After the Kite Runner I was anxious to read another of Hosseini's books. I cannot begin to describe the pictures he paints with words or summing up in one or two sentences the feelings and depth of soul he gives to a character. I wish I could have written them down (I listen when I'm driving). One of the characters has Alzheimer's and he writes a note which is found after his death. It says something to the effect "I'm about the drown, and it's going to take a long time". Or the beautiful "goodnight" of a father to daughter where he circles his finger around her head to draw out the "bad dreams' and puts them in an invisible sack and then runs his finger around again to give her good dreams. These characters are real and become your friends who you care for, and cry and laugh with. Set in Afghanistan, and following the characters from 1940 to 2010 the background and the history of this beautiful country and the people are brought to life. The stories don't seem to have any relationship to each other but then the intertwining of the lives from Paris, Afghanistan, Greece, and San Francisco coalesce through the generations. The book is narrated by the Author and his Afghani accent only further brings the characters, and country to life.
Although there was some "background" on the story and some attempt at depicting life in the 11th century the story was predictable and bland. The story was weak and wasn't a "page turner" by any means. The book ended without any real closure on WHY she was written about. I suppose the emphasis on her "good deeds" was supposed to clue me in, but there wasn't anything to say what happened to the minor characters either. Rather bland overall. The narrator was OK in the descriptive portions of the book, but when it came to the characters I was jolted by the change in tone and the stilted reading, especially when the "Queen" was speaking it sounded like a message from a very bad robo call. I have to say had this not been a "bogo" I'd have returned it.
Roth is known for his capturing the Jewish Culture of the 50's and 60's and does so in an excellent way... The story is hard to get into and then seems to end abruptly without resolution to the main characters (inferred but I like a "concrete" end to my books). Definitely NOT a page turner but worth the read of on of America's greatest authors.
I don't like to re-cap the plot in reviews. This book is remarkable in so many ways . Beginning when he is 13 we meet Theo and follow him into manhood at the end of the book 15+ years later. The richness of the writing takes you immediately into his world. The nuances of so many cultures and intricacies of the art world are woven seamlessly into the story. From New York to Las Vegas to the cities of Europe. His "best friend" Boris (the Russian) is the catalyst for many of the adventures. They meet as teenagers and are reunited as adults. Some of their adventures might seem outrageous to some, but I can totally see teenagers doing what they do. While the book is "long" you don't notice the time and best of all it has a 'good" ending. The narrator is amazing. He captures each character to a tee.
This book spans 50 years in the lives of three people. The journey these people take through life are the result of one man's actions. Part of the book is set in India and then the US. The events in India in the late 50's early 60's are not taught in the US. It sparked me to do some research into the violent birth of the Indian nation at the end of British rule. The Indian culture was something else I know little about and it made me appreciate some of the customs I see here. The characters and places are brought to life with a gentle soothing narrative and the reader with is subtle Indian accent brings the even more authenticity to the story.
This started out as your standard "mystery" story about a girl who committs sucide. But soon the twists and turns and dark magic come into play. Just about the time you think you have it "figured out" (and maybe you do in a sense) the whole thing collapases. What is real is real what isn't is (sorta') ... I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it ....
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but it was a mystery of sorts and a journey of two people through the darkness to the mending of the heart and mind of mental illness. The characters are full of life and at times heartbreaking. This book has several "sliver linings"... Would recommend.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.