PositiveThe Washington PostAslam is at his best when he writes about the hopes and fears, the dreams and desires of characters like Nargis. But at times, he seems overly keen to include as many topical snippets as possible, resulting in frequent narrative detours ... That said, The Golden Legend is a powerful and timely comment on the precarious state of religious minorities in Pakistan, and is an honest mirror to the Pakistani state and society. If Pakistanis finds their reflection a bit too ugly, they should know whom to blame.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesHamid graphically explores a fundamental and important ontological question: Is it possible for us to conceive of ourselves at all, except in juxtaposition to an 'other'? ... Apart from being an honest meditation on love and prejudice, Exit West is one of the pithiest and most powerful comments on the contemporary zeitgeist because it is deliberately noncommittal: Should Saeed and Nadia — and, by implication, their real-life analogs — exit to, or from, 'West'? ... What is remarkable about Hamid’s narrative is that war is not, in fact, able to marginalize the 'precious mundanity' of everyday life. Instead — and herein lies Hamid’s genius as a storyteller — the mundanity, the minor joys of life, like bringing flowers to a lover, smoking a joint, and looking at stars, compete with the horrors of war.