place in a time in the not too distant future when global warming has resulted in refugees from all over the world slipping into and out of one country or another. These migrants are being fought and attacked by police, soldiers, nativists and even each other as they huddle in groups in camps or abandoned mansions before they are either killed or escape by mysterious means. The world is a very dangerous place.  

Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid
2016 / 340 pages
read by Mohsin Hamid 4h 42m
rating 9  / contemp lit

Saeed, apparently Arab of some sort, and Nadia, probably from some Slavic country, meet and fall in love in Tokyo, but the situation becomes dangerous and Saeed’s mother dies.  Although they are not really to that point in their relationship, the pair flee the country,  with Saeed’s father’s blessing, and thanks to the mysterious doors which are a signature of the tale,  find themselves on the Greek island of Mykonos. then in London where they stay for some time.  There are quite a few Nigerians there as well as many other nationalities and they keep coming.  The couple moves from place to place in the London camps.  This apparently works out for many months, a year,  although the circumstances are always very tiring and  difficult.  Their relationship has not really survived the strains in a romantic way.  They’re getting older. 

There are other tiny stories told about other people in other parts of the world,  Tijuana and Amsterdam,  for instance.  It’s a world-wide problem including in the United States.

  Michiko Kakutani,  writing in the NY Times, says Hashim mixes global trouble with a bit of magic in some ways akin to C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and yes,  absolutely,  I see it.