And the Mountains Echoed – Review
Currently on Loan from the Library:
And the Mountains Echoed by: Khaled Hosseini
The King’s Deception by: Steve Berry
Dissolution by: C.J. Sansom
Earth Made of Glass by: John Barnes
Finity by: John Barnes
Young Petrella by: Michael Gilbert
Other Books I’m Reading:
Riotous Assembly by: Tom Sharpe
Don’t Kiss with your Mouth Full by: Henry P. Mahone
Anathem by: Neal Stephenson
First I have to admit that I’ve never read either of the other two Khaled Hosseini books The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is possible that my lack of experience with his other works coupled with my lack of knowledge about Islamic traditions, and Farsi poetry are about to lead me to be very cruel to his hauntingly lovely and misunderstood work And the Mountains Echoed. But I don’t think so.
And the Mountains Echoed is not so much a novel as a series of vignettes about loss and endurance. Which could be okay, except that the author tips his hand in the first fifty pages essentially telling the reader how the book it going to end. How it has to end. Sadly between the start and the obvious ending the plot arch is jerky as teen learning to drive a stick shift. There are characters that show up with no explanation, and disappear when their section is done. Leaving me with the feeling that Hosseini was simply trying to get his word count up. There are interesting things that happen off to the side and are never explored. There are parts of the book that are long retellings of what happened with none of the emotion or interest that would have been present had the reader been shown instead. Perhaps most confusing of all, the time line for all of the characters is frankly mushy.
The whole book felt flat and educational. Not educational in that good way either. Where the teacher has peaked your interest in further study. Educational in that way where you end up being thankful that you got a good grade on the test and can move on.
Which is what I’m going to do now. Move on.
Favorite Scene: Abdullah realizing why they are in Kabul.
Favorite Quote: “Or rather, someone’s tragically misguided idea of a mansion, three stories high, pink, green, yellow, white, with parapets and turrets and pointed eaves and mosaics and mirrored skyscraper glass.”
Enjoyability: Two stars. And that’s taking into consideration I’m a white midwestern Lutheran who doesn’t know the first thing about Farsi poetry.
Where to read this book: Somewhere with lots of caffeine close at hand.
Further reading: I’m thinking some John Barnes. The covers look really promising.
Posted on October 7, 2013, in books, Fiction, fun, Reading, review and tagged Kabul, Khaled Hosseini, Kiterunner, Michael Gilbert, Mountains Echoed, Neal Stephenson, Reading, Thousand Splendid Suns. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.