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Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of Khaled Hosseini's novel And the Mountains Echoed....
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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.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Absolutely, I would recommend this book. It is entertaining as a story (well, several stories), but really is so much more. I will probably buy the hardcopy and re-read it. There is much to think about here. Love. Loyalty. Family ties. Decisions. Interconnectedness. I could go on, but you get the picture.
What was one of the most memorable moments of And the Mountains Echoed?
Several. I'd have to go back and listen again to find them all. But the story told by the father to the two children at the very beginning is magical. And sets the stage for so much of what is to come.
Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?
I don't find the question applicable, nor the answer important.
If you could rename And the Mountains Echoed, what would you call it?
What a silly question.
Any additional comments?
Only that I was disappointed to have it end, but not disappointed in how it ended.
The Kite Runner was one of my favorite books of all time and A Thousand Splendid Suns was a close second. The narration in both of those books was superb. When I saw that Hosseini had a new book coming out I was so excited and couldn't wait to download it. But now I'm sorry I wasted my credits on it - I'll have to go find it at the library and read it instead. I wish I had listened to a sample before downloading it but after the last two books by the same author I didn't think it was necessary. My mistake. What on earth was the author thinking having what is quite probably a fantastic book narrated in this way! I have barely begun listening and I simply can't continue. I can hardly understand a word the narrator is saying and the droning monotone voice is unbearable. I can't believe that after two wonderful audiobooks, the author has let this happen. I'm sure this is probably a very good book but I certainly don't recommend getting the audio version!
This is a difficult book to review. I love Khaled Hosseini's writing. The Kite Runner tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry. I liked his second novel, too. This third one is more similar to his second one (but even more dramatic; overly dramatic, I thought) in that it brings the threads of different characters together - but they are even more characters, even more diverse, and the switching between them (and across time) is very frequent and sometimes annoying. You start to care about a certain character, then you're switched to another time and place and you need to adjust. What made it all more dramatic (and it was already quite dramatic with the storyline) was the switching of narrators. In the end, the book as a whole was too dramatic to touch me in the same way The Kite Runner had.
Let me talk about the narrators. Disclaimer: English is not my native tongue, and I am quite tolerant of various forms of accented English. I have no problem listening to an entire audiobook narrated in an Indian accent, for example. But this book's narration was annoying. There is one pleasant narrator with a slight accent, whom I take to be Khaled Hosseini. The other two were very annoying to listen to. I initially thought they were Afghan but later started to think they were chosen because they are Afghan who also spoke Greek/French and English. But their English is really not good enough, in my opinion, for them to narrate an audiobook. I'm sorry. But it really detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
It's possible the narration biased me against the book - but that was a risk the publishers took, and I think they need to deal with the consequences
I guess I am the only reader/listener who was disappointed in this book. I was engrossed for the first 2/3 then not so much! I guess I am a romantic and while I realize real life is not easy, I want my novels to satisfy more than this one did.
Where does And the Mountains Echoed rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I could not put this audiobook down. Like other Housseini books, the complex characters stay with you long after the end. Agree with others that the author's narration was difficult on the ear, but the chapters narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo more than made up for those. (I think I could listen to her read a dictionary and still be entertained). <br/>Great book and I especially loved the way the intergenerational stories were linked together. Must listen.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I love audio books and I have listened to Khalid Hosseini's first two books and loved the experience! But not this one, unfortunately. I wish Khalid Hosseini had read the entire book himself. The other two narrators were very disappointing. Heavily accented, slurred speech at times, made it hard to listen leave alone enjoy the experience. Sorry about that!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Abdullah. I felt his pain on parting with his sister.
Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Would you listen to And the Mountains Echoed again? Why?
Absolutely not. The heavily accented voices of Mr. Negahban and Ms. Aghdashloo make it very difficult to follow the story. I have enjoy listening to Mr. Hosseini read his books in the past, and I wish that he had narrated the entire book this time as well, instead of just one chapter. I almost gave up about halfway through.
If you could sum up And the Mountains Echoed in three words, what would they be?
Any additional comments?
What a treat to hear this story through Khaled Hosseini's own voice. This book follows the same great writing style and character development that I have come to love in Hosseini's other works. I am sad it is over and am already missing the characters.
I loved his other books and couldn't imagine how this one would live up to the others but it does. As with all his stories, it takes a bit to learn and be involved with the characters but by the mid point of the book you are fully involved and yearning for a happy ending for them all. As an added bonus I feel like it provides insight into the history of a culture-an added bonus that I appreciate. A must for any Hosseini fan.
Any additional comments?
I did not want to finish this book. I had read his two previous ones and knew it would be the work of a genuine storyteller unlike any I'd ever heard. Loved the readers; they gave it authenticity and feeling. Don't rush through this; it's real people and real life.