I have listened to this book and just now saw the movie. I have to vote for the spoken word in this case. Mr. Hosseini's accent is lyrical and adds a unique quality to this material that would be missing in the film or print. I hold this in the same high regard as Frank McCourt reading Angela's Ashes.
What an incredible story. It's inconceivable to me that this is fiction. If so, Hosseini's ability to develop characters with such depth and intensity is a true gift. The story is wrapped with such detail and emotion is was difficult to put down. Don't cut yourself short with the abridged version, you will want to hold onto every single word!
To me the book was interesting because of the setting. The descriptions and details created a vivid portrait of a foreign culture. But the book is not well written. The irony is that the main character is learning to be an author. He comments on the use of cliches, but uses them anyway. One of the chapters ends with a foreshadowing that is a groaner. The plot crosses the line into the preposterous. The evil character is a cross between a Taliban and a nazi, maybe because being in the Taliban just wasn't bad enough. Part of the story is entertaining, even informative, but in the end the events became more and more unbelievable. The violence seems like a Hollywood movie rather than authentic and frightening. The reading by the author was harsh and awkward, and strangely unemotional. And why doesn't the author use the English pronunciation for "Afghanistan" and other Afhgan words? That was confusing at first, and then annoying.
We've all done it, stood and watched when we should have interefered, lay silent when we should have spoken up, especially as children. Amir had the luxury of being born into the right family, which is about all the kid as going for him in the beginning. This story introduces an Afghanistan that many of us do not know. It is timely and relevent to what's going on in the world. As readers we are taken on a journey with Amir to reconcile his character deficiencies in a country he no longer recognizes. Through will and determination he did not posess as a child, he is able to atone for his sins and "make everything right". This is a beautiful, heart wrenching story that I know I will never forget. It has affected me deeply, for which I am thankful.
Wow, this is a true gem. The story is vivid and compelling and translates into spoken word marvelously. Even more amazing (for some reason) the author has a real day job, he is a physician??
As for listening, having the author narrate can be a risky proposition, but Khaled has a wonderful voice and brings a feeling and flavour to his work that adds another dimension to an already great tale.
This book truly captivated me. I listen to Audible books often on my lengthy commute, but this time I spent considerable "driveway" time listening to this book. I would routinely arrive home but not be able to stop listening to the compelling story playing through my car sound system.
The poignant story itself will be enough to hold most listeners interest, but the rich language that creates the vivid landscape in which the story unfolds is addicting. The primary character's childhood fears, selfishness and angst is the core of the story and is revealed in the first person in an intimate and provocative way. The symmetry of the the entire story, from beginning to end, evolves naturally and completely. It is impossible not to be touched by this story.
This book is also unique in that the narration is done by the author himself. Like many of the reviewers whose reviews I have read and found helpful, I have come to make my Audible.com selections as much for the narrators as for the authors themselves. My favorite slections have been those when a great story was matched with wonderful narration. This was such a case. The author/narrator's subtle accent and fluent pronunciation of Afghan names and places reinforced the authenticity of the book. Beyond that, his voice and the production quality of the recording was outstanding.
If I was going to guess what the author himself would most want to hear is that he has told a wonderful story in an authentic voice.
I've listened to many audiobooks, but this was the best so far. The narrator is excellent and the story is incredible and easy to follow. The length of this book is justified -- just the right amount of detail. I will definitely listen to this one again.
In these times, this story is a beautiful introduction to the afgani culture and people. You learn about the people you hear about on the news in the context of a beautifully written story.
This is the best Audible book I have ever enjoyed. Brilliantly written, read wonderfully by the author, absorbing from start to finish...I loved it.
The first half of the book to me was rather boring. The second half picked up the pace and became more interesting, though still, I nearly gave up and started another book before finishing this one. In all fairness however, I would have to say that the book is very well written. The author fills his pages with rich descriptions of characters and places, which I assume are accurate and authentic in regards to life in Afghanistan. Also, as the narrator, he adds another dimension to the story that I think would be lacking if you read the book instead. In summary, I can't say that I'm sorry I used a book credit for this purchase, but on the other hand, I certainly wouldn't recommend it to fellow listeners unless one is very interested in the various elements of Afghan culture.