Review Round Up: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

June 1, 2013
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Yes, the man who moved the world with books like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Suns is back. It might not have been accompanied by the kind of marketing hype that marked Dant…oops…Dan Brown’s Inferno, but Khaled Hosseini’s third novel, And The Mountains Echoed has arrived in bookstores around the world. Does it live up to the promise of its predecessors? Well, the reviews have been coming in, so if you are still making up your mind as to whether invest in it, perhaps the following will help you make up your mind:

  • The Guardian: “And the Mountains Echoed charges its readers for the emotional particles they are, giving them what they want with a narrative facility as great as any blockbusting author alive. Perhaps there is some hokey emotional chemistry at work here, but, in the process, Hosseini is communicating to millions of people a supple, conflicted and complex picture of his origin country, Afghanistan.”
  • New York Times: ““Mountains,” too, has more than its share of contrivance and sentimentality, but Mr. Hosseini’s narrative gifts have deepened over the years, enabling him to anchor firmly the more maudlin aspects of his tale in genuine emotion and fine-grained details. And so we finish this novel with an intimate understanding of who his characters are and how they’ve defined themselves over the years through the choices they have made between duty and freedom, familial responsibilities and independence, loyalty to home and exile abroad.”
  • The Independent: “Hosseini’s story is vast in its perspective, roving from one character to the next, with a filmic quality that seems primed for easy adaptation (as was the case for The Kite Runner). The changing points of view and leaps in time can confuse and confine, leaving characters clearly defined but lacking depth.”
  • Mint: “Hosseini weaves just the sort of yarn that gently tugs at the proverbial heartstrings of millions. His strength, as always, is good old-school storytelling, instantly gripping in the way an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show or a Hollywood tragicomedy is, the sort of thing that makes you sniffle a bit as you make your way through a bucket of popcorn in the relative comfort and safety of your living room or a movie theatre.”
  • The Spectator: “This is another thumping, family-based, Afghanistan-centred saga that features exile, regret and long-lost relatives across several decades. In fact, the biggest difference from Hosseini’s earlier books is simply that we get a lot more of all of them — to such an extent that at times it feels as if he has more narrative here than he knows what to do with.”
  • USA Today: “Hosseini’s territory is first and foremost the geography of the heart. He maps it carefully, paying special attention to its most treacherous byways, and ends up providing one of the most satisfyingly complete documents of human connection and disconnection in recent literature.”
  • The Telegraph: “Even if some characters have less emotional resonance than others, and the pace slouches in the centre, when the echoes of the original story return in the closing section Hosseini pulls off his usual – impressive – trick of breaking your heart and leaving you smiling.”
  • The Daily Express: “Where The Kite Runner was a compelling and essentially simple narrative, And The Mountains Echoed is more complex and, one has to say at times, rambling in its telling. We move from third to first person and there were moments when I found myself losing my way. I am not sure how much we care about the characters. Hosseini’s writing is now coloured, irritatingly some may feel, by his adopted homeland.”

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