Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid

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Available for the first time from Riverhead—the debut novel from the bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Moth Smoke, Mohsin Hamid’s deftly conceived first novel, immediately marked him as an uncommonly gifted and ambitious young literary talent to watch when it was published in 2000. It tells the story of Daru Shezad, who, fired from his banking job in Lahore, begins a decline that plummets the length of Hamid’s sharply drawn, subversive tale.

Fast-paced and unexpected, Moth Smoke was ahead of its time in portraying a contemporary Pakistan far more vivid and complex than the exoticized images of South Asia then familiar to the West. It established Mohsin Hamid as an internationally important writer of substance and imagination and the premier Pakistani author of our time, a promise he has amply fulfilled with each successive book. This debut novel, meanwhile, remains as compelling and deeply relevant to the moment as when it appeared more than a decade ago.


About Mohsin Hamid

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MOHSIN HAMID's first novel, Moth Smoke, was a Betty Trask Award winner, PEN/ Hemingway Award finalist, and New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His second, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a bestseller in the United States and abroad, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His most recent novel is How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Hamid's writing has also appeared in Time, the New York Times, and other publications. He lives in Lahore, Pakistan.
Published December 4, 2012 by Riverhead. 258 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Moth Smoke

Kirkus Reviews

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Hamid achieves a deft balance of tones and moods by juxtaposing Daru’s story with Mumtaz’s confession of her fixation on living a more exciting life (both as a pseudonymous investigative journalist and as Daru’s lover), Ozi’s impassioned and oddly moving castigation of his old comrade’s jealousy ...

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The Guardian

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Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Set over one sweltering summer in Lahore, Moth Smoke traces the disintegra...

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Moth Smoke

Gather Books

In Moth Smoke, Mohsin Hamid crafts a complex story and leaves you to judge the characters, their insecurities, their arrogance, and their crimes.

Sep 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Moth Smoke

The New York Review of Books

Zamana is a word we use a good deal on the Indian subcontinent where time moves slowly and time moves inexorably, inviting reflection rather than reaction.

Dec 21 2000 | Read Full Review of Moth Smoke


Read the book if you can connect to the decline of Daru, both the protagonist and the prince.

Apr 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Moth Smoke

India Today

This deeply disturbing book should be read by all those in the subcontinent who have noticed signs of a dangerous game of one-upmanship being played between India and Pakistan ever since 1971.

May 01 2000 | Read Full Review of Moth Smoke

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