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And the Mountains Echoed Hardcover – 21 May 2013
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A story of love, separation, friendship, compassion, exile, memory and the troubled history of Afghanistan, spanning three continents and 60 years... Hosseini is a master storyteller and his characters brim with life... This novel will not disappoint his many admirers (Paul Dunn The Times)
Hosseini's evocative tales don't just capture hearts, they break them (Glamour)
I defy any critics less high-minded than, say, F.R. Leavis not to enjoy the sheer zest with which Hosseini goes about his business here - or admire the unhurried confidence with which he sweeps through the years. And if they do admit that resistance is futile and allow their heartstrings to be shamelessly tugged, they might spot something else as well: in its admittedly unsubtle way, the novel gives a thorough airing to the central question of whether it's better to stay true to your roots or rise above them ... Let's face it, Hosseini is a master storyteller (James Walton Spectator)
Fascinating and moving (Stylist)
A profoundly moving story of how families love, betray, honour and make sacrifices for each other (Woman & Home)
Yes, there will be tears (InStyle)
Heart warming and beautiful (Essentials)
Clever and moving (Easy Living)
Hosseini pulls off his usual - impressive - trick of breaking your heart and leaving you smiling (Helen Brown Daily Telegraph)
Tremendously moving (Omid Djalili Daily Express)
Touching and epic (Sunday Telegraph)
A worthy successor . Part of Hosseini's effectiveness as a storyteller is the way he draws on universal signifiers of myth and symbol . In mining such truths about human experience, Hosseini digs deep and brings up diamonds (Rachel Hore Independent on Sunday)
A touching story of love across time and continents (Sunday Express)
Takes you on an irresistible treasure trail of stories from Kabul to Paris, via San Francisco and the Greek island of Tinos . Hosseini's characters are beautifully drawn . For a novel that will change how you judge yourself and others, it has to be Hosseini (Sarah Pyper Stylist)
I was looking forward to sinking into the lush narrative of Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed . Hosseini's book is an absorbing read. His characters are nuanced and their overlapping narratives stay with you. It's a heartbreaking and beautifully told story of sibling love and loss (Emma Rion Stylist)
The key to Hosseini's story-telling is to keep us constantly guessing . Hosseini has a gift for lyrical description, but the chief merit of his style is a simplicity that allows him to go straight to the heart. He has written a magnificent, compassionate, life-affirming novel (Anthony Gardner Mail on Sunday)
A beautifully narrated tale ... It is impossible to read Hosseini's novels without feeling at times that your heart is being ripped out and yet somehow you finish the novel feeling as if you have been given a very special gift (Lizzy Greenhalgh Lady)
A heartbreaking story of enduring sibling love (Good Housekeeping)
Hosseini goes straight to the heart of the matter in this magnificent, compassionate, life-affirming novel (Irish Mail)
His third engrossing tale of life, love, hope, despair and redemption set against the backdrop of war-ravaged Afghanistan ... The novel's poignant, bitter-sweet conclusion will almost certainly bring tears to your eyes - devotees of the emotionally charged Kite Runner would expect no less (Kath Whitbourn Daily Mail)
Emotionally wrenching (Luisa Metcalfe Scottish Daily Express)
He is a master of that principle: get your readers where they want to go, but not in the way they expect ... And the Mountains Echoed charges its readers for the emotional particles they are, giving them what they want with a narrative facility as great as any blockbusting author alive (Alexander Linklater Observer)
This is a shamelessly enjoyable book (Philip Hensher Guardian)
He brings a real, human Afghanistan to life in a way that endless news stories about bombs and the Taliban can't ... The mountains echo with the voices and events from the past and the ripples extend outwards beyond the final page (Luisa Metcalfe Daily Express)
His most assured and emotionally gripping story yet ... Succeed[s] in spinning his characters' lives into a deeply affecting choral work is a testament both to his intimate knowledge of their inner lives and to his power as an old-fashioned storyteller (Michiko Kakutani International Herald Tribune)
And the Mountains Echoed opens like a thunderclap...From this dramatic opening spins a constellation of star-crossed characters...Love, Hosseini seems to say, is the great leveller, cutting through language, class, and identity. No one in this gripping novel is immune to its impact (O - The Oprah Magazine)
Hosseini plants seeds and uncovers secrets with the sure hand of a master storyteller. His tales leave a lingering, haunting impression (Metro)
His best yet (Scotsman)
This universality and humanity may well be why millions of readers devour Hosseini's books. I read And the Mountains Echoed in a single sitting - it is an absorbing read from a master storyteller (Financial Times)
An exquisitely rendered study of familial bonds ... And the Mountains Echoed moves deftly between generations and countries ... The novel is a dizzying array of voices and places that allows the reader to luxuriate in Hosseini's rich, textured language. Hosseini is a masterful storyteller (Literary Review)
A profoundly moving novel, undoubtedly one of the year's highlights. It is also Mr Hosseini's best and most ambitious work yet (Irish Examiner)
Another sweeping, breath-taking novel from the author of The Kite Runner (Daily Express)
Epic tales of hope (Woman 2014-09-01)
'A story of love, separation, friendship, compassion, exile, memory and the troubled history of Afghanistan, spanning three continents and sixty years ... Hosseini is a master storyteller.' (The Times)
'Hosseini pulls off his usual – impressive – trick of breaking your heart and leaving you smiling.' (The Daily Telegraph)
'With profound depth and compassion, Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives.' (The Mail on Sunday) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
I loved the short story about the divs and jinns in the first chapter, it's a precursor to what happens to Abdullah and Pari in life. The book covers not only the story of Abdullah and Pari but everyone connected to them and across different generations and from Shadbagh a village in Afghanistan to the US, Greece and Paris and from poverty to riches. It's a novel of epic proportions.
After reading this book its no wonder Khaled Hosseini is one of the most respected novelists in the world. His novels are truly captivating and beautifully written.
I think The Kite Runner is a faster, more colourful tale and gave me an introduction to life in the Middle East while A Thousand Splendid Suns gave a deeper insight into the lives, particularly of Moslem women in Afghanistan. To me And the Mountains Echoed loses something of the uniqueness of the other two books.
Nevertheless, I shall look out for more of Hosseini's writing and will, no doubt, enjoy reading his work in the future.
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