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Moth Smoke Audiobook, by Mohsin Hamid Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mohsin Hamid Narrator: Satya Bhabha Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN: 9781602832725
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)
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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. “, 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 Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arzoo | 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/18/2014

    " Excellent account of a man's demise from corporate worker to drug dealer and addict. Preferred The Reluctant Fundamentalist for a smoother read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 1/17/2014

    " Brilliant novel. Audio version is the best performance I've ever heard of an audio book - tempted to get whatever else he has performed, regardless of reviews. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 9/21/2013

    " Wonderful. Kind of a Great Gatsby in Lahore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nikunj | 8/3/2013

    " I had picked up this book a few years back. I was intrigued by the preface, Aurangzeb's story, which i couldn't comprehend in the beginning, was completed at the end. Very well written. I could somewhere relate to the protagonist. Must Read!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dora | 5/18/2013

    " Foreign book...Amazing new out look. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hafsa | 9/12/2012

    " It's really interesting to read about Pakistan from a literary perspective--I enjoyed the book. The development of the main character is fascinating and the parallels to history and Pakistan's current social/political climate are done really well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kamran | 8/20/2012

    " A criticism well presented, the criticism has been brought up in such an intellectual way, it amazes me. The casual way the Murad Badshah brings in Economics to justify his views, and how he explains the whole story with each character being the first person. I'm thoroughly impressed. Too Good ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rasheeda | 7/26/2012

    " I read this book quite a few years ago and I fucking loved it. Ive spent a few years in lahore and its fun to read about it in literature. Hamid's details give you a perfect picture of all the characters and scenes throughout the novel. He is a great writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaheen | 6/20/2012

    " I liked this book better than the author's other one, "The Reluctanct Fundamentalist". It was kind of a "Great Gatsby" set in Pakistan, except that Daisy/Mumtaz has some spirit and something of a conscience. The moth analogy was a little obvious - it was done better in "Maps for Lost Lovers". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Homa | 6/14/2012

    " If you want a good look at modern-day Pakistan, this book is young, trendy and intense. In other words, lots of drugs, sex, money, emotional turmoil and scandal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karine | 11/28/2011

    " You hear the story from the characters themselves as they weave through the tale of a young man and his involvement with drugs after an economic downturn in Pakistan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Supreeth | 9/12/2011

    " Completely sold on the book. A tour de force! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krishnan | 9/5/2011

    " The first novel by Mohsin Hamid.Brilliant.This is the novel to start with, to know what Hamid is truly capable of. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cblackw | 8/8/2011

    " This book was like watching a terrible car wreck. It was mesmerizing and beautifully written about the atrocious downward spiral of a man. I am so glad I read it but remain haunted by it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neeraj | 5/16/2011

    " Very depressing but still one time enjoyable... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ameer | 5/12/2011

    " read this book in grade 12. I found it interesting for my 'immature mind'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fatima | 2/16/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, it taught me a lot about the underground world of Pakistan through a novel. I felt that I could relate and feel for the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 2/15/2011

    " Great story, original, a part of the world and a society that is largely voiceless on the international scene. Great to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jena | 2/13/2011

    " Was so bad I did not finish it. Thought it would be like the reluctant fundamentalist.

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angelika | 11/15/2010

    " another winner from Mohsin Hamid - fantastic book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Umar | 10/16/2010

    " The book truly captures the culture, conversation and the lifestyles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 7/19/2010

    " I expected more - I was a little bored by the writing and Daru was not very complex- I would have been more interested in the girlfriend's story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 7/11/2010

    " The book is written in a unique style - chapters jump around from first and third person, different chapters from different characters' perspectives. In the end, however, I found myself rushing through the book just trying to finish it. "

About the Author

Mohsin Hamid is the internationally bestselling author of Moth Smoke, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Discontent and its Civilizations, and Exit West. His award-winning novels have been adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and translated into more than thirty languages. His essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and New Yorker, among many other publications.

About the Narrator

Satya Bhabha is a British-born American actor and director best known for his role as Matthew Patel in the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. His New York credits include work with the Living Theatre, Target Margin Theatre Co., Les Freres Corbusier, and the Culture Project. Satya trained with the National Youth Theatre and has worked with a range of companies and theaters, including the National Theatre, SHUNT, the Red Room, and the Clod Ensemble. He is a Yale graduate and currently resides in New York.