And the Mountains Echoed

  • by Khaled Hosseini
  • Narrated by Khaled Hosseini, Navid Negahban, Shohreh Aghdashloo
  • 14 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On May 21, 2013, the new novel from Khaled Hosseini: an unforgettable story about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.
Khaled Hosseini, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each passing minute.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, May 2013 - When it’s been six years since a best-selling author’s last book, there is a heightened sense of anticipation and high expectations surrounding that next new release. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is the perfect example of this, and does not disappoint. An expansive family saga, both modern and mythic, the story begins in a small Afghan town in the 1950s and follows one family through time and across the globe to France, California, and Greece. While there is a broad sweeping sense of the effect of one generation on the next, it’s the personal relationships between siblings that I found the most memorable; in particular how Abdullah, a 10-year-old boy, becomes the caretaker to his three-year-old sister, Pari, and does so with love, skill, and absolutely no hesitation or resentment. Their forced separation is the catalyst that creates the conflict and momentum that propels the story beyond Afghanistan and into the larger world. I look forward to the audio (including the author’s narration) and then to Hosseini’s next book, regardless of when that may be. —Tricia, Audible Editor

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Does the End Justify the Means

Hosseini writes and narrates an amazing and morally complex novel, hooking you from the start. A dark fairytale sets the scene for the many stories to come. The reader is once again in Afghanistan, but the trip feels completely different from "The Kite Runner" which was a unlike "A Thousand Splendid Suns". You also travel to other destinations and times as the seemingly disparate stories tie together.

What astounds me about this novel is how complex, thoughtful, and new are the scenarios and characters. While many authors churn out the same books year after year because the market supports this (i.e. Sparks or Piccoult), Hosseini took his time to create thought-provoking characters grappling with insurmountable odds.

In the beginning, a father faces a devastating loss and must choose the right path for his children. A choice he'll remember and possibly regret for the rest of his days. The overall theme is of making difficult decisions and living with the consequences. It begs the question, "does the end justify the means"? I won't give more details as not to spoil the experience. I found this novel rich, thought-provoking, haunting, and powerful.
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- FanB14 "Short, Simple, No Spoilers"

Generational Reverberations

"A mountain keeps an echo deep inside. That's how I hold your voice." Rumi

You prepare your heart when reading Hosseini; you know you will feel the tug of those heart strings that bind us to humanity. He writes about universal themes - family, love, loss, betrayal, courage - with a sincerity that doesn't pander for emotions (his foundation and humanitarian work with the people of Afghanistan, from where he draws his characters, speaks to this sincerity and dedication) yet takes aim at our core. With the voice of a poet, Hosseini captivates his readers with characters facing challenges that test human limitations. Of course, it adds to the complex atmosphere and mystique of his story that he writes about a historically and mythologically rich country that is unfamiliar to most of us. It's clear from the very beginning of this new book -- when a father tucks his children into their beds around a desert campfire and conjures up a allegorical fable of a monster that steals children away in the night (a Jungian's delight, and magical beginning) -- that the author has written a beautiful story that will have us, once again, feeling that familiar tug. And the Mountains Echoed spares very few readers the pang of empathy, but unlike its predecessors, the approach is light handed and the violence is minimal.

I purposely am avoiding outlining the plot. This is one of the first times that I have read a review prior to listening to the book, that truly was a spoiler--going into this novel with so much information almost ruined the journey for me. The beginning fable does foreshadow the events to come, but I would like to have gotten to that destination with my own interpretations of the view along the way -- it's just that kind of story. Spanning several generations, the story tells how the choices made early in the genealogy dictated the course of latter family members. It's not the events themselves that construct the human drama over the years, but how the events are acted upon by the characters. Hosseini's characters come from a history of tumult; they internalize their emotions, because of personal reasons, political tensions, cultural upbringing--their harsh world doesn't allow the luxury of licking their wounds, processing or resolution. The resulting legacy they build is one of pain, regret, sorrow, and secrecy.

The beginning is powerful with the imagery and the foreshadowing. You'll read that some critics thought the middle section suffered from the addition of new characters, and I have to agree. Though good material, it just wasn't in the same rich vein as the wonderfully dimensioned beginning chapters, and only detracted from the emotional heart of the saga, slowing down a story that never seemed to regain the same momentum-- it just rolls to a good place to wrap up. My favorite -- the narration! (I can't wait to see the reviews on this subject!) From the rich, sexy foreign voice of Hosseini to the sultry smoky voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo...there were simply times I couldn't understand what the h3LL they were saying, but could've cared less because they sounded so great saying whatever it was! I adored the narration, with all the limitations of my white-bread ears. Their voices added great texture and authenticity--I can't imagine the story presented any other way, but doubt that will be the consensus.

Fans of Hosseini will feel rewarded for the wait. There was something about Kite Runner -- the innocence, the look into the social landscape and family structure -- that I liked better; but, the moments of beauty singular to this book: the children listening to the fable, the sound of a tinkling bell, the devoted Chauffer's and his letter, the scrappy eared dog...still give me that little stab in the heart and keep me in an emotional orbit.





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- Mel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-21-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio