• The Last White Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Mohsin Hamid
  • Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
  • Length: 3 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (269 ratings)

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The Last White Man

By: Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
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Publisher's Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE SUMMER BY TIME, ELLE, USA TODAY, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND MORE

“Perhaps Hamid’s most remarkable work yet … an extraordinary vision of human possibility.” –Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

“Searing, exhilarating … reimagines Kafka’s iconic The Metamorphosis for our racially charged era.” Hamilton Cain, Oprah Daily

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, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’s skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends, and family will greet them.

Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth—an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew. 

In Mohsin Hamid’s “lyrical and urgent” prose (O Magazine), The Last White Man powerfully uplifts our capacity for empathy and the transcendence over bigotry, fear, and anger it can achieve.

©2022 Mohsin Hamid (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A fantastical exploration of race and privilege. . . . In an age aflame with strident tweets, Hamid offers swelling remorse and expansive empathy. Such a story could only be written by an author who is entirely candid about his awkward journey along the racial spectrum. . . . It anticipates that sweet day — not forever deferred, surely — when we finally close the casket on the whole horrific construct of racial hierarchies and see each other for what we are.” —The Washington Post

“Searing, exhilarating. . . . reimagines Kafka’s iconic The Metamorphosis for our racially charged era. … Hamid brings a restless, relentless brilliance to his characters’ journeys and the revelations, public and private, that inform us all. … 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.” Oprah Daily

“The story thrives on the tension that occurs between the contrast of the new self against the old one within the same individual. . . . a compelling illustration of the damages wrought by confusing biology with ideology.” —Chicago Review of Books 

What listeners say about The Last White Man

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    144
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Performance
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Story
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Flat

i found the audio performance of this book difficult to listen to. It was read in a flat monotone with what seemed like interminable run-on sentences. I developed no empathy or emotional rapport with the characters, registered no burst of insight or wisdom... in short was disappointed after being promised this was one of the best books of the year. The story itself held some promise. As I waited for an interesting turn of events to happen, eventually I realized there would be none.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent, and necessary read!

7 stages of grief, of the loss of whiteness. If not grief, then the shock of transformation. The same transformation that we all go through, some of us with attention and intentions, others not so much.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing.

I purchased The Last White Man based on a review on NPR which made it sound intriguing and thoughtful. This book was neither. Interesting premise that is wholly unexplored. For a book whose entire plot hinges on changes in a person’s appearance, the author tells us remarkably little about those changes. Skin gets darker, ok—but does hair texture change? eye color? other phenotypical markers of race? As a Black woman, I listened to this book and imagined a world of former white people now cos-playing as unwilling minstrels in unfortunate black face. I don’t mind a story that requires us to suspend disbelief, but this short book doesn’t give enough to make us understand why we would be emotionally invested in the plight of the protagonist.

The narrator was excellent tho, warm hypnotic voice that made the best of dull material. Everything isn’t for everyone, and this just wasn’t for me.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Close Thirds

Compelling, complete in one listening, like a play. The disappearance of whiteness, the brutal power of it intimately and fully imagined. Love & family rise as the real social and power forces to sustain human kind. The structures of whiteness fall away unmourned by the POV characters. Story and flat performance are perfect lovers! Merci

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poetic cadence.

It is brilliant and poetic. Its delivery and narration could not have been better.you can feel the way author wanted you to feel his internal rhythm of shuffling images,stream of consciousness which forms definitive geometric whirls as it flows and it makes you move and opens you up to deeper and deeper layers.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tk
  • 08-24-22

Wonderful short story

I chuckled at the first line in the story. Perhaps because as a person of color I knew what this white man was about to realize. What it means to be seen as the other. This is a well thought out short story. The characters were well developed. I enjoyed it and it’s message.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Don't let the title fool you!

I liked the twist that put on this story, a very subtle way to deal with the issue of race and racism. I don't want to blow it, but all I can say is, the last White is not the last White man!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not about racism

The book reminded me of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. It opens with the same rhythm of a man experiencing a frightening transition. Just as Kafka’s book was not about insects, I didn’t think this book was very much about racism. It was about identity.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT!!! FINISHED IN ONE SITTING! HONEST

loved it. such an unusual story, but so honest and Profound. The clarity of insight to each character was touching. l found myself laughing and tearing up at different times. Have already recommended the Book. Brilliant writing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The Last White Man

I did not like the book. I wanted to as I like this author. I’ve read another book by him that I loved. I just didn’t see any point to this one. The character just rambles on about how he and others are being subjected to racism. The book is boring. I am black. And I didn’t like it.