Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

My new year's resolution was to read more smart books.  I am not sure if this counts, New York Times best selling books may or MAY NOT be smart, but at least it is a new book with buzz outside of my normal realm of books.  It took me quite a long time to get into And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, as I was seriously distracted by the Selection Series....resolutions, sigh.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling 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 turning page.

Originality: 7- the way the stories cascade from the initial events is different and impressive.

Absurdity: 2- this book is more like a cultural fiction- does that make sense?  Historical doesn't seem right since it covers recent time, but fictionalizes what I imagine are stories with unpleasant nuggets of truth.
Level of Paranormal Romance: NA.
Level of Harry Potter-ness: 5.  While the stories were interesting and there was craftsmanship in the writing, it fell flat for me.  My BF's work book club read this, and he was all "the point is to show how events impact others lives etc."  I found that the little snippets of each character, while interesting  didn't contribute well to an overall plot of the book.  It made for no character development  just random ideas that I imagine the author said to himself "Ah yes! cool idea! lets write a few pages and then never have to work to make it fit into the story! or develop a character!"

I do not regret reading it, the stories definitely contained interesting tidbits and perspectives from a land foreign to me, but overall, I would have preferred less distraction and more of a cohesive story.

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