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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

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  • Story

Interesting insights, but confusing, too

Another look into a culture so little understood by the western world that is more "western" than we realize. This work makes a better read than a listen because of lack of familiarity with names and time periods the author references. I had to listen to it back and forth at least twice to figure it out---worth doing, but tedious.

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  • Candace
  • Silverthorne, Colorado, United States
  • 09-18-13

Though provoking, emotional, and beautiful.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the way the different stories expand slowly, each offering a unique perspective on life, but all with a common thread and connection.

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

They did a good job differentiating, mainly because there was a woman reading for all the parts centering on women, and two different men for the male characters. For multiple characters in each story, the narrators did a good job of making it clear who was who.

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

I cried. A lot.

Any additional comments?

One of the male readers has an occasional weird way of emphasizing parts of the reading that grated a bit on me, but not enough to make me dislike listening. There is a raw believable quality to all the readers, which was encouraging as this was my first audio book. It helped that they all sounded Middle Eastern (I am just assuming, here), so none of the names or Farsi words sounded mispronounced. One of the narrators was the author, which was great.

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Wonderful!

Any additional comments?

I am not sure I have ever read a book that is told in such a way that each chapter follows a different character. The rotating voices and their respective excellent performances in this audiobook helped bring that to life.<br/><br/>Typical of Hosseini, the characters are engaging, and the plot is complex and fully fleshed out -- you just can't see the full picture until you're done.<br/><br/>Another wonderful book. I can't wait to see what he writes next!

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Narration made me anxious to be done with it

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

I would try another book from Hosseini but not with those narrators.

What did you like best about this story?

Like Hosseini's other two books the story was very good.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

They made it almost unbearable to listen to. They sounded like they had marbles in their mouth and slowly slurred the words. I found myself wanting the book to be over so I wouldn't have to listen to them any more. I struggled through to the end because I can't leave a story unfinished but it was a relief when it was over.

Any additional comments?

Read it, don't listen to it.

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Hosseini does it again!!!

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

Top 5 favorites... All of Hosseini's books are in my top 5. Hard to choose which is my fave!

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  • Niki
  • Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
  • 09-13-13

Read it, don't listen to it

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The structure was very interesting. I was frustrated with how it jumped around and it was not always obvious how the story lines were related. I do believe that this lack of understanding stems from the bad narration that I sometimes just couldn't follow. I'm assuming that when read, it is a lot more enjoyable.

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

The woman's performance was ok. I found it a bit contrived and over-acted, but at least understandable and I could follow along.<br/>The other man's performance (not Mr. Hosseini's) was absolutely dismal. Could not understand the story. Words were mispronounced, he put the stress on the wrong syllables and the intonation of the sentences was completely off. I really can't remember a thing of the story line that he narrated.

Did And the Mountains Echoed inspire you to do anything?

Yes, buy it in print and re-read it. I hope that I will come to like it as much as Mr. Hosseini's previous books.

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A rich and enveloping story...

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

The audio version enriches this novel as the accents in the voices add a dimension that suits the story and transport you to the places and situations.

Any additional comments?

This novel is masterfully written and once again Hosseini delivers a superb story that you can't stop listening to. I just loved it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Difficult to Understand Some of the Readers

What disappointed you about And the Mountains Echoed?

I enjoyed Hosseini's prior books but I struggled and finally gave up listening to this one as I had trouble understanding the readers.

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Huh?

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

If you have a great ear for dialect and foreign voices, I'm sure the story is wonderful.

If you’ve listened to books by Khaled Hosseini before, how does this one compare?

I loved the Kite Runner, but this book is narrated by Mr. Hosseini and a few others and I found it nearly impossible to understand. I was listening in my car, which has a great sound system, but I couldn't make out the words and so I gave up in the second chapter.

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

I couldn't understand them. I'm all for authenticity, but this was read with a voice that was so heavily accented, I just couldn't follow the storyline.

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

It wasn't the story. I love Mr. Hosseini's writing, and I'm sure I'll read this book. But I couldn't follow it as it was narrated. If I were the editor, I would have used someone with a more American accent since the story is complicated, and it requires careful attention.

Any additional comments?

I feel badly giving Mr. Hosseini's work low marks because he is a tremendous writer. But if I have to struggle to understand what is being said, then it isn't entertaining, it's hard work.

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Captivating

I can't remember the last time a book gave me goose bumps. Hauntingly beautiful, mournfuly splendid.