The narration (except for the brief sections read by the author) really detracted from the story. Because of the strong accents, I found myself trying to concentrate on the words themselves and at times I had to go back and listen a second time to the sense of the story. Hosseini's beautiful prose was frequently lost in the harsh tones of the narrators.
I have always enjoyed Hosseini's previous books. This one would definitely be better in a non-audio version. He has tried to present a good overview of his native country and how the conflicts of many decades have affected the culture & the people. It is a complicated society.
I love audiobooks and I love this author. I loved Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
I found the heavy accent of the narrator to be hard to listen to and follow. I will need to actually read this book.
If you have a hard time with heavy accents you might consider actually reading this book. I had to listen so intently I couldn't relax and enjoy the story. I tried three times and finally just gave up. You might consider listening to a sample of this book before you buy the audio book.
As with his other novels, Hosseini does an amazing job telling stories that are warm, touching and incredibly sobering. A great exploration of human reality and a wonderful portrayal of Afghanistan. I did not love how this book is written, telling the story each time from the perspective of a different character (I am sure there is a literary name for it which the more educated readers probably know). It did not allow me to connect to the plot and characters as strongly and emotionally as I did in Hosseini's other novels.
I love the authentic narration and the fact that Hosseini does not allow his novels, in their recorded productions, to be watered down by bland American accents. Having authentic Afghan readers makes a huge different. I cannot understand how some other international writers do not see that and allow their writing to be butchered by Americans who do not speak the novel's native language.
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 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!
finished this book a couple months ago, and now can't even remember if I got to the end or not. It was more of a poetic story than his other books, and not so amenable to intermittent listenings, and hard to understand the narrators - I usually like narrators to have natural accents, but these were a bit too strong accented for me to follow. Just didn't catch my enthusiasm.
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.