I really can't separate the book from the poor narration, but I will give the author the benefit of the doubt based on his previous books. I will probably go buy a copy to read on my own. This version is impossible to understand. It's very frustrating to try to listen to a non-native English speaker butcher the syntax of a beautifully written book. I GET that the author is a non-native English speaker. HOWEVER, when I buy an audiobook, I expect to be able to understand the narrator's rendition. This is ridiculous. I feel like I am translating as I'm listening. I don't buy audiobooks so that I have to work this hard to understand the text!
I can't understand what the narrator is saying.
Maybe--I can't tell.
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini---This is a series of stories that connect to tell a family's 50 year history starting in 1952 in Afghanistan, with a poor man who has decided that he must take his brother's offer to sell his daughter to the brother's wealthy employer who has no children. As the daughter and her older brother were extremely close, this affects them the most. Though the daughter, at four years old, soon settles into her new family and her past is only a shadow in her mind until many years later. The brother was basically a parent to his little sister because their mother had died, so he was devastated.
Chapters are told in the voice of various participants during different times in their lives. As the reader, we are drawn into the sorrows and affects of life and history of the people and of Afghanistan during this time period. Hosseini does a wonderful job of evoking the many feelings of everyone as they respond to life and their connections to one another and their places in the family's history, eventually returning brother and sister together as older and different people.
I listened to the Audible version which was read by the author and two other Afghanis. This made it more authentic, but was sometimes a bit more difficult to understand because of the accents. But, eventually I caught onto the rhythm of the speech patterns and enjoyed it very much.
The brilliant twists and turns of the plot. Dr. Hosseini is brilliant at captivating your interest and holding you hostage till the end.
The medical descriptions.
Great depth of feeling...you feel as though you are experiencing every scene.
Khalad Hosseini and Abraham Verghese are two of my favorite authors...and both are physicians of note. Somehow they capture the heart and soul of their characters and, with their beautiful prose, make you feel honored to meet and experience their characters lives.
The book is another excellent work by Khaled Hosseini that captures the challenges of the human condition. My dyslexia makes pleasure reading difficult and I put off listening to the book for a year because of the negative comments concerning the narration. After reading Jane's review, I purchased and listened to the book. The narration was easy to understand and the accented voices added to the dramatic presentation. Thanks Jane
The characters all have their particular appeal, and their individual heartbreak. Mr. Hosseini always tells the brutal reality, but in a personal way that makes it possible to get your head around it. If only, if only, if only their circumstances were not so difficult, these people would be able to find their true voice in the world without so much unhappiness. They are good people. I think that is what holds me through the gritty parts--I feel there the author believes that people are good inside, even if their actions sometimes seem unconscionable.
The writing is beautiful. The characters feel real, especially when given voice by the three separate narrative voices and their accents. My book group read the book and since I had listened I knew the correct pronunciation of names and places. I felt it gave a complete, immersive feel to my experience of the novel. The mesmerizing lilt and roll of English from Aghani men and women, even if it is not the Afghan language itself, took me to their world. It was perfect in combination with the fluid prose.
I really liked Kite Runner, believed A Thousand Splendid Suns was heartbreaking but even better than Kite Runner, but And the Mountains Echoed is, I believe, the best of all three.
This is multiple stories interconnected by family members, friends, and acquaintences. While listening to the three different narrators, it made these stories more real and interesting. It takes a little getting used to the narrators' voices with accents. I considered purchasing the hardcover book to review for spellings of names and places. This is a book I can listen to over and over again.
I so believe this is a wonderful book and well worth reading or listening! Bravo!
This is an absolutely wonderful book! Everyone should read it. But what's up with the current trend (also manifested in the Audible performance of The Orphan Master's Son) of narrators with heavy and difficult to understand but unidentifiable accents?!? It makes it really difficult, and what is the point?