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And the Mountains Echoed Audiobook

And the Mountains Echoed

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, May 2013 - When it’s been six years since a best-selling author’s last book, there is a heightened sense of anticipation and high expectations surrounding that next new release. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is the perfect example of this, and does not disappoint. An expansive family saga, both modern and mythic, the story begins in a small Afghan town in the 1950s and follows one family through time and across the globe to France, California, and Greece. While there is a broad sweeping sense of the effect of one generation on the next, it’s the personal relationships between siblings that I found the most memorable; in particular how Abdullah, a 10-year-old boy, becomes the caretaker to his three-year-old sister, Pari, and does so with love, skill, and absolutely no hesitation or resentment. Their forced separation is the catalyst that creates the conflict and momentum that propels the story beyond Afghanistan and into the larger world. I look forward to the audio (including the author’s narration) and then to Hosseini’s next book, regardless of when that may be. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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 globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each passing minute.

©2013 Khaled Hosseini (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3438 )
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4.0 (3023 )
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Performance
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  •  
    karen 08-23-13
    karen 08-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Strong srart; weak finish"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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?)


    Would you ever listen to anything by Khaled Hosseini again?

    I would consider it. I loved the Kite Runner.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    The male narrator was fine. I did not enjoy the woman with the French accent. I found her accent to be distracting.


    Did And the Mountains Echoed inspire you to do anything?

    Download and listen to a better book immediately.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a shame that a book with such a strong, attention grabbing beginning would become so very boring mid-way through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica 08-13-13
    Monica 08-13-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Many characters and many stories..."

    ...told by many narrators! You won't get bored or forget these stories anytime soon. Haunting.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZiggyZ 06-06-13
    ZiggyZ 06-06-13
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    "Wonderful book; what's up with the narration?!?"

    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?

    34 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kellie 05-29-13
    Kellie 05-29-13
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    "Prefer to read this book rather then listen"
    Where does And the Mountains Echoed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Again this book is a must read. It's excellent. My problem was with the narrator not the story

    29 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy College Station, TX, United States 07-20-13
    Timothy College Station, TX, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved his other books, not this one."

    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.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-29-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    "THE POMPOSITY OF THE PLACE"

    A MAN CAN NOT WORK IF HE IS THIRSTY
    Chapter one is a fable and it is good.
    Chapter two is not good and read by a guy who sounds like he has a swollen tongue.
    Chapter three is fairly interesting about twin sisters, one is beautiful and one is ugly. Hosseini often has people in his stores who are not pretty. In other words, real people. This is read by a heavy accented woman, but her tongue is not swollen.
    Chapter four is a very long boring story. (couple of hours long) The only thing interesting about it is that it is a different culture and the gay issue. If this had been written about the same guy in the United States it would have not been worth publishing. I like my neighbors, but their lives are not worth reading about anymore then my life is.
    Chapter five is read by Mush Mouth and I called it quits.

    I loved The Kite Runner and A thousand Splendid Suns. This is written well like they are, but the story is not interesting.

    Why the producers of audio books have not figured out how important the narrator is to the story I have not figured out. A lot of sales well be lost, because the producers could not figure out the effect of Mush Mouth.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP United States 07-17-13
    KP United States 07-17-13 Member Since 2005
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    "A Failed Experiment"

    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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish Virginia 05-31-13
    Trish Virginia 05-31-13 Member Since 2010

    I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!

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    "What a Beautiful Book!!"

    I hate to bring up anything negative on such a wonderful novel, but it was a minor detraction for me (and I wanted to explain my less-than-five-star rating for the Story). It seemed, as the novel was moving along, to be several individual stories—sometimes tied to the initial characters by the thinnest of threads. In the end, however, it did mesh together better than I thought it would.

    Despite the above, I really did love this book—it is a beautifully written novel without some of the very hard subjects that were found in Khaled Hosseini’s previous books. And I cried—a sure sign that I was totally engrossed and loving it! I would not hesitate to read anything he chooses to write.

    The narration in this book was an adjustment for me—fairly strong accents on two of the three narrators (Mr. Hosseini narrates a few sections, but he is very easy to understand). But shortly into the novel, I no longer considered it awkward, and I felt it added to the realism of the story as it unfolded.

    I hope to meet this author at the National Book Festival this year—I thoroughly enjoyed all three of his books, and would love to tell him so!!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 05-24-13
    Mel USA 05-24-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Generational Reverberations"

    "A mountain keeps an echo deep inside. That's how I hold your voice." Rumi

    You prepare your heart when reading Hosseini; you know you will feel the tug of those heart strings that bind us to humanity. He writes about universal themes - family, love, loss, betrayal, courage - with a sincerity that doesn't pander for emotions (his foundation and humanitarian work with the people of Afghanistan, from where he draws his characters, speaks to this sincerity and dedication) yet takes aim at our core. With the voice of a poet, Hosseini captivates his readers with characters facing challenges that test human limitations. Of course, it adds to the complex atmosphere and mystique of his story that he writes about a historically and mythologically rich country that is unfamiliar to most of us. It's clear from the very beginning of this new book -- when a father tucks his children into their beds around a desert campfire and conjures up a allegorical fable of a monster that steals children away in the night (a Jungian's delight, and magical beginning) -- that the author has written a beautiful story that will have us, once again, feeling that familiar tug. And the Mountains Echoed spares very few readers the pang of empathy, but unlike its predecessors, the approach is light handed and the violence is minimal.

    I purposely am avoiding outlining the plot. This is one of the first times that I have read a review prior to listening to the book, that truly was a spoiler--going into this novel with so much information almost ruined the journey for me. The beginning fable does foreshadow the events to come, but I would like to have gotten to that destination with my own interpretations of the view along the way -- it's just that kind of story. Spanning several generations, the story tells how the choices made early in the genealogy dictated the course of latter family members. It's not the events themselves that construct the human drama over the years, but how the events are acted upon by the characters. Hosseini's characters come from a history of tumult; they internalize their emotions, because of personal reasons, political tensions, cultural upbringing--their harsh world doesn't allow the luxury of licking their wounds, processing or resolution. The resulting legacy they build is one of pain, regret, sorrow, and secrecy.

    The beginning is powerful with the imagery and the foreshadowing. You'll read that some critics thought the middle section suffered from the addition of new characters, and I have to agree. Though good material, it just wasn't in the same rich vein as the wonderfully dimensioned beginning chapters, and only detracted from the emotional heart of the saga, slowing down a story that never seemed to regain the same momentum-- it just rolls to a good place to wrap up. My favorite -- the narration! (I can't wait to see the reviews on this subject!) From the rich, sexy foreign voice of Hosseini to the sultry smoky voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo...there were simply times I couldn't understand what the h3LL they were saying, but could've cared less because they sounded so great saying whatever it was! I adored the narration, with all the limitations of my white-bread ears. Their voices added great texture and authenticity--I can't imagine the story presented any other way, but doubt that will be the consensus.

    Fans of Hosseini will feel rewarded for the wait. There was something about Kite Runner -- the innocence, the look into the social landscape and family structure -- that I liked better; but, the moments of beauty singular to this book: the children listening to the fable, the sound of a tinkling bell, the devoted Chauffer's and his letter, the scrappy eared dog...still give me that little stab in the heart and keep me in an emotional orbit.





    46 of 77 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melany Hatboro, PA 06-02-13
    Melany Hatboro, PA 06-02-13 Member Since 2014

    Melany

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    "Narration is slurred"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am not finished the book yet. I am having a very hard time understanding the narrator of chapters 2 and 5 thus far. The stories are very interesting and I love the way they all link together. But it is difficult to follow so far. I will continue to listen because I love the stories. I just hope I can get through it.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    I do not like the narration of chapters 2 and 5 so far. The speech is slurred and the accent is very heavy. The other narrators are perfect. However, it is very difficult to follow being that all the stories are linked and some of them are difficult to understand.


    21 of 35 people found this review helpful

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