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Editorial 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Run, Run away FAST!

Would you try another book from Khaled Hosseini and/or the narrators?

This is one of the poorest downloads I have listened to. The narrator was painful. I could not even get into the story for the poor narration. I loved Hosseini's last 2 books, but cannot recommend this one to anyone.

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  • cynthia
  • silverado, cA, United States
  • 01-07-14

Was a big disappointment for me

What disappointed you about And the Mountains Echoed?

For me there just wasn't the basis for a good story here.

What was most disappointing about Khaled Hosseini’s story?

Both of his other books were wonderful and compelling. I couldn't wait for another by him. It felt to me like too much effort for so little.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Sometimes I had trouble understanding her English with the heavy accent

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Interesting structure, too long

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book was a good view of Afghanistan and the people. While I appreciated the author reading the book it was hard to understand at some points.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

appropriate, no surprise. Very sad.

How could the performance have been better?

Better diction

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

He captures the time and place like a photo

Where does And the Mountains Echoed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 10% The slow pace of telling may bug some, but it is the local way of telling a story setting the time and place and slowly developing the picture. I have been in country this is classical work.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I liked the kite book, and the 1000 suns were better, but all different enough.but I felt the first two more,and felt the writer was opening his own heart with the stories.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no savor it

Any additional comments?

This is a Doctor with great ease with language. His stories are not dressed up or slanted for pity. It is what it is. Like a photo of these times, no undue drama, but no hiding life. Everything he writes is excellent in any language. A rare writer in these times.

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Breathtaking!

Would you consider the audio edition of And the Mountains Echoed to be better than the print version?

Not often can a book squeeze tears from my eyes, but this one did . . . TWICE!!! Though, after reading "The Kite Runner" I considered Khaled Hosseini an emerging favorite, this book solidified his position.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried . . . TWICE!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tedious and scattered story-poor narration

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Folks who can understand Farsi and the accents

What was most disappointing about Khaled Hosseini’s story?

It hopped around from present to past to recalling events

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

absolutely not

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

none. wish I could return it

Any additional comments?

such a disappointment. it felt like a story full of "filler events" to make it longer. Very boring and filled with minutia that never connected very well.

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Narrators are hard to understand

Khaled Hosseini is an excellent story teller and I would read more of his work. The narrators are frankly, quite awful. Hosseini is the best of the three and if he'd voiced the whole book I'm sure I would have been more satisfied, but he only did the first chapter. The other two narrators had thick accents, mispronounced words and were unable to effect other voices or accents when the character changed. For example when the character was American, they did not speak his or her dialogue in an American accent, just the same thick Afghan one. To her credit, the female narrator attempted a French accent, but it was not even close to authentic. I seriously doubt that either of these two narrators were trained actors. Too bad because it marred an otherwise good story.

I did enjoy Hosseini's insights into human nature. He forces hard choices on his characters and in this book you are witness to how challenging these peoples' lives were. (This might be depressing to some sensitive readers). The pearls of wisdom that are dropped from time to time are quite satisfying.

This is a sweeping epic, covering generations and corners of the globe. I wondered if the author bit off too much for one book. There are many characters and at times I tired of learning the many details of each one's life. Still I liked the book very much and there were readers in my book group who LOVED it.

In my opinion, it would be a better read than audio, unless they redo it with better actors.

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Hard to Understand

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I wouldn't do this book again. I found it hard to understand some of the narrators and the story hard to follow.

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A disappointment after two good reads.

What would have made And the Mountains Echoed better?

A series of short stories that didn't hang together.

What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

Good narration, disjointed story.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from And the Mountains Echoed?

Cut nothing, join more.

Any additional comments?

I tried really hard to get to the end of this, but it just kept falling apart until I gave up.

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  • Marsha
  • Fayetteville, AR, United States
  • 11-21-13

I really tried to love this book

I can't help but think this would have been much better with different readers. I liked the fact that there were both male and female readers but their accents were so thick that it was a real effort to understand the words. I think this took away from my enjoyment. The story was in turn engaging and emotional then tedious and plodding. One minute I was totally engaged with a lump in my throat on the verge of tears and the next minute I was zoning out trying to figure out why there was so much mundane detail. All in all, not nearly as good as the author's other book..