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The Last White Man
The Last White Man: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
17 posts | 19 read | 22 to read
Gorgeously crafted, morally authoritative, The Last White Man concludes on a note of hope, a door jarred open just enough to let transcendence pour through, literatures mission incarnate. O, the Oprah Magazine From the New York Times bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anderss father and Oonas mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew. In Hamids lyrical and urgent prose (O Magazine), The Last White Man invites us to envision a future our future that dares to reimagine who we think we are, and how we might yet be together.
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review
BarbaraBB
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Mehso-so

Hamid‘s books are always a hit or miss for me and this one clearly was a miss. I couldn‘t connect to the style of the writing, the endless meandering sentences. And I did not really get the meaning of the book.
A man wakes up and his skin has turned dark and then all pale people turn dark. An interesting starting point for what could have been a poignant novel, but it felt detached and it didn‘t touch me the way it could have.

#ToB23Longlist

vivastory Too bad it didn't work for you. I have read only one Hamid book, which I did like: Exit West. Were you at the theater today? 5d
squirrelbrain Hmmm, I‘ve seen lots of mixed reviews for this. At least I‘m not planning on buying it, but I‘ll have a think about whether I actually want to read it…. Thanks for tagging me! 5d
sarahbarnes Thanks for your review of this one. I‘ve been on the fence about reading it and this makes me think I might hold off. 5d
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB @vivastory I liked Exit West too and The Reluctant Fundamentalist. I was at the movie theater. There was an international documentary festival, very interesting! 5d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @sarahbarnes I read some raving reviews too so it might just be me but it really did nothing for me! 5d
Megabooks Yes, yes, yes to that second paragraph! Great review! I wanted to love this but couldn‘t connect. 3d
Megabooks Also, I‘d love to go to an international documentary film fest with you! #FriendGoals 💜 3d
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I even found it hard to concentrate, imagine! And YES 🙌🏽 to #friendgoals ❤️ 3d
70 likes8 comments
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Karkar
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Mehso-so

Not sure what I think about this. Anyone else read this and what did you think?

SamAnne I absolutely loved his novel.Exit West. But agree, this one left me flat. Not well executed, story not fleshed out. I couldn‘t get invested in it. 7d
35 likes1 comment
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Twocougs
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Pickpick

One day a caucasian man wakes up and he has transformed into a brown man. Slowly his entire community transforms. Thought provoking and beautiful!

24 likes3 stack adds
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

A white man wakes up one morning to discover he is now brown. We then follow his efforts to adjust to this when, eventually, reports emerge of the same thing happening to other people. I really enjoyed most of this exploration of identity and assumptions, but I thought the end was a bit weak and I felt like there were some routes he could have taken to explore further that he didn‘t. Low pick for me.

ChaoticMissAdventures I felt the same. I wanted a bit more from it then what flushed out. 2mo
SamAnne Reading right now. Suspect I will feel the same. 2mo
FlowerFairy Your Afghan is lovely! 2mo
67 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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SamAnne
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One of my road trip reads today as we begin to head back north. I loved Exit West and am likening this one so far. Staying in SE Oregon‘s high desert tonight. Few places rejuvenate me more.

48 likes1 stack add
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

This is such an interesting premise. And the book itself is mostly about loss and grief. As always I love Hamid's writing, it is space but impactful.

I think he may have missed the mark a bit on the race issue in this, it didn't feel fully flushed out and I thought he could have gone deeper, but overall a truly gorgeous book.

I am not surprised but saddened at the amount of racist people on GR giving this 1 ⭐ childish and disgusting.

DisneyFan Stacked and I love your candle! 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @DisneyFan thanks! I hate the fall 🤣😂. I hope you enjoy this book it really is so good! 2mo
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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thereflectiveflaneur
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Pickpick

I loved Exit West and this new novel lives up to much of the promise of such a gifted writer. As a concept (the idea of skin colour and identity and relationships) this novel could be contrived and obvious, but Hamid‘s delicate and wonderful prose ensures the novel delves deeply but also soars above the page and lingers in your mind as you read. Heartfelt and genuine, I highly recommend this novel!

review
nathandrake1997
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Pickpick

On what should have been a regular morning, Anders, a white cis-hetero man, wakes up to find that his skin colour has changed to a darker tone. He finds this change so unfathomable that for the first few days he refuses to go to work. An absence he is granted rather easily inspite of his boss uttering empty threats like "you better be dead", because, according to his boss, he is still a white cis-hetero man....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Anders is so scarred by this change in skin tone that for the first few days, he even refuses to go on a grocery run and instead survives on protein powder. The first person he comes out to about this change is his girlfriend Oona. Now, this coming out provokes an initial reaction of shock but gradually leads to a night of lovemaking.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This "coming out" instance is a comment on how while the tone of his skin colour has changed, he was once a white cis-hetero man and all thanks to his history of being white, the privileges associated with being white isn't something Anders has shed yet.
And that leads me to one of the prominent themes of Mohsin Hamid's latest Kafka-esqe novel THE LAST WHITE MAN. The theme being "privilege". Yes, privilege with double quotes....
3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Privilege is something which is so generatioanally and ubiquitously ingrained in our society that one feels that one can't notice it anymore unless highlighted. That's what Hamid's novel in a way is about, the highlighting of systematically ingrained privilege.... 3mo
See All 18 Comments
nathandrake1997 ....n order to understand Hamid's act of highlighting, one has to take in context what happens further in the novel. Gradually, more and more white cis-hetero people start changing their skin colour and initially when the ratio between white and "former white" is substantial, riots break out on a regular basis when white people desperately try to retain their "whiteness" and these attempts of retention often escalate to violence.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....But once the amount of "former white" people increases to the amount where almost the entire population turns into "former white", the violence dies down, since even though they were now of a different skin colour tone than they previously were, they probably acknowledge the fact that they were once white and hence, this transition to a "darker" skin tone is compatible with their bigoted lenses.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Towards the end of the novel, when Anders and Oona have a child, the only surviving grandparent, Oona's mother, teaches her grandchild about the "virtues of being white", because according to her, while the tone of their skin might have changed, they were still inherently "white" and that according to her is something that should be preserved and passed on to future generations..... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Now, this might make one contemplate that the novel exclusively focuses on "white" people and yes Hamid does that, but, maybe I'm reading into this too much, Hamid's intentional "white" focus mirrors the white "first world" focus of the current affairs of our times.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....For example, while the heatwave in the United Kingdom made headlines, did we see even a remotely close amount of coverage for the devastating floods in Pakistan? This is one of the many instances where Hamid comments on the state of the world through form.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Talking about form, this is quite a formally innovative novel with its innovations being understated to the point where one might not be aware of it first.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....For example, it took me a while to understand that the novel is written in these long, paragraph spanning sentences, because, especially in part one, each of these sentences is crammed with so much "event" that just like the characters, the reader also isn't given breathing space to contemplate what just transpired! 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....This initially gives the impression of the novel being overstuffed. But once part 2 begins and once the "event" driven paragraph spanning sentences give way to the "existential musings" kind of paragraph spanning sentences, the novel becomes a lot more contemplative and gives the reader the space they need to ponder upon what's on the page.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....A few sentences back, I called the novel's formal innovations of being of the subtle kind. An example of formal innovation in a subtle manner is the aforementioned lovemaking scene. While the novel is narrated otherwise in a third person manner, during that sequence, Hamid subtly shifts to a second person perspective wherein the prose talks about the reader's reaction to the lovemaking rather than describing the lovemaking itself.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Once the sequence is over, the prose slips back to third person narration and this is done in a manner so spellbindingly seamless that it actually made my jaw drop.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Now, coming back to the paragraph spanning sentences, these sentences feel like the prose equivalent of the visual grammar of a long take in a film. The language feels so inherently cinematic that one can't help but visualise everything from the word go.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....While some sentences feel like the chaotic long takes one would find in a Lijo Jose Pellisery or an Alfonso Cuaron film, some sentences feel like a more visually still long take, the kind of which one might find in an Abbas Kiarostami or an Andrei Tarkovsky film.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....The first few paragraphs of this write up might make the reader believe that I have given away too much of the plot and I admit, yes I have given away a bit too much, but inorder to provide context while talking about the themes of the novel, I felt it was essential to give parts of the plot away.... 3mo
nathandrake1997 ....Overall, Mohsin Hamid's latest is both topical and formally innovative and a novel I wish had made it to this year's Booker dozen! 3mo
BarbaraBB Very intriguing. I wasn‘t that interested in this book because of @Megabooks review but now I am again! #choices 3mo
13 likes1 stack add18 comments
review
Megabooks
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Mehso-so

Perhaps I went in with too high expectations for Hamid‘s take on The Metamorphosis. I just don‘t think he‘s an author I enjoy, and his flat affect reading the #audiobook didn‘t help. However, he does have a great imagination yet managed to make some very real points about social justice.

Overnight, Ander‘s skin has turned dark. As reports come in of more and more white people turning dark both societal and familial tensions come to a head.

BarbaraBB Hmmm. I loved some of his books but I am in no hurry to read this one. 3mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yeah, you may like this more than I did, but I wouldn‘t run out and buy it. (edited) 3mo
83 likes1 stack add2 comments
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AbstractMonica
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read, and I liked the concept. Anders is a white man that wakes up one day with dark skin. Eventually, more and more people are waking up with darker complexions. There‘s outrage amongst certain groups, and hate crimes are being committed. There was a lyrical/metaphorical style to the novel (which I didn‘t mind). I enjoyed the moods this book conveyed. It was both mournful & hopeful.

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AbstractMonica
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Only 11 pages in, but I like where this is going.

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shawnmooney
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#SundaySentence from Kevin Power‘s review of The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid in the Independent.

Lindy 😂 3mo
Cinfhen Hi Shawn ❤️Hope all is well 3mo
shawnmooney @Cinfhen OMG I have missed you❗️ I haven‘t quite come up for air enough to post Litsy-only content again since arriving back in Canada. What a huge transition. I hope you‘re doing fantastic and over the next couple days I‘m going to look at your most recent posts and comment thereupon!

Why don‘t you come visit me in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan then we can make tipsy videos and Litsy posts together? 🕺🏼😜🥰
3mo
29 likes4 comments
review
Decalino
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Mehso-so

This was an intriguing concept: white people wake up to find their hair, skin & eyes have become dark overnight. Unfortunately, the story is told in such a mannered, stylized way that I felt constantly distracted & annoyed. Nearly every paragraph is a long sentence, comma splice after comma splice, ad nauseam. I had to mentally add periods & the occasional semi-colon just to finish it. But it was short, and an interesting idea, so there's that.

Decalino For reference, here's a review from NPR, with a sample paragraph: https://www.npr.org/2022/08/09/1116137982/the-last-white-man-mohsin-hamid-review 3mo
12 likes1 comment
review
BookwormM
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Pickpick

#ARC #Netgalley #LastWhiteMan

Well this was certainly a weird one to read.

Rather like Kafka‘s Metamorphoses the narrator is at first horrified to find his body changed overnight however as the book progresses he and society come to accept that this is the new normal.

If you like fiction that packs a punch and is weird and out there go for it.

Full review here https://thereadersroom.org/2022/08/14/the-last-white-man-by-mohsin-hamid/

BarbaraBB I loved some of his books. Not sure about this one but your review is tempting 3mo
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Floresj
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Pickpick

Excellent idea for a book. I think Hamid skipped through the middle a little too quickly but I think it‘s because I wanted to read more of his writing ….the premise of people changing color and society‘s reactions, a love story and aging parents that it‘s surprising all that was captured in such a short novel. Great book.

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Christine
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Pickpick

Loved this. Brilliant and emotional and connects in layering ways to much of what society has been going through in recent years (re: race, yes, but other stuff, too). So much to discuss in relatively few pages. Adored the writing style, though I didn‘t know if I would at first. Grateful for a print copy of this from Riverhead, bc I otherwise likely would have tried in audio and am not sure I would have loved it as much that way. Out tomorrow!

43 likes1 stack add
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PNWBookseller85
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Pickpick

This book floored me. It‘s written in this dreamlike way and touches so intimately on what it means to be human, universally. It‘s somehow so incredibly hopeful. It‘s the book we all need right now. I really haven‘t been so moved by a novel in such a long time.

By the author of Exit West - out August 2nd. Stack it. Read it. It‘s incredible.

BarbaraTheBibliophage I loved Exit West and can‘t wait for this one. Was hoping to get approved in NetGalley but 😭😭 didn‘t. 5mo
PNWBookseller85 @BarbaraTheBibliophage not long to wait now at least!! Wish I had extra copies to send you. I‘m passing this one to a coworker. 5mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @PNWBookseller85 That‘s very sweet. No worries! 5mo
BarbaraBB I‘m stacking immediately! I loved 5mo
80 likes7 stack adds4 comments