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on 1 October 2017
Having read Hosseini's previous two books, I was looking forward to this one. What a disappointing experience. From the very beginning of the book I found myself backtracking. New characters were introduced into the book with no indication as to how they might fit in. There are too many characters and too many stories. There is no flow to the book and it has a lack of transitions. Hosseini has a penchant for hardship and tragedy and he does not resolve things, even in the smallest way. The story was designed to plant in our mind a yearning for brother and sister to reconnect in some way, when this happened it did not enhance the story in any way. I thought that the story had potential, but lacked a focus on the enjoyment of the reader.
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on 28 July 2017
And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)

From the 1950s to the present day, and ranging from war-torn Afghanistan to France, to Greece, to America, this remarkable saga embraces several families, their lives interwoven by many invisible threads of fate.

The tale is told by means of frequent flashbacks, but minus the clear date or place references that usually simplify the reader’s task when this device is used, and it did sometimes take me a few moments to realise of whom and of where I was reading. Apart from this minor irritation, it’s an excellent read. I found it often heartrending, sometimes delighting, but always riveting.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 18 October 2013
I had high hopes after Hosseini's earlier books but I didn't enjoy this as much. It is beautifully written and the first half is very strong but thereafter I found the story dragged. The story is told by several narrators and introduces new characters at regular intervals. I have no problem with this but unfortunately at times, particularly in the last half of the book, these stories seem to take a long while going not very far and at times I couldn't see why the sub-story had been included. A number of characters were introduced who I assumed and expected would play a more significant part in the novel but their involvement just petered out even although there was a certain theme. I also found it frustrating to have to keep flicking back through the pages to check that a character that re-appeared was the one I was thinking of. I felt at times that Hosseini was alluding to greater themes but that these were only partially formed - either that or I was reading too much into things.

Overall I was a little disappointed. My disappointment may have been increased by expectations created by the earlier books, but this one is in my view the weakest of the three.
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on 18 February 2017
Was so looking forward to this after the magnificence of his two previous books. Had I read this one first I certainly wouldn't have read the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns which were awesome.

And the Mountains Echoed was great to start with and then it was like all the characters where thrown up in the air and landed in a mess. I am unable to tell you who was who, where they were, what year/era they were in - or anything.

I kept reading the book in the vane hope a rabbit would appear out of the hat - but it didn't.

Khaled Hosseini did brilliantly with the first two books and I'm sure he will do brilliantly again. Hope this was just a hiccup - I'm sure it was.
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on 15 January 2018
And the Mountains Echoed is the third novel by Khaled Hosseini.
It deviates from the style of his first two works by avoiding its focus on just one character.
The book is written similar to a collection of short stories, with each of the nine chapters being told from the perspective of a different character.
The novel opens in the year 1952.
Saboor, an impoverished farmer from the village of Shadbagh in Afghanistan, decides to sell his three-year-old daughter Pari to a wealthy, childless couple in Kabul.
The choice devastates his 10-year-old son, Abdullah, who raised Pari following their mother's death in childbirth.
Subsequent chapters expound on how the arrangement came to be: the children's stepmother, Parwana, grew up as the less-favoured child to her beautiful twin sister Masooma.
One day, in a flash of jealousy, she caused Masooma to suffer a debilitating injury that resulted in paraplegia.
Parwana subsequently spent several years caring for her sister until the latter asked her to help her commit suicide and to then marry Saboor. Their older brother, Nabi, left to work for Mr Wahdati, a wealthy man in Kabul, and became infatuated with his wife, Nila.
After Nila expressed dismay about her inability to have children, Nabi arranged for Pari to be sold to the couple.
Later chapters focus on Adel, a boy learning that his father is a war criminal and that his house is built on the land that previously belonged to Saboor, and Markos, a Greek aid worker and acquaintance of Nabi.
In the final chapter, narrated by Abdullah's daughter, Abdullah and Pari are reunited in the USA. But, he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and is unable to remember her.
The child-like essence of much of the book has striking similaritites to Saumyata Bisht’s fast rising Indian novel Gauri: A Sin Between My Legs, which also deals with similar themes of poverty and possession.
It is a stunning book and the chapters enable a reader to read the whole as a series of short stories, still keeping the essence and the chronology.
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on 29 March 2016
A beautifully written story with a lyrical dream like quality to it, I've really enjoyed the read.

The story begins with two young siblings utterly devoted to each other growing up in an impoverished Afghan village in the 1950s. They have an uncle who works as a chauffeur for a rich family in Kabul, a city which could hardly be different to poverty ridden little village they live in. Worst still the beautiful lady of the house wears short dresses, makeup and goes to the cinema to watch films, shocking stuff. If that wasn't bad enough she also writes erotic poetry....The uncle is deeply in love with her but sadly she is not interested in him, when his car arrives in the village of the children people are fascinated by him, it's the only car they've ever scene. We follow the Uncle right the way up to old age, people begin to disappear from his life, wars happen, followed by gangs which take over the streets, he inherits the mansion of the former owners but is unable to maintain it and it crumbles. Later the Taliban take over before being overthrown by the US. The uncle pens a letter to his English language teacher dated 2002 in which he recounts his long life. It's a life filled with interesting experiences but also tainted by sadness and society is gradually ruined around him.

The novel employs lots of different structures to develop the story, characters talking to each-other, characters talking to themselves, characters being interviewed, characters writing letters, characters looking back at their lives...

The story switches to France in the 1970s, where the beautiful wife from Kabul and the little girl from the village live together as mother and daughter. I loved the way the book captured the mood of the times and the contrast between the two women. The daughter being forced to live under her mother's shadow and self-centered lifestyle. The book plays with the history of the mother. She makes lots of claims about her early life, her daughter is skeptical knowing her better than most. We all have a tendency to miss-remembers or have selective memories though. The lack of clarity is interesting. Was her father an intolerant brute and misgonist or was he a loving father worried about his wild self-destructive daughter?

The story follows different characters at different points, affected by the changes in Afghan and world history, each with a plausible arc. There is a young boy who grows up adoring his well respected village elder father, who in his eyes is something of legend, a war hero and a blessing to his people. The boy wants for nothing, although his family must employ bodyguards to protect them from "the wrong kind of people." His young mother lives a simple shallow kind of life, enjoying the money, modern luxuriates and devoting herself to endless fitness sessions in front of the TV. An encounter with another boy in the area changes the sons view of the world though, and he comes to realise his father is more like a mafia Godfather than a hero. There's no firm easy resolution to all the characters' problems in these stories, the best you can say is that the arrive at a better understanding of the world and are able to accommodate this.

One critique I'd make of the writing is a lot of the characters seem to have slightly unrealistic professions, a lot of them seem to be a doctor or an artist or a poet or a mathematician or an actress or a restaurant owner, the later seemingly a bit more plausible than most of the others. To be fair to the author though all these people still lead very complex & sometimes rather unsatisfying lives.
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on 26 March 2016
I really loved A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner (in that order) and i was eagerly anticipating the new release of Khaled Hosseini's book.

Needless to say it did not disappoint

And The Mountains Echoed is absolutely fantastic. it follows the previous books by being set in pre-war Afghanistan and then showcasing the lives of those who are affected by the war and the devastating .effect it has on lives.

the story opens with a anecdote that i found heart wrenching with the Div and little Qais.

The story is primarily about a brother ans sister - Abdullah and Pari. the bond between these two is clearly established and then it is shown as they are ripped apart when Pari is sold to another woman. this book perfectly captured the anguish of children and the pain that is must be for a parent to have to lose a child.

Khaled Hosseini did not disappoint, however if there is one criticism of the book then it is that i did not see the need for at least one of the character point of views, i did not feel that it added anything to the story but other than that this book is FANTASTIC!!!
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on 21 July 2017
After devouring The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns I was eagerly looking forward to Khaled Hosseini's latest novel, but in truth although beautifully written I feel it fell far short of the page-gripping experience of his previous books. I found the jump from character to character a bit disconcerting, characters reappeared without seeming to make any advancement to the story and the whole Greek subplot could have been left out and you'd be none the wiser. Too many loose threads left dangling in my opinion. There are probably about half a dozen characters that I am still wondering about - what happened to them, and I am wondering if maybe Hosseini intends to write another book where they will be reintroduced! 4-5* for the wonderful evocative descriptions, but 1-2* for the plot which is why I can only give 3* overall.
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on 30 August 2016
Having read his first two novels, I eagerly anticipated this one and couldn't wait to begin. I found all the characters and locations a little confusing at first and the fact that you didn't always get told the character's name at the start of each new narrative. However, it soon started to grow on me as the writing was as always simply beautiful. The description of childhood heartache and trauma coupled with adult disappointment and the sadness of dementia were tackled with great empathy I believe. So sorry I've finished the book now and Khaled Hosseini hasn't written his next masterpiece yet!
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on 6 October 2017
So disappointed with this book. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns were two of the the finest books I have had the pleasure of reading but not this one. The book starts well but it is so disjointed its hard to follow, there is no flow, it jumps around too much, I had no idea who some of the charcaters introduced were. I became bored and gave up in the end which is a shame. I hope Mr Hosseini returns to form and I look forward to his next novel
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