I loved this book from beginning to end. The narration was perfect, except for one section where, for some reason, Navid Negahban’s accent seemed to get strong enough to be distracting. That said, I could not imagine listening to the book without these voices. Shohreh Aghdashloo’s musky tones are particularly mesmerizing and I was glad it ended with her.
The story—about family; about duty; about losses and loves that “echo” forever; about bonds broken, sometimes irrevocably and sometimes not—starts in the fifties and follows the characters until the present, except “follows” is the wrong word since this tale is not told chronologically. You are with one character, leave him or her to go visit another, rediscover that person again at another time and place and get glimpses of what has transpired while you were away. Back and forth until the story comes to a close about which I can’t really say much without spoiling it. Suffice it to say that Hosseini pulls a forgotten memento out of his pocket and makes the moment magical. You gasp, in awe.
The language is lyrical. The emotions are true and poignant. At one point, I was listening while driving and broke down in tears (pretty embarrassing since it was in broad daylight). At another, I felt compelled to stop reading and call my mother who lives in another state just to say hello in the middle of the day. Hosseini reminds you how easy it is to lose the thread that binds us. To take care.
I hope it doesn’t take him six years to write another gem.
Hosseini has an amazingly intimate understanding of human relationships and invests it in his novel. However, the narration is one of the most difficult I have ever heard. Rather than relaxing and submerging myself in the literary art of the author, I am constantly struggling to understand what is narrated, frequently replaying sections. While meaning absolutely no disrespect for the individual narrators or for any ethnic accent, I can come up with no reason whatsoever why a book narrated in any given language shouldn't indeed be narrated in that natural language rather than heavily accented from another language. If I write a book in English but wish it to be narrated in Afghanistan, I would make a point of finding a narrator who spoke natural Pashto and/or Dari, not in a heavily accented foreign-language translation. Just writing this note leaves me frustrated since I doubt it will reach any ear that will have any constructive effect. I must assume that the author himself is involved in the choice of the narrators and I do wish he were able to see this comment in the respectful manner in which it is intended.
I find the writing of Khaled Hosseini to be magical and this book does not disappoint. However, if you are expecting a similar book to the previous two by this author, don't.
This book is very different. The style is different, whereas, there is no stand out scene nor is there a build up to a conclusion. It is the story of various characters, each separate and distinct from one another, but there is are threads that connect the characters to one another. The storytelling is beautiful. Imagine yourself sitting outside on a beautiful day under a tree with your grandmother or grandfather telling you stories about your ancestry. That's how I felt listening to this book.
Hosseini weaves the themes of family, heritage and guilt throughout the character's stories and the how and why each deals with these themes is interesting and thought provoking.
There are so many different facets to this novel that I enjoyed that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I will be recommending this to my friends and look forward to discussing the book with them. A solid 4.5 rating from me...I thoroughly enjoyed two of the three narrators. The third was not bad, I just enjoyed him less.
This book is SO good it reminds me of how crappy most of the other books I listen to really are. I listen to many audiobooks. I have 4 active audible accounts. Most of the books I listen to are, at best, casual entertainment while I work. They are not great. This book IS GREAT. It is a treasure! It makes me sad because I know that soon this book will come to an end, and when it ends, I will be back searching through all the mediocre books again. Always searching, always hoping that I will find a book like this one. Books like this are as rare as can be. If ONLY there were more like this …
This book truly humanizes the difficult choices some people have to make on a daily basis. It blasts holes in our prejudices and misconceptions about Muslims and Afghanis.
Mr. Hosseini tells this tale so richly. You know all along that somehow the lives of the various characters are interwoven, but finding out how is such a treat.
I loved how the story is about Afghani culture and how it is not about Afghanistan but about people - any people anywhere.
So hard to choose. Pari? Nabi? Marcos? Thalia?
You couldn't listen to this in one sitting. Too much going on in the story.
Professor at Federal University of Uberlândia (Brazil). I love romances and thrillers. Feel free to send me e-books suggestions!
I made a tremendous effort to continue to listen until the end, I usually spend 1 week to listen to a book. This one I spent more than 1 month and I didn’t finish. For me it was a waste of time and credit. I bought because the good reviews and previous books, but I thought very boring, monotonous and without great emotions. I have listened to hundreds books and my expectations were very high because the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I felt very disappointed. One of the narrators was terrible, I lost focus a hundred times and I needed to go back in order to understand what was happening.