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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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Does the End Justify the Means

Hosseini writes and narrates an amazing and morally complex novel, hooking you from the start. A dark fairytale sets the scene for the many stories to come. The reader is once again in Afghanistan, but the trip feels completely different from "The Kite Runner" which was a unlike "A Thousand Splendid Suns". You also travel to other destinations and times as the seemingly disparate stories tie together.

What astounds me about this novel is how complex, thoughtful, and new are the scenarios and characters. While many authors churn out the same books year after year because the market supports this (i.e. Sparks or Piccoult), Hosseini took his time to create thought-provoking characters grappling with insurmountable odds.

In the beginning, a father faces a devastating loss and must choose the right path for his children. A choice he'll remember and possibly regret for the rest of his days. The overall theme is of making difficult decisions and living with the consequences. It begs the question, "does the end justify the means"? I won't give more details as not to spoil the experience. I found this novel rich, thought-provoking, haunting, and powerful.

147 of 153 people found this review helpful

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  • Joange
  • Rice, VA, United States
  • 09-07-13

The narrations added to the story's authenticity

Another beautiful story by Khaled Hosseini. Like his other books, it is filled with sadness, hope and the importance of family. Unlike other readers who did not care for the narrations, they added so very much to the story. All the voices were understandable to me and made the story come alive. This is a story that spans generations and how the endless wars in Afghanistan have resulted in many levels of futility.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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DON'T LISTEN TO OTHER REVIEWS ON NARRATION!!

So many reviews are commenting on the narration and their dislike for the accent. To say the narrator sounds like he "has a mouthful of marbles" is offensive. It's an accent not a speech impediment.
Personally I found the narration to add to the story. If you loved The Life of Pi you will enjoy this narration. Listening to an audiobook that deals with different cultures, I expect to hear those different cultures. This book would not have had the same inpact on me if it were spoken in an american accent.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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THE POMPOSITY OF THE PLACE

A MAN CAN NOT WORK IF HE IS THIRSTY
Chapter one is a fable and it is good.
Chapter two is not good and read by a guy who sounds like he has a swollen tongue.
Chapter three is fairly interesting about twin sisters, one is beautiful and one is ugly. Hosseini often has people in his stores who are not pretty. In other words, real people. This is read by a heavy accented woman, but her tongue is not swollen.
Chapter four is a very long boring story. (couple of hours long) The only thing interesting about it is that it is a different culture and the gay issue. If this had been written about the same guy in the United States it would have not been worth publishing. I like my neighbors, but their lives are not worth reading about anymore then my life is.
Chapter five is read by Mush Mouth and I called it quits.

I loved The Kite Runner and A thousand Splendid Suns. This is written well like they are, but the story is not interesting.

Why the producers of audio books have not figured out how important the narrator is to the story I have not figured out. A lot of sales well be lost, because the producers could not figure out the effect of Mush Mouth.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 02-22-14

I easily understood the narrations

Any additional comments?

The book is another excellent work by Khaled Hosseini that captures the challenges of the human condition. My dyslexia makes pleasure reading difficult and I put off listening to the book for a year because of the negative comments concerning the narration. After reading Jane's review, I purchased and listened to the book. The narration was easy to understand and the accented voices added to the dramatic presentation. Thanks Jane

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Story (But Get it in Print)

I loved this story, but for much of the time I was struggling to understand two of the narrators. There is no reason that I can think of that multiple narrators were even needed. It added nothing to the story. In fact, the difficulty that I had in understanding the heavily accented English often detracted from the story. Get this one in print and enjoy (and understand) every word.

34 of 42 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed!!

I have read his previous books and I loved them, however I am so disappointed with this book!!

It has a very STRONG start and you get attached but as the story develops it gets weaker, boring and splashed all over the place!!

So to summarize I would say Beautiful beginning Boring ending.

I liked the parts where Khalid him self was narrating but was not a fan of the other two narrators! (Unclear and heavy accent) however i liked the parts where music was added between some emotional parts .....

I would not recommend this book but highly recommend the previous 2

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Six decades in the history of an Afghan village

A touching story beautifully told. Life in this Afghan village was not easy in the early 1950s when the story begins. Mothers die in childbirth. Babies die of cold because their fathers cannot keep food on the table and fuel in the fireplace. Families sell their young children for money to keep the rest of the family alive.
The story at the center of this complex novel is that of a brother and sister: she sold at age 3 to a wealthy childless artist in Kabul; he remaining with his father and the hard life in the village; and a lifetime of planning to reunite with his little sister. Branching off these two characters and their story are many characters and story lines set in divers countries and cities over 60 years. It's not a light read; there's a lot of real life in it. Lit freaks, prepare to be engrossed.
Narration: excellent

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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AND THIS BOOK ECHOES....

What did you love best about And the Mountains Echoed?

The brilliant twists and turns of the plot. Dr. Hosseini is brilliant at captivating your interest and holding you hostage till the end.

What was one of the most memorable moments of And the Mountains Echoed?

The medical descriptions.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Great depth of feeling...you feel as though you are experiencing every scene.

Any additional comments?

Khalad Hosseini and Abraham Verghese are two of my favorite authors...and both are physicians of note. Somehow they capture the heart and soul of their characters and, with their beautiful prose, make you feel honored to meet and experience their characters lives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-19-13

Ruined by narrators

I was so looking forward to this book. I loved both Hosseini's previous books. He was his own narrator on the Kite Runner and did a really good job, but this book was totally ruined by the readers. It doesn't happen often, but once in a while I have to admit to preferring reading over listening and this is one of those times. Sorry folks, can't agree on the high ratings on this one.
I'm sure once I let a little time pass, purchase the actual book and read it, my review on Amazon will be much different.
Hosseini only narrates one of the chapters, the rest are read by a man who sounds like he has marbles in his mouth and an accent too strong to be narrating and a woman with a raspy monotone voice.

36 of 48 people found this review helpful