Monday, 18 May 2015

And The Mountains Echoed

  This is Khaled Hosseini's third novel.  It was published in 2013 and has a very different writing style than his other books.
 There is a sibling relationship at the beginning of the novel, that is poignant and beautiful. In fact, the first two chapters are perfect in my opinion. The writing is spell-binding and I was drawn into the story of this family. And then the author veered off into other stories.  He said that he wanted to include stories that he heard while visiting Afghanistan recently. 
 He compares this writing process to a tree- branching out and getting bigger and bigger.  These interconnected stories involve a large number of characters that are not directly related to each other. Some readers complained that they needed both a scorecard for the characters and a map for the locations.
   In addition, each chapter had a different narrator and it is necessary to read a few paragraphs or pages at the beginning of each chapter to understand who is doing the narrating.
   No one can write about family relationships better than Khaled Hosseini.  He pulls you right in to the most basic human emotions with his beautiful prose. The beginning of the story was heart-breaking and, as I struggled through the myriad stories, I desperately hoped there would be a satisfying ending back with the original family.  Well, there was an attempt to return to the original family, but it was much too depressing for an ending.  It left me disappointed and sad.
Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, where his father was a diplomat for the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught high school.  In 1976, his family was granted political asylum in the U.S., where Hosseini was educated and began practicing medicine.  He was an internist from 1996-2004, during which time he began writing.  
  His first novel, "The Kite Runner", was fabulous in my opinion.  Apparently many other people agreed, as it sold 7 million copies in the U.S. alone. It has been sold in 70 countries. There were parts of the plot that were controversial in Afghanistan.
   I loved the book because the characters were fascinating and the relationships were stunning.  But the themes made this book outstanding for me.  Mostly the theme of guilt and redemption.  And there is an episode of retribution that will always be remembered.
  This book has been made into a movie, stage play and graphic novel.
  Khaled is now writing full time as well as developing The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

I hope that Hosseini goes back to writing novels with strong themes and  a distinct storyline.

1 comment:

  1. I've read all three of his books, finding the first two spell-binding, but also being disappointed by this one. I found it disjointed and difficult to read for many of the reasons you listed. But still, his writing is so beautiful that you can't help reading on.