On May 21, 2013, the new novel from Khaled Hosseini: an unforgettable story about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.
Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globefrom Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinosthe story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each passing minute.
©2013 Khaled Hosseini (P)2013 Penguin Audio
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.
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!
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.
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.
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