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541 of 560 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Incredible Novel
This has probably been my most anticipated new release for a very long time. Like many people, I was totally awestruck by Hosseini's first novel The Kite Runner. His second; A Thousand Splendid Suns is up there in my Top Five Books, I was astounded by the story. Bearing this in mind, and despite my delight at acquiring a pre-publication copy of And The Mountains...
Published on 25 Mar. 2013 by Lincs Reader

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed after such high expectations.
I, like so many others, awaited eagerly this book. I saved it as a 'treat' and was full of excited anticipation. The Kite Runner was, and still is, my all time favourite book and A Thousand Splendid Suns' in my top 5. I expected the book to be woven around the main character's (as clearly the summary on the back suggests) but the expected unfolding of tragedy and triumph...
Published 12 months ago by H. Simpson


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541 of 560 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Incredible Novel, 25 Mar. 2013
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Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This has probably been my most anticipated new release for a very long time. Like many people, I was totally awestruck by Hosseini's first novel The Kite Runner. His second; A Thousand Splendid Suns is up there in my Top Five Books, I was astounded by the story. Bearing this in mind, and despite my delight at acquiring a pre-publication copy of And The Mountains Echoed, I was a little nervous that I may be a little disappointed.

Khaled Hosseini's fans do have to wait a long time between books, its been five years since A Thousand Splendid Suns. I can truthfully say that this is certainly worth that very very long wait.

This is a story that spans generations, yet starts and finishes with the same characters. In 1952 a father and his two young children are travelling across Afghanistan, father has been promised some much needed work. The children; Abdullah and his little sister Pari are happy to be together, they adore each other and Abdullah has become more of a parent than a brother to Pari. When their mother died just after giving birth to Pari and then their father re-married and new half-siblings joined the family, Abdullah took on the protection and care of Pari. Neither of them can know that this journey will be the beginning of heartbreak that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

With heart-breaking realism, Hosseini tells the tale of a family split apart by poverty and desperation. From the small rural villages to the large bustling cities of Afghanistan, the writing transports the reader into the heart of the story, experiencing the sounds, the smells and the changing political landscapes. From immense poverty, to the greatest riches. From the modest and humble, to the arrogant and the proud, the cast of characters are a triumph.

That one event in Kabul in 1952 leads on to many others, including characters and settings from Paris, to the Greek Islands and back to Afghanistan. Characters who appear, on the face of it, to be so different and so diverse are all connected in one way or another to the day that a loving father told his two small children the story of farmer Baba Ayub - it is this story, and its meaning that is threaded through the whole novel and which eventually turns from a fable to the truth.

Whilst And The Mountains Echoed does not have the shock-factor of Hosseini's two previous novels, it is still a very important epic story that will leave a mark on anyone who reads it. The cast of characters is huge and the narrative often slips back and forward, which can at times, appear a little disjointed. However, this really does not detract from the story, or from the wonderfully evocative writing.

Once again, Khaled Hosseini has produced a story that will break hearts and leave his fans, new and old, gasping for more.
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171 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand ..., 24 Mar. 2013
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Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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Khaled Hosseini's much-anticipated third novel begins with a father and his two children making a journey across Afghanistan, ostensibly so that the father can find work. As they listen to their father's folk tales the children, Abdullah and his beloved little sister Pari, are blissfully unaware of the darker fate which lies in store from them. In some ways Hosseini is treading familiar territory - lives torn apart by the wars in Afghanistan - but in others this is a very different tale, reaching across the twentieth century and focussing on the after-effects of war and the rebuilding of this devastated country.

Abdullah and Pari's story forms the core of the book but we also meet a wide variety of other engaging and fascinating characters. We hear from their uncle Nabi who works for a rich family in Kabul, from Nila, a poetess trapped in a loveless and constraining marriage and Idris and Timur, two brothers whose family fled to the USA when the conflict started and who return many years later to help in the reconstruction of shattered lives and buildings (each with very different motives). There's also Markos, a Greek plastic surgeon who works for a medical charity and Adel, the son of a former warlord who comes to realise that his father is perhaps not the great and benevolent man he thought him to be.

Each character's tale is told in a separate chapter almost as a series of vignettes, but there's a strong inter-linking theme running throughout the book which is the personal tragedy and devastation caused by the successive wars in Afghanistan and the desire to reconstruct the fractured country and fragmented families. Sometimes the characters speak to us in the first person, but other accounts are delivered in the form of a letter or a magazine interview. However they speak to us their voices are clear and compelling.

It's hard to say whether this book will have the same hard-hitting emotional impact as The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Sons; for me it was an educational experience but also a fascinating insight into aspects of life in Afghanistan which don't always make the headlines. It's not remotely dry or depressing though - Khaled Hosseini is such a wonderful storyteller and I was totally absorbed in these people's life stories for the last two days and didn't want the book to end.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed after such high expectations., 5 July 2014
By 
H. Simpson (Wilts. UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: And the Mountains Echoed (Paperback)
I, like so many others, awaited eagerly this book. I saved it as a 'treat' and was full of excited anticipation. The Kite Runner was, and still is, my all time favourite book and A Thousand Splendid Suns' in my top 5. I expected the book to be woven around the main character's (as clearly the summary on the back suggests) but the expected unfolding of tragedy and triumph did not materialise after a truly promising start. I kept on wondering when the story would return to the supposed 'main' characters and became increasingly puzzled by the diversions. I realised at 3/4 through that this simply wasn't going to happen other than tenuous links and scant references when they could have been so much more. It was like Hosseini had lost interest in what could have been the powerful heart of the story. Each 'mini' story of the multitude of different characters may well have had meaningful messages but the book did not hang together at all. I can not believe this was written by the same author as The Kite Runner and I am glad this was not the first book I read of the 3 or I probably would not have read any of the others. I was bereft when I finished The Kite Runner, this just left me disappointed and wondering what went wrong - was the book really just not that good or was it just that my expectations were too high? Sadly, my opinion is that it was the former.
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146 of 163 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing, 3 Jun. 2013
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Ms. M. Cheung (UK) - See all my reviews
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Expectations were really high for this book, I was so impressed with Hosseini's first two novels that this one was a must-read for me.

The book started promisingly, centred on Abdullah and his sister Pari going on a trip to Kabul with their father. Little did they know that the purpose of the trip was to give Pari to a rich woman as a daughter. So far, so heart-rending.

The story then jumped to the point of view of the step-uncle who arranged for Pari to be given to a new family, and from then on it jumped to the viewpoint of a new character every 30-40 pages. So, we are exposed to the different characters surrounding the story and we get to see why each person does as s/he does.

I found that this method of telling the story quite effective, in that the reader knows much more about the background of each character, but ultimately it detracted from the emotion of the novel and left me feeling nothing for each character. Hosseini excelled in his first two books because they were so moving and the reader was pulled along by the heart-strings, but this new method of writing only lets the reader dip their toes in and as such I felt quite let down.

Overall, still an enjoyable book to read and it kept me turning the pages, but definitely not on the same level as A Thousand Splendid Suns or the Kite Runner - someone who hasn't read Hosseini before would not necessarily be encouraged to read any more if this book was the first one they read.
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79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the first 400 pages, disappointed with the last 4, 3 Jun. 2013
Having absolutely loved both KR and ATSS, I can safely say ATME matches them for drama and delicious writing style.

I commend Hosseini for introducing so many characters and storylines, a risky departure from his previous successes. The problem is that some turn out to be irrelevant.

Spoiler Alert:
There is no doubt however, the ending lacked the emotional power it could have done. Pari and Abdullah meeting after 60 years should have been the pinnacle of the story. Instead, their reunion left me feeling flat and unfulfilled.

Which brings me to the main criticism of an otherwise fantastic read. Although Abdullah was the central character, his story was completely ignored after Chapter 1. We have no idea about the turmoil he went through after being seperated from his sister. Whether he eventually accepted it, or hated his father, or made attempts to find her etc. Instead, Idris, Markos and Adel were granted significant swathes of the book and neither had any significant impact on the Pari / Abdullah storyline.

Too many stories were told. 100 pages could have been cut, or replaced with more depth added to the central characters. The ending should have been told from Abdullah's point of view, to bring the entire story full circle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: And the Mountains Echoed (Paperback)
After reading so much about Khaled Hosseini, I bought this book...Its one of the most painful reads I have ever had to read, the story seems to be full of other story's, I thought it might take off around the middle but no.
Sorry but I was very disappointed with this book :(
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars redemption and family love. It differs structurally, 25 May 2015
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This review is from: And the Mountains Echoed (Paperback)
And the Mountains Echoed revolves around the story of two young Afghan siblings, Pari and Abdullah, who are tragically torn apart as young children. The novel follows their respective stories for the following decades as well of the stories of a surrounding cast of characters including relatives, friends and neighbours. The story echoes Hosseini's previous novels in its exploration of themes including loss, separation, redemption and family love. It differs structurally, however, using the literary device of telling the story through a series of short stories from the perspective of 9 different members of the novel's cast of characters. This is a popular device in modern literature (think David Mitchell especially), but whilst each short story is very enjoyable in its own right, it just doesn't quite work as a whole. There are 2 sections in particular which are almost completely divorced from the main storyline. They serve as intriguing explorations of the novel's themes, but ultimately they're too far removed from the main storyline for the overall work to be cohesive. In particular, the 8th story which precedes the novel's denouement takes us to Greece for the story of Markos, who is very much a peripheral character in the novel. It's a powerful standalone story but really serves as a distraction at a time when the reader is hungry for the novel's ending.

None of this is to say that I didn't enjoy the novel. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed Hosseini's previous books, although I'd start with one of the earlier books if you're new to his writing. It's a moving story and often the narrative is very gripping, but the way in which themes are explored to the detriment of the actual storyline is too big an issue for me to be able to praise this book wholeheartedly. Hosseini deserves praise for the ambition and experimentation in the novel, even if it doesn't quite work this time - I'll be fascinated to see where he takes us next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender and sad, moving and mature - Hosseini excels himself again, 24 Jun. 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is another wonderful story from Hosseini. It's not as overtly tragic (and certainly not violent) as his other two works, but it's incredibly moving and sad and just beautiful to read.

Plot-wise it's hard to contain the novel in a few words. The book centres around one event that tears into the lives of Abdullah and his little sister Pari, poor Afghan children whose sibling love for each other remains, despite all that happens.

The structure of time is played with, and Abdullah and Pari's story sits on the periphery of an overarching tale of love, loss, parents, children, death, innocence lost, loyalty and friendship. We meet several connected characters in the book, at two central points in time. As one character eloquently describes this: "the years...are rapidly folding over one another again and again, time accordioning itself down". At times it's almost like a set of short stories connected by a few central characters and their stories. Each is beautiful, some very sad indeed. When halfway through one chapter a character you know appears, you see the links between their tales and a whole dot-to-dot of the overall picture begins to take shape.

There's no need to describe the plot in depth, it's a plot that you need to unravel for yourself. Each chapter is narrated by someone new, and each can take time to think through to work out just who is talking and how they relate to known characters. Hosseini makes you work to understand.

It's a very intelligent piece of writing. I am still debating with myself if it tops 'The Kite Runner' and in terms of style it just may do. If you've read his others, you'll not be disappointed with this long-awaited volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Emotional, 27 May 2013
By 
Vivek Tejuja "vivekian" (mumbai, maharashtra, india) - See all my reviews
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Let me honest at the start of this review. I have not enjoyed Hosseini's earlier works. I know of some people who will probably never speak with me again after this confession, but hey, that's just my view as a reader. Having said that, I must say that his new book, "And the Mountains Echoed" made up for more than the disappointment I felt while reading his earlier two works. Let me just say that this book will be reread even though I know how it ends and what happens in it.

"And the Mountains Echoed" is a sentimental story, may be which is why I did not like "The Kite Runner" or "A Thousand Splendid Suns". However, this one is not saccharine sweet and does not lose the bigger perspective of the story. I found it to be more mature a tale and more thawed in with the writer's thoughts and emotions. The alignment was perfect and illuminated on every single page. The story is probably not that intense but the way it is narrated and the characters that come to life certainly make it a lot more intense and interesting. The jumping of the novel in parts is also alright, because it makes sense and weaves everything through like a well-knitted quilt.

The plot of the novel is centered on love between siblings. The story as usual is set in Afghanistan and moves around the world in typical Hosseini style. It all starts in 1952 and spreads across almost fifty years. This gives an indication of the mammoth storytelling in store for the reader. The story begins with a father and his two children traveling from their village (a poor family at that), across Afghanistan to get to Kabul, where their father has been promised work. Abdullah and Pari are as close as any siblings could be. Abdullah is almost a mother to Pari. This should alone tell you that you will as a reader probably cry buckets during the course of the book. Their father has remarried and the journey has been undertaken entirely for a different purpose which will change the course of their lives forever.

Now to the writing. The writing for me was superlative at so many places - well let me just say that the entire book was something else for me. It does get sentimental, but it has that sense of sincerity to it. The changing political landscape of Afghanistan is almost a secondary character in the book. The sense of family, hope, loss and love run throughout and yes it may sound cliché but let me also tell you that Hosseini is a master of this craft - of bringing these emotions to the surface and to life. Hosseini takes a folk tale as well and builds his story within it - both intelligently and with great sensitivity.

Khaled Hosseini makes you see the world through this book in different light. Relationships are viewed through closely and sometimes they fall apart just as soon. He takes a fable and makes you see the reality of it. His cast of characters is close to life and ring true and may be you can also see them daily, no matter what the country or situation. I guess this is what made me love this book. I guess this is what is making me eagerly wait for what he has to offer next.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sounded like 100 short stories with random characters, 21 Jan. 2014
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It was really confusing and disjointed set of stories. Many small stories came and went and I was expecting them to link up somehow in the end but it didnt. Huge disappointment I would say. It looks like I was reading 100 short stories with no proper beginning or end. The characters were many, random and unrelated to actual story... the main story also just suddenly went 10 steps ahead and the writer didnt bother to fill in intermediate steps. The end of the book was very poor...
I was not at all expecting this after Thousand splendid sun or Kite runner
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And the Mountains Echoed
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Paperback - 8 May 2014)
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