Book Review: The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

Synopsis

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 Anders’s father and Oona’s 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.

About The Author

Mohsin Hamid writes regularly for The New York Times, the Guardian and the New York
Review of Books, and is the author of Exit West, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moth Smoke,
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and Discontent and its Civilizations. Born and mostly
raised in Lahore, he has since lived between Lahore, London and New York.

My Thoughts

Firstly, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising the your and proving me a copy of the book with a request for an honest review.

Every now and again, I read a book which makes me want to abandon my career and go back to university to do that masters in comparative literature that I’ve always wanted to do. The Last White Man was such a book. I don’t feel like I can do the profound themes justice in this blog review.

The Last White Man is a phenomenal exploration of race. The book digs deep, in only 180 pages, to examine how race is tied to our own identity and the way others view us. What struck me was how when Anders skin turned dark, it was like others thought his personality had changed too. The book challenged your perception of the intersection between race, self and perspective which really made me think.

The long and languid sentences, with an abundance of commas, was initially off-putting for me. However, as I continued to read, the book took on an immersive quality and the lyricism of the prose was reminiscent of verbal storytelling, adding to the sense of The Last White Man being a commentary about society today. I feel this would work well as an audiobook – if you are prepared to pay attention to really absorb the power of Hamid’s writing.

If you enjoy literary fiction particularly about race and identity, I would highly recommend this book to you!

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