Exit West

Exit West

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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, thrust into 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 violence and the threat of violence escalate, 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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Riverhead Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9780735212176
Branch Call Number: FIC Hamid
Characteristics: 231 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 17, 2018

A book about an apocalypse that is not cataclysmic but seeps into life and creates "norms" that are bizarre. Saeed and Nadia leave the crisis of their own country for an unknown place by stepping through a "door" that drops them into other places around the world. The parallels to the immigrant crisis in Europe and England are strong but the story is intelligent and compelling and not a simple statement.

DPLjennyp Mar 09, 2018

Sparse and beautiful story of a relationship forged in dangerous times.

Feb 07, 2018

In addition to many positive comments on world migration, I found this book to be rich in metaphors.
Subject, of course, to interpretation, yet for me, the 'doors' signified the paths we take on our journey through life and possible outcomes. There were many other instances, that would be significant to the reader. Beautifully described interludes of location with deep exploration of relationships. Perhaps, as a very senior senior, I found it a profound overview of life, and the transition of interpersonal relationships. It was like a tapestry with woven threads defining the big picture.

Jan 25, 2018

Man Booker short list. This is a timely novel for 2018, about migration and its effects. It is hopeful in the end.

AL_ANDREW Dec 11, 2017

Powerful, poignant, prose-driven novel.

Oct 08, 2017

In some ways an allegorical novel, it is the story of Saaed and Nadia deciding to leave their home in unnamed majority Muslim city torn apart by violence through one of the magical doorways that serve as portals to other, hopefully safer places. It is a migrant story but also the story of the human condition, "we are all migrants through time". The story of how some people evolve from migration and some cling harder to the past. It asks how bad would conditions in your home have to get before you took the plunge to another uncertain fate? It asks is the current system of nations sustainable and/or the best system? It asks what are "nativists" so afraid of. It is simply fabulous

Sep 19, 2017

This is a book that is written for world current events. What happens when the immigrants seem to take over the world…moving to countries and creating a new lifestyle for the world. I found it a creepy book, yet I couldn’t put it down. This book brings up as many questions as answers. If you are a member of a book club and want a thought-provoking book I recommend this. What if…..

Sep 16, 2017

This book is not an easy read and certainly not entertaining but rather political and, at times, philosophical. The author created a weird cocktail of sexuality and war, death and romance, hardships and weed smoking. A few narratives that sounded intriguing led nowhere and some of the topics mentioned above didn't help to explain a serious and controversial topic of mass migration to Europe that the world has witnessed within the last few years. I did finish this book but it was challenging to keep my involvement with it.

Aug 23, 2017

The opening of the story echoes my own experiences of living in the Middle East during troubled times. It does not matter where the story has been set if your culture has had it too good for too long then the disruption that follows change can feel like this. I think this is extremely well written but clearly not everyone's taste, very good, viva la difference.

Aug 09, 2017

Saeed and Nadia meet and fall in love in the most ordinary way, but theirs will not be an ordinary love story because their country is torn by militant factions. Their escape through a ‘door’ is the first hint doors will be a recurring metaphor in this book looking at refugees and their relationships to other people they’ll encounter across time and space.

Very inventive, read in one setting. Recommended as much for the writing as the story. You seldom get to read writing as good as this.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WPL

To Top