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 loved this book from beginning to end. The narration was perfect, except for one section where, for some reason, Navid Negahban’s accent seemed to get strong enough to be distracting. That said, I could not imagine listening to the book without these voices. Shohreh Aghdashloo’s musky tones are particularly mesmerizing and I was glad it ended with her.
The story—about family; about duty; about losses and loves that “echo” forever; about bonds broken, sometimes irrevocably and sometimes not—starts in the fifties and follows the characters until the present, except “follows” is the wrong word since this tale is not told chronologically. You are with one character, leave him or her to go visit another, rediscover that person again at another time and place and get glimpses of what has transpired while you were away. Back and forth until the story comes to a close about which I can’t really say much without spoiling it. Suffice it to say that Hosseini pulls a forgotten memento out of his pocket and makes the moment magical. You gasp, in awe.
The language is lyrical. The emotions are true and poignant. At one point, I was listening while driving and broke down in tears (pretty embarrassing since it was in broad daylight). At another, I felt compelled to stop reading and call my mother who lives in another state just to say hello in the middle of the day. Hosseini reminds you how easy it is to lose the thread that binds us. To take care.
I hope it doesn’t take him six years to write another gem.
Hosseini has an amazingly intimate understanding of human relationships and invests it in his novel. However, the narration is one of the most difficult I have ever heard. Rather than relaxing and submerging myself in the literary art of the author, I am constantly struggling to understand what is narrated, frequently replaying sections. While meaning absolutely no disrespect for the individual narrators or for any ethnic accent, I can come up with no reason whatsoever why a book narrated in any given language shouldn't indeed be narrated in that natural language rather than heavily accented from another language. If I write a book in English but wish it to be narrated in Afghanistan, I would make a point of finding a narrator who spoke natural Pashto and/or Dari, not in a heavily accented foreign-language translation. Just writing this note leaves me frustrated since I doubt it will reach any ear that will have any constructive effect. I must assume that the author himself is involved in the choice of the narrators and I do wish he were able to see this comment in the respectful manner in which it is intended.
This book is SO good it reminds me of how crappy most of the other books I listen to really are. I listen to many audiobooks. I have 4 active audible accounts. Most of the books I listen to are, at best, casual entertainment while I work. They are not great. This book IS GREAT. It is a treasure! It makes me sad because I know that soon this book will come to an end, and when it ends, I will be back searching through all the mediocre books again. Always searching, always hoping that I will find a book like this one. Books like this are as rare as can be. If ONLY there were more like this …
I find the writing of Khaled Hosseini to be magical and this book does not disappoint. However, if you are expecting a similar book to the previous two by this author, don't.
This book is very different. The style is different, whereas, there is no stand out scene nor is there a build up to a conclusion. It is the story of various characters, each separate and distinct from one another, but there is are threads that connect the characters to one another. The storytelling is beautiful. Imagine yourself sitting outside on a beautiful day under a tree with your grandmother or grandfather telling you stories about your ancestry. That's how I felt listening to this book.
Hosseini weaves the themes of family, heritage and guilt throughout the character's stories and the how and why each deals with these themes is interesting and thought provoking.
There are so many different facets to this novel that I enjoyed that it will take me some time to reflect on them. I will be recommending this to my friends and look forward to discussing the book with them. A solid 4.5 rating from me...I thoroughly enjoyed two of the three narrators. The third was not bad, I just enjoyed him less.
Writers that can bring cultures and histories of faraway places alive are few and far between. This writer brings alive the culture and history of Afghanistan through a series of individual stories that tie together in a beautiful way.
My only complaint is rather my own limited mind. The stories are wonderfully told. I just wish I had known that this novel is actually about several different stories that cross sect only so briefly however so deeply. I am anxious to re-read it know that I understand it. His illustrations are so vivid and moving.
This book was difficult to follow with many characters and a lot of skipping about in time and between generations. It would be helpful to explain the connection of one character to another a little more as the book unfolds.
Currently listening to 13 Moons
Although the Afghanistan accents added to the authenticity of the story sometimes they were difficult to understand and their reading lacked energy. Professional readers would be helpful.
I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, but found that I had a harder time getting into this book. It wasn't awful, but I felt this book's story wasn't up to par with the previous two books. Still remain hopeful for any new books of Hosseini :D
Amazing, Great story, shocking!!
The male narrator is easier to follow than the female. No offense to the female narrator but the accent makes it hard to follow at times.
Yes and no depending on the narrators.
I am listening to the book on my way to work and I really get into it to the point I sit in my car for an extra few minutes to finish the section I am in. The flow of the book is not straight forward but it does leave hints in place to connect the dots at a later time. The author swings back and forth in time and various characters come in and go as other people mentioned. The narrators in the audible version change and some of them are harder to follow than others. Overall excellent story.
Keep your tissue box near. I don't know how he does but Khalid Hosseini puts into words human emotion better than anyone else I've read. This is close to home for me especially the part about caring for aging loved ones and the strange feeling of guilty impatience and even shameful revulsion sometimes. I enjoyed this book very much.
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