For when we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind.
– MOHSIN HAMID
EXIT WEST BY MOHSIN HAMID- MY RATING: ★★★★
I love this book and honestly even if it’s a small book and a fast read, I think we need more readers for this kind of book. It’s a work of fiction of course but there is some magical realism into it. We follow the journey of Saeed and Nadia, yes there’s some romance starting but it’s a very deep relationship, where they need each to be connected emotionally and intellectually in a time of wars. The character development was amazing. What’s magical is the writing of Mohsin Hamid allows us to spread some magic dust on those two lovers as they struggle to survive the attacks.
In a time like the Trump presidency, this book offers us a really poignant perspective of immigrants and what refugees have to endure. But also, how they treat each other as humans and they care of each other even in the most desperate times. For a 200 pages book, I think he surpasses my expectations and got some very thought provoking quotes, that stays with you in your mind. You’ll be thinking about this book a year from now.
Exit West deals with so many themes at the same time from war to refugees, to nostalgia and freedom. What can we do as humans when we can’t control what is beyond our control? We can still find what’s beautiful : friendship, love, hope.
MEN WITHOUT WOMEN BY HARUKI MURAKAMI
MY RATING: ★★★
Men Without Men is my Murakami’s least favourite work. It’s a collection of short stories and I’m sorry to say this but I don’t like his writing style in this one. It’s kind of sad because you would automatically think that, like most of the popular authors, he lost that spark. And he did. The novels I read from him expelled subtle ennui , tackle with the taboos and the oddities of our daily lives. This one? Not so much. I get it that the main theme and focus of this book is loneliness and emptiness. All the stories feature different types of lonely men. But make it boring on purpose? Not a very good idea. I usually like to feel something, anything really when reading books. Men Without Women failed to deliver that.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed Men Without Women and it’s the only short story that has really made an impact in me. I think if you are interested in short stories about everyday lives and how we deal with relationships nowadays, this can be interested read.
That’s it for reviews today 😀 ! Did you read these books? Share your thoughts in the comment’s section below 😉
Thank you to Penguin Random House for giving me both books to review !
14 thoughts on “Books review: Exit West & Men Without Women”
I love Murakami and have read some of his book – too bad that this one isn’t as good as the other ones! As for Exit West, like I said, the cover of the book is AMAZING and I will definitely read that one in the future! Nice reviews Trang!
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The cover of Exit West IS SO COOL LOL I couldn’t take the little glitter on the cover BUT IT SHINES LIKE STARS 😍😍 Thank you for your kind words! I love Murakami too! What’s your favourite from him?
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I very much enjoyed ‘Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ also ‘After Dark’ was good! He’s a great writer and I love his writing style – he has a nice way with words.
Excellent reviews Trang! I am so glad I opted for Exit West as my Book of the Month pick a couple months ago. This one just seems right up my ally & the Magical Realism & relevance as it pertains to the current political climate, only adds to the appeal. It is a short book so maybe it’s time for me to give it ago honestly. Happy reading 😃💕
Exit West sounds like the sort of title that might easily be overlooked but should not! I am adding it to my tbr now. And if there is even a hint of magical realism, well count me in. I do not encounter too many books with magical realism, and this would be a first that touched on such important issues. Lovely reviews Trang ❤
I’m so happy to read your thoughts on Haruki Murakami’s new book because all the reviews on Goodreads are like… Not in English 😭
Great reviews Trang! I really want to read Exit West, so you’ve made me even more eager to pick it up now!
I’ve only read one book by Murakami but this latest one intrigues me, even just from the title. But I think I’ll try his other books before reading this one!
Great review for both of these books Trang. I’ve been seeing a lot of Exit West around but before your review never really check out the blurb. However all I had to read of your review was that there was some magical realism in this book and I knew it just had to go onto my to-read list! 😀
I really want to read Exit West but I want to hype to die down a bit. I don’t usually do very well with hyped up books i get my hopes up too high and then I don’t think I enjoy them as much as I would have.
I really want to read Exit West!! And I’m not a huge fan of Murakami, but I love short stories… what to do?!
Romance done well? You have me interested 🙂 But I’m happy Exit West is much more than just a love story and it sounds so good! I sometimes have issues reading about current problems as I feel I can’t take a step back and really think about the whole picture, but it’s also important to read more about subjects that make our lives what it is now. Fab review!
Love these reviews!! I really like the sound of Exit West- it sounds so poignant and beautiful 🙂 I’ve only read Norwegian Wood by Marukami and wasn’t crazy about it (one of those “not for me, but I get why other people like it” kind of books)- but since you didn’t like this one and you’re a fan, I’ll know to steer especially clear! 😉