by Khaled Hosseini

Reviewer Rating:
2

Review

My harsh rating for Khaled Hosseini's newest book is partly due to the book itself and partly due to the high expectations he's laden us all with, so this book left me sadder than the same book by a different author would have.

After swooning over the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, I was prepared for a sweeping, heart-wrenching, and beautiful next novel, but I would say And the Mountains Echoed wasn't any of those. 

In contrast to his other books, Hosseini tries to expand from one story focused on a couple characters to a complex web of people that reminded me of that movie "Babel" with Brad Pitt where there are multiple stories going on and when you eventually find out how they're all connected, the connections are not interesting, surprising or imperative to the story. So you have several stories about rather un-likeable characters, set mostly in modern-day. Let's face it: most of us read Kite Runner because Afghanistan was painted as so culturally rich and vibrant, but also tragic and you become very invested. The modern-day setting gives us ugly, crumbling cities in the old country or uninspired descriptions of the the countries some characters moved to for no reason that makes sense to the continuity of the story. 

In the end, it was a disjointed jumble of stories that left me apathetic. I salute Hosseini for trying a new style, but unfortunately, in my opinion it was not successful.

However, if you get this item, try the audio book! The author reads about a third, and the other readers are very good. 

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