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And the Mountains Echoed Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 7,840 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Khaled Hosseini's third novel is told via a series of interlinking stories—beginning in an Afghanistan village in 1952 when an impoverished man named Saboor is faced with the prospect of giving up one of his children in order to survive. From this crucial moment, the narrative expands, as Saboor's decision impacts his descendants and acquaintances for generations to come. Author Khaled Hosseini and narrators Navid Negahban and Shohreh Aghdashloo alternate reading duties. Of the three, the author speaks with the clearest elocution, though his reading, while precise, is also stiff at times—and this may take listeners out of the story. Negahban and Aghdashloo, who deliver the bulk of the narrative, are more emotive and hand in performances that are more likely to capture and keep listener attention. A Riverhead hardcover. (May)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611761808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611761801
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.5 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7,840 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I am almost embarrassed to admit I have yet to read Khaled Hosseini's first acclaimed works, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns so I couldn't pass up on the chance to read And the Mountains Echoed, the author's third novel.

This novel begins in 1952 as a father recites a bed time story to his young son and daughter during an overnight trek across the Afghanistan desert on their way to Kabul. The tale, we soon learn, tells the truth of the father's journey for desperate to provide for his new wife and growing family, the father has agreed to sell his daughter to a wealthy couple unable to bear their own in a deal brokered by their valet, his brother. The separation of the brother and sister, Abdullah and Pari, provides the catalyst for Hosseini to share several stories, within a larger arc, that explore the bonds of family and love, and the devastation of separation and loss.

Abdullah returns to their village with his father but feels the loss of his sister keenly;
"She was like the dust that clung to his shirt. She was in the silences that had become so frequent in the house, silence that welled up between their words, sometimes cold and hollow, sometimes pregnant with things that went unsaid, like a cloud filled with rain that never fell."

but never relinquishes the dream of being reunited with Pari.

At just four, Pari quickly settles into her new life but it is the story of her adoptive parents - the wild, provocative Nila and her introverted and much older husband Mr. Suleiman Wahdati, that unravels next as witnessed by Pari's uncle, Nabi. A marriage of convenience it soon disintegrates when Wahditi suffers a stroke and Nila flees to France, her mother's birthplace, with Pari.
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Summary: Pari and Abdullah are as close as siblings can be. Abdullah loves his sister so much, she is almost his daughter. So when the powers that be tear them apart, both of their lives are irrevocably changed. Years down the road we meet friends, doctors, chauffeurs, people whose lives are changed through this one event. What unfolds is a story that crosses oceans, teaching us what it means to love and care.

Review: Another hit from Khaled Hosseini! Truly, this man knows how to weave a story. And the Mountains Echoed is a less brutal novel than Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, but the story is no less meaningful nor less heartbreaking. Each chapter is written from the POV from a different character, and one chapter actually has two different POVs intertwined. Each POV is a different character's journey, but they are all related to each other.

Unlike the other two novels, this book does not center around regional conflicts. Hosseini delicately tells us stories of individuals who are going through real life journeys. They love, they die. They acquire dream jobs, and real life illnesses. The story is about individuals and how they relate to one another. Sure, the Taliban and the Russians are mentioned but only as a part of the setting. And since the story takes place in four different countries, we see a vast array of settings that help give more richness to the story.

One of the major themes of this novel is appearance vs. reality. The beautiful are empty, the morally repugnant are heroes. What may seem like a good idea at the time is actually the worst idea. The characters are also morally ambiguous, much like the main character in Kite Runner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel opens with a parable told by a father to his son, about another father who is forced to give up his young son to a monster, a div. When the father later confronts the div and discovers that his son has been well taken care of and is leading a happy life, the div asks the father to make a choice: take his son home or leave him to his happy life. Realizing that to take his son would fill the void in his own heart but ruin his son's life, he leaves the son. Recognizing the father's selflessness, the div rewards him by erasing the memory of his son. Despite this "gift," the father is left his a hole in his soul that is never filled.

This opening parable is reflected in the rest of the interconnected stories in this novel, all of which involve, to some degree, characters presented with the same choice. Although the main narrative involves the bond between a brother and sister, this novel is actually much broader in scope than a story of siblings. The common thread, in my mind, is the effect of breaking a bond between two family members or close friends. When these bonds are broken, often voluntarily and for the good of one of the pair and the detriment of the other, the characters are forced to view the world in a new light. As young Abdullah notes shortly before losing his sister, he "felt the true vastness of the desert, and the world, for the the first time. How easily a person could lose his way in it."

Of course, every broken bond leaves a hole in the lives of the characters, ones they attempt to fill, often with other people. As one mother explains, she needs her daughter to "fill these holes inside me." Some succeed in filling these voids, while others are left with gaping holes that will never be filled.
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