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And the Mountains Echoed Hardcover – May 21, 2013
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2013: Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed begins simply enough, with a father recounting a folktale to his two young children. The tale is about a young boy who is taken by a div (a sort of ogre), and how that fate might not be as terrible as it first seems—a brilliant device that firmly sets the tone for the rest of this sweeping, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel. A day after he tells the tale of the div, the father gives away his own daughter to a wealthy man in Kabul. What follows is a series of stories within the story, told through multiple viewpoints, spanning more than half a century, and shifting across continents. The novel moves through war, separation, birth, death, deceit, and love, illustrating again and again how people’s actions, even the seemingly selfless ones, are shrouded in ambiguity. This is a masterwork by a master storyteller. —Chris Schluep
*Starred Review* Saboor, a laborer, pulls his young daughter, Pari, and his son, Abdullah, across the desert in a red wagon, leaving their poor village of Shadbagh for Kabul, where his brother-in-law, Nabi, a chauffeur, will introduce them to a wealthy man and his beautiful, despairing poet wife. So begins the third captivating and affecting novel by the internationally best-selling author of The Kite Runner (2003) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). An immense, ancient oak stands in Shadbagh, emblematic of the complexly branching stories in Hosseini’s vital, profound, and spellbinding saga of family bonds and unlikely pairings forged by chance, choice, and necessity. We meet twin sisters, one beautiful, one plain; one an invalid, the other a caretaker. Two male cousins, one a charismatic wheeler-dealer; the other a cautious, introverted doctor. A disfigured girl of great valor and a boy destined to become a plastic surgeon. Kabul falls and struggles to rise. Shadbagh comes under the rule of a drug lord, and the novel’s many limbs reach to Paris, San Francisco, and a Greek island. A masterful and compassionate storyteller, Hosseini traces the traumas and scarring of tyranny, war, crime, lies, and illness in the intricately interconnected, heartbreaking, and extraordinary lives of his vibrantly realized characters to create a grand and encompassing tree of life. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The immense popularity of Hosseini’s previous books ensures a high-profile promotional campaign and mounting word-of-mouth excitement in anticipation of the release of his first new novel in six years. --Donna Seaman
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Hosseini’s tale spans several decades and generations of the family, and we follow them to Paris, the United States, and back to Afghanistan. The narration jumps between the past and the present, and is told by several different characters. It wasn't always clear who the narrator was, or how he or she was relevant to the story until later. I don't usually mind authors who do that, but in this case, it was often too much work and definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the story.
While I did like the book, I was a bit disappointed in it. I loved “The Kite Runner” and was very much looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations; however, I do feel it is a story worth reading.
I bookmarked a couple of paragraphs that were especially beautifully written. "...every time I see that picture, the last time two years ago, I can't help but see two people together out of a sense of genetic duty, doomed already to bewilder and disappoint each other, honor-bound to defy the other."
"I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that."
As close to perfect as writing gets.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved Khaled Hosseinis first two books but didn't like this book; it was a hard to follow and I felt the story was disjointed