This is a difficult book to review. I love Khaled Hosseini's writing. The Kite Runner tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry. I liked his second novel, too. This third one is more similar to his second one (but even more dramatic; overly dramatic, I thought) in that it brings the threads of different characters together - but they are even more characters, even more diverse, and the switching between them (and across time) is very frequent and sometimes annoying. You start to care about a certain character, then you're switched to another time and place and you need to adjust. What made it all more dramatic (and it was already quite dramatic with the storyline) was the switching of narrators. In the end, the book as a whole was too dramatic to touch me in the same way The Kite Runner had.
Let me talk about the narrators. Disclaimer: English is not my native tongue, and I am quite tolerant of various forms of accented English. I have no problem listening to an entire audiobook narrated in an Indian accent, for example. But this book's narration was annoying. There is one pleasant narrator with a slight accent, whom I take to be Khaled Hosseini. The other two were very annoying to listen to. I initially thought they were Afghan but later started to think they were chosen because they are Afghan who also spoke Greek/French and English. But their English is really not good enough, in my opinion, for them to narrate an audiobook. I'm sorry. But it really detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
It's possible the narration biased me against the book - but that was a risk the publishers took, and I think they need to deal with the consequences
I guess I am the only reader/listener who was disappointed in this book. I was engrossed for the first 2/3 then not so much! I guess I am a romantic and while I realize real life is not easy, I want my novels to satisfy more than this one did.
I could not put this audiobook down. Like other Housseini books, the complex characters stay with you long after the end. Agree with others that the author's narration was difficult on the ear, but the chapters narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo more than made up for those. (I think I could listen to her read a dictionary and still be entertained).
Great book and I especially loved the way the intergenerational stories were linked together. Must listen.
I love audio books and I have listened to Khalid Hosseini's first two books and loved the experience! But not this one, unfortunately. I wish Khalid Hosseini had read the entire book himself. The other two narrators were very disappointing. Heavily accented, slurred speech at times, made it hard to listen leave alone enjoy the experience. Sorry about that!
Abdullah. I felt his pain on parting with his sister.
I would have focused the plot on the lives of the sister and her brother. Too many characters were brought in who did not enhance the story at all (I.e. why did we have to know so much about the background of the Greek doctor and his camera? Or the girl with the face disfigurement?)
I would consider it. I loved the Kite Runner.
The male narrator was fine. I did not enjoy the woman with the French accent. I found her accent to be distracting.
Download and listen to a better book immediately.
It is a shame that a book with such a strong, attention grabbing beginning would become so very boring mid-way through.
Absolutely not. The heavily accented voices of Mr. Negahban and Ms. Aghdashloo make it very difficult to follow the story. I have enjoy listening to Mr. Hosseini read his books in the past, and I wish that he had narrated the entire book this time as well, instead of just one chapter. I almost gave up about halfway through.
What a treat to hear this story through Khaled Hosseini's own voice. This book follows the same great writing style and character development that I have come to love in Hosseini's other works. I am sad it is over and am already missing the characters.
I loved his other books and couldn't imagine how this one would live up to the others but it does. As with all his stories, it takes a bit to learn and be involved with the characters but by the mid point of the book you are fully involved and yearning for a happy ending for them all. As an added bonus I feel like it provides insight into the history of a culture-an added bonus that I appreciate. A must for any Hosseini fan.
I did not want to finish this book. I had read his two previous ones and knew it would be the work of a genuine storyteller unlike any I'd ever heard. Loved the readers; they gave it authenticity and feeling. Don't rush through this; it's real people and real life.
By far one of the best
This is a book of stories. Each story is unique. I did not want to stop listening at the end of the day. I dreamed about the characters in these stories. I have read Hosseini's other books and I thoroughly enjoyed them. This book may be the best yet. The audio was wonderful but I would also like to read the hard copy.
I loved them all.
Please listen to book. It's worth every minute.