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
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.
A Book and a Cat: Nothing more
Afghanistan--the last place I would expect to provide the most enduring, complex plots and characters in recent fiction. Nevertheless, Hosseini draws the reader immediately into this land of contrasts and traditions, and it is easy to want the novel to go on for many hours more. When one puts down a Hosseini novel, its characters live on inside one's mind for many days. I can't help but wonder if the author is producing the subject matter for many literature students to come.
Three words just won't do it. Mr. Hosseini is a true treasure and this book is the epitome of the expression "anything worth having is worth waiting for." The story has lingered with me so strongly that I haven't wanted to start another book -- and I am envious of people who haven't read it because they get to read it for the first time! The reason I gave the performance 4 stars instead of 5 is that the accent of one of the narrators made him somewhat difficult for me to understand until I was able to adapt to it, which I eventually did. Thank you, Mr. Hosseini.
The story was so strong that I was able to completely give myself over to it and allow it to carry me along.
The narrators facilitated a feeling of "cultural presence" that I would not have had if I had read the book.
I'm getting older - don't wait six years to publish your next book!
Hosseini is an author that I stumbled upon in a search for something different to read. I am so glad that I did! The author reads the book, and I was a little concerned that the names in another culture might be confusing in an audible format. I occasionally got a little lost, but I later "reread" the sections--something that I rarely do. I have to say that Hosseini's narration really enhanced the listening experience. He writes in a unique voice and his descriptions are expressed in a way that crosses all cultural boundaries. This book is one to be savored.
This is an absolutely wonderful book! Everyone should read it. But what's up with the current trend (also manifested in the Audible performance of The Orphan Master's Son) of narrators with heavy and difficult to understand but unidentifiable accents?!? It makes it really difficult, and what is the point?
It is an excellent book. I found when reading it for myself I was engrossed. When trying to listen I was unable to stay focused due to the accent of the narration. I know the author is an outstanding author I am a fan of his stories I just wasn't pleased with his narration.
Again this book is a must read. It's excellent. My problem was with the narrator not the story
dramatic, well written
the fairy tale at the very beginning of the book.
No, the book offers a lot of material to think about because of it's topics that affect every one of us, that is why I would say you actually should take some time for it.
Dont read the book if you re just looking for entertainment. This book contains a lot of tragedy and is not too easy to digest.
Hosseini's other two books are two of my favorites, so I was excited to get this book and downloaded it almost the day it came out. I should have listened to the excerpt before downloading though, because the narration is AWFUL! Basically, the narration is so bad, I was unable to finish this book.
The few times that Hosseini steps in to narrate are the few bright spots. The other two narrators (a man and a woman) are terrible. It's not only because their heavy accents are such that I could not understand a lot of what they were saying. They are very monotonous as well.
If Hosseini had narrated the whole thing, I probably would have at least finished the book. I gave up about 4/5ths in. Perhaps there was a redeeming twist coming at the end that would have brought everything together, but I just couldn't put up with the narrators anymore.
At the risk of a slight spoiler, I will tell you that this story spans several generations, so the characters you are introduced to at the start of the book will grow old and die before the end. And there did not seem to be any overall point to the story. It's like a long drawn-out snapshot of the lives of some Afghans. It describes in great detail the ups and downs of various people's lives, generally all related to each other, and that's about it.
If there was a grand resolution to the story at the end that I missed, I apologize, but again, the narration was so bad, I could not hold on.
I read this because I really enjoyed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, also by Mr. Hosseini.
One of the things I most enjoy about his books is stepping into Afghani culture, through the description of surroundings, ways of life, language, or characters' mindsets. That was certainly true here. He is a master at "the big twist" -- a shift in the story towards the end of the book that I wasn't expecting, and found to be quite moving. He is also great at doing "little twists", which keep you guessing about how well you know each character and his or her relationship to the other characters, and make the story very entertaining.
I struggled with the structure of this book. The narrative jumps among several characters, places, and points in time with abandon. I typically do not mind a non-linear narrative, but in this case I found it hard to follow, especially because the revolving narrators did not tie directly to characters.
When I listened to The Kite Runner (narrated by Mr. Hosseini), I was rapt by his pronunciation of the Farsi words, names of people and places in Afghanistan, etc.; it certainly added a level of enjoyment to my experience that is part of why I love audiobooks in the first place. In And the Mountains Echoed, however, so much concentration was at times required to follow the accented English of Mr. Negahban and Ms. Aghdashloo that the effect was lost.
The decision to layer multiple narrators on top of multiple narratives strikes me as a failed experiment. I would have enjoyed this more if Hosseini had narrated the whole thing himself.
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