Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Review: And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini

I first came across Khaled Hosseini when I was in Sixth Form and he quickly became one of my favourite writers. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns were books that I could have happily read in one sitting, and I loved the latter so much that I wrote my A Level English Lit coursework on it. And still liked it just as much at the end. If you're a fellow literature student you'll know that very few books manage to pass that test. 

I have been desperate to read And the Mountains Echoed since it was published, but I was waiting for Tom to finish the copy I had bought him (HA). Two years later I decided I couldn't wait any longer and I downloaded the book to read whilst travelling.

Hosseini is an amazing storyteller who captivates from start to finish, and this book certainly isn't any different.

And the Mountains Echoed is made up of numerous different narratives from contrasting and conflicting characters and I found myself deeply immersed in every single one. Hosseini introduces new narratives often throughout the novel, and whilst they are always somewhat linked to those that have preceded, you can't always work out how until much later on.

Having said that it is hard to know where the focus of the book lies; whilst it would seem that the whole novel builds up to the meeting of the two characters at the end, the majority of the narrative doesn't focus on these two characters at all. Relatively we hardly know them at all, but instead are well acquainted with their family members and some other loosely connected characters.

Although I was continually fascinated by the strong and complex characters throughout their individual narratives, there are none who really stuck with me once I'd finished, which is very unlike Hosseini. Because of this I feel like And the Mountains Echoed will be one of those books that in a few years’ time I will remember was brilliant, but won't quite be able to put my finger on why, or even tell you the first thing about the plot.

This is a shame in many ways because And the Mountains Echoed is still another example of Hosseini’s exquisite storytelling magic. 

I would love to know what you thought of the book if you've read it, especially if you've read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns too.

Oh, and if you haven't read either yet, you need to sort that out!


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