Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£17.18+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
77 comments| 564 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
0Comment| 187 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 3 June 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
2828 comments| 161 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 June 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.
88 comments| 82 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 May 2014
Probably one of the most disappointing books I've read. As a great fan of Khaled Hosseini I was really looking forward to this,The Kite Runner remains one of my favourite books and A Thousand Splendid Suns was a masterpiece.I'm frankly baffled as to what Hosseini was trying to achieve with this story,or rather the way he tells it. The plotline is actually very good,it's just written in such a disjointed and haphazard manner and from the point of view of far too many characters.Often Hosseini seems to feel the need to add bits and pieces to tug at the heartstrings of readers that have little or no relevance to the main story and the whole thing's a bit of a mess and more than a bit confusing.Too often I was thinking,"where is this leading?",only for the answer to be,"nowhere actually".There's a really good story at the core of this book,100 pages taken out and sticking to the 2 main characters stories without all the padding would have worked so much better.Parts of the book are very moving and up to Mr Hosseini's usual standard,sadly it loses it's way very quickly and the good bits don't compensate for the struggle to find them.
22 comments| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2014
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.
44 comments| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 August 2013
I had waited with anticipation for Hosseini's 3rd book, I really enjoyed his first two and would have said these books were in my top 10. I can't believe this book is by the same person. It is confusing to read, it leaps from one place to another, from one time to another and appears to be about random people who may be loosely connected to the 2 people I thought the story was about. People refer to it as an 'epic' tale through the generations. I don't agree. I forced myself to finish the book and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I got there. I didn't care about any of the characters in the book as I felt more like a passer-by glancing at all these characters from a disinterested distance. There were moments in the book which did give great insight to situations, but I'm afraid the characters were so remote I didn't care. I would not recommend this book to family or friends (and I raved about the others).
1111 comments| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 August 2015
This is a terrible read. Boring, fragmented, meaningless......I can't find the word to describe how bad this book is. If I could give it less than one star I would but I can't because I won't have the option of writing a review. Either Khaled Hosseini has run out of inspiration or someone else wrote this book. In fact it feels as if every chapter was written by a different person. I couldn't understand the relationship between one chapter and the other most of the time you get the feeling that you are reading a different book. Rarely do characters from one chapter relate to character in another chapter. It is meaningless and lacks...........I don't know what to say other than it lacks everything. It's not a novel, it's whatever it is. It could be that the writer is running out of stories about Afghan; therefore he should try something else and hope he can write something as good as The Kite runner; although after this book I'm going to find it extremely difficult buying anymore of his books. Worst book I read for ages.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 May 2013
I was delighted to hear that Khaled Hosseini had a new book coming out. I loved The Kite Runner and adored A Thousand Splendid Suns (which is one of my all time favourite books) and I never thought, in a million years, he could write a book as beautiful as ATSS but he has, and my goodness what an achievement this is.

I was engrossed from page one. I reached 85% and actually stopped reading as I didn't want this to end; yes it's that good.

I will not go into the details or the story save to say that these wonderful people - namely the very brave Saboor, the incredibly fantastic Nabi, poor Suleiman and Nila, gentle Markos together with Thalia and Odie, but especially Abdullah and Pari - have been a part of my life for the last few days and I am missing them already.

I was crying at 34% so I knew I would be inconsolable by the end and I was right, of course.

It is such a powerful and moving story and it has literally blown me away with the beautiful writing and the heartbreaking story around which the book revolves.

It will long stay in my memory and I cannot recommend this highly enough but, be warned, you will need to have tissues to hand from early on.

22 comments| 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 December 2015
Khaled Hosseini really disappointed me with this novel. Hosseini is one of my favourite authors. I had this book on my Kindle for years and waited until I was on holiday and could savour it. I was devastated to find out that it had no plot. ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ is a disjointed series of short stories which introduce dozens of characters loosely connected to a house in Kabul over a period of sixty years. You need to take notes in order to keep track of who's who and the character’s random connections with each other. I abandoned the novel twice in frustration and confusion and only finished it because I thought that there would be an amazing ending where everything would suddenly become clear.
There wasn’t and it didn’t.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here