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Exit West by Moshin Hamid

34501666 (1)Genre : Fantasy-Romance

Theme : Romantic Magical Realism

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The summary : 

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.

My thoughts :

Short Review : A brutal book that doesn’t really have a lot of fantasy elements even though it’s classified as magical realism .

The book is basically about a young couple and their relationship . The book explores how the migrations change who they are . With a great deal of history between them , they cling to each other even as they turn into different people .

That is probably why the book wasn’t for me . Maybe it’s just me though . Don’t read this review on and go buy that thing right now if you think you like sweet love stories that lack sentimentality about two people whose lives are affected by things out of their control . Like do you like books set in war times that also use crazy ways for the protagonists to escape the chaos ? Then this is for you .

If you’re not , here’s my rant . The worst part of my experience with reading this book is that I actually expected something that was MAGICAL . I mean , that book is classified as a fantasy , how was I to know it just uses magic as an excuse to do weird migrations ? Nobody warned me .

I also didn’t expect politics . Don’t get me , I did read the summary but that didn’t tell me that the whole story is based off that . While I do like books set in the middle of war and all -I really do like to be warned .

But I honestly brushed off all that and tried to enjoy the book . I really , really did . The book started out okay , with Hamid giving us a look into the life in Middle East  .I could’ve handled the book well , possibly , if there weren’t weird portals that made the escape from war easy for them . That’s a cheap and lazy way to quit thinking up a nice something . I mean , you’re really importing magic into your book so you can escape the pressure ? I don’t think that’s cool .

From the point where the portals kick in , I was impatient to get it done with . The writing and the style just kicked me in the stomach again and again -I’m surprised I’m not in the hospital .

Did I tell you I can’t get the relationship between the protagonists , either ? Their relationship is absurd ..I mean , it would’ve made sense if they were fourteen or something , but they’re adults and I did expect better . Where did that leave me ? Clinging to this stupid hope that they would grow up  . 

While I’m at it , may I also add again how stupid it was of the author to bring in those weird portals ? For most of this book , those lovers are travelling around and we’re shown strangers doing things . Like what was Hamid getting at ? I’m not reading this thing to know what strangers who are not connected to the plot are doing , right ? Wait , we’re indeed introduced to a dozen characters who are treated like dolls up at the stores .

I will add that this is just crazy little me . I can’t even go through those raving reviews about the awesomeness of this book . Someone bringing some water before I choke on those reviews .

 

 This book is available on amazon

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