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Extended Audio Sample Moth Smoke, by Mohsin Hamid Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,489 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mohsin Hamid Narrator: Satya Bhabha Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Through a brilliant array of perspectives, author Mohsin Hamid tells the story of one love-struck Daru Shezad who, when fired from his banking job, instantly removes himself from the ranks of Pakistan’s cell-phone-toting elite and plunges into a life of drugs and crime. But when a heist goes awry, Daru finds himself on trial for a murder he may or may not have committed. His uncertain fate mirrors that of Pakistan itself, animated by nuclear weapons and sapped by corruption.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] brisk, absorbing novel...Hamid steers us from start to finish with assurance and care.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Stunning…[Hamid] has created a hip page-turner about [his] mysterious country.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The most impressive of his gifts is the clear-sightedness of his look at the power structure of a society that has shifted from the old feudalism, based on birth, to the new Pakistani feudalism based on wealth.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “On the surface, Mohsin Hamid’s first novel, Moth Smoke, seems more domestic than political drama…But in a country like Pakistan, the personal and the political are difficult to separate…Hamid artfully weaves the subcontinent’s tragic history into his characters’ no-less-tragic present, rendering Moth Smoke a novel that resonates on many levels. “

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Fast-paced, intelligent.”

     New Yorker

  • “A first novel of remarkable wit, poise, profundity, and strangeness… Hamid is a writer of gorgeous, lush prose and superb dialogue.”


  • “A subtly audacious work and prodigious descendant of hard-boiled lit and film noir…Moth Smoke is a steamy and often darkly amusing book about sex, drugs, and class warfare in postcolonial Asia.”

    Village Voice

  • “Friends, a love triangle, murder, criminal justice, hopelessness, humidity. It’s set in Lahore, there’s a beautiful woman. Her name is Mumtez, and she smokes pot and cigarettes and drinks straight Scotch. Read this book. Fall in love.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The book’s dominant image is of a moth circling a flame. In the darkness of evening, Daru watches the strange seduction played out: the moth ‘spinning around the candle in tighter revolutions,’ attracted to the fire. Ignited, the moth is consumed. The lingering moth smoke reminds Daru of burning flesh—his own, for this Icarus ends up singed by his own irresistible attractions…All in all, though, Hamid has turned a beautiful trick: He has made an old formula—man, woman, and cuckolded husband—into something fresh and luminous. Rather like a moth turned into a butterfly.”


  • “Hamid subjects contemporary Pakistan to fierce scrutiny in his first novel, tracing the downward spiral of Darashikoh ‘Daru’ Shezad, a young man whose uneasy status on the fringes of the Lahore elite is imperiled when he is fired from his job at a bank…Hamid’s tale, played out against the background of Pakistan’s…testing of a nuclear device, creates a powerful image of an insecure society toying with its own dissolution.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Set in Hamid’s native Lahore, Pakistan, this first novel provides a pitch-perfect tale of the destruction of a young man…With a sure hand, Hamid paints Daru, Lahore, the weight of Western materialist values, and evolving and devolving friendships, giving us near-photographic realism softened by the shading influences of well-turned phrases. Moving quickly but inviting prolonged retrospection, this first novel lays bare a human core that festers in its own unremitting heat. Hamid is a writer to watch. [Recommended] for all public libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • A 2001 PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award Finalist
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • A 2001 Betty Trask Award Nominee
  • Shortlisted for the 2001 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book
  • A 2001 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Arzoo Sy | 2/17/2014

    " One of the best novels describing the difference between Pakistan's social classes and perceptions. I like the historical aspect Mohsin Hamid uses in his story.Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Igo | 2/3/2014

    " Good description of a corrupt society where young people must find a way of living, some accepting to become as corrupt as their parents, some thinking they want to remain clean but are in the end not so clean. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sadaf | 1/21/2014

    " A well written but disturbing book about modern Pakistani society. I enjoyed the character development. Everything about it was quick and absorbing with great depiction of the fragile society in Pakistan - as the country is modernizing it is left with a few elite and many angry poor. The book details the rise and fall of a young Pakistani man, Daru, and his intermingle with drugs and crime that eventually lead to his demise. As you are reading Daru's point of view you might begin to hate Ozi, his best friend, or any other character, but when you hear there side of the story you begin to say that Daru is the bad guy. You can never decide. Mohsin Hamid crafts a complex story and leaves you to judge the characters, their insecurities, their arrogance, and their crimes. He has written a candid and uncomfortably honest account of socioeconomic state of Pakistan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Farhan | 1/20/2014

    " I myself am from Pakistan so it was interesting reading a book about a part of my country that I had never been exposed to. It tells the story of Darashikoh Shezad, a banker in Lahore, Pakistan, who loses his job, falls in love with his best friend's wife, and plunges into a life of drugs and crime. Its all down hill from the beginning. "

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