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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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    1,754
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    1,123
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    675
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    203
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    932
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    513
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    185
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    166

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
    162
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

started out very interesting but got more and more

boring with hard to follow passages. I do not like the way the author spread this book out. and the accents were so difficult to understand. I do not recommend.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Must be better read than heard. Narration was bad.

What did you like best about And the Mountains Echoed? What did you like least?

I loved "The Kite Runner" and expected a good story. I was bored by the audible book.

How could the performance have been better?

Different performers.

Do you think And the Mountains Echoed needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ginger
  • South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States
  • 10-06-13

An Extraordinary Experience

Would you listen to And the Mountains Echoed again? Why?

Yes - many times.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved all the characters...Abdullah and Pari, Nabi and Suleiman, Parwana and Masooma. As Nabi explains: "We are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us." Listening to this book was an extraordinary experience.

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

This is by far my favorite of all of Khaled Hosseini's books. I love it when the author reads their own story, but the addition of the other two narrators was perfect. As soon as I heard Shohreh Aghdashloo's voice, I knew I would love this story. I appreciated the richness of the three narrators' voices, the strong accents that brought the story to life, and the emotional tenderness that the three were able to convey through their voices. I'm so happy I chose to listen to this book - although I have since bought hard copies for my children as gifts.

Any additional comments?

The narrators were fantastic. This was, perhaps, the best listening experience I've had yet with an audible book. I highly recommend it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyable.

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

Yes, I would read more from him. I enjoyed both the Kite Runner and 1000 Splended Suns. This one was good, but not quite a match for either of them. I like this author.

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

I felt I knew how it was going to end up.

Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes. But, I had to listen very closely due to the accent.

Was And the Mountains Echoed worth the listening time?

Yes, of course.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Complex character development

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

The book is an excellent story though very complex in the development of the characters. It covers an extended period of time and illustrates the sequence of the Afghanistan history. The character development and the sense of what people did and went through to survive are very real in the book.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • claire
  • Beaverton, OR, United States
  • 09-30-13

poor narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Difficult to understand narrators. heavy accents detracted from the story line as I couldn't always understand what they were saying.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing

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

I thought the story was really disjointed. There were too many loose ends. Too many parts of the story that didn't seem to have much if anything to do with the main thread.

What could Khaled Hosseini have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have done a better job in the end of pulling things together and helping the reader to understand the importance of each segment.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

The boy Abdullah.

Was And the Mountains Echoed worth the listening time?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed other books by this author. I also enjoyed the different narrators. Though the accents were sometimes hard to understand, they gave me a sense of the characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book, Hard to understand narrators

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

Unfortunately, this lovely book is VERY difficult to understand due to the heavy accents of most of the narrators. I gave up half way through, it was too much, and I will have to read this instead.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hard to follow

It was very hard to follow this book because it jumped from one story to another in the space of a sentence. I had to back up and listen again often. I really didn't enjoy the various stories, it was almost like a collection of short stories, sort of like a Cloud Atlas but not as epic.
I usually enjoy accented narration as a way to relate to a different culture but these were two heavy and often hard to comprehend.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • suzanne
  • KENNESAW, GA, United States
  • 09-24-13

painful...

What disappointed you about And the Mountains Echoed?

narrator and boring story

Would you ever listen to anything by Khaled Hosseini again?

no

How did the narrator detract from the book?

bad accent, no life

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment in the author

Any additional comments?

I tried at least four or five times to get through this book. I even made it (albeit painfully) through the first part and thought, "for sure this has to get better!" But, it did not.