And the Mountains Echoed And the Mountains Echoed discussion


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Why were these characters necessary in the story?

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Reshma What happens of Masooma? Is one to think she dies in the desert with no one to take care of her?

How is the story of Baba jan and Adel relevant to that of Pari and Abdullah?

And Rushi? It almost felt I were reading a set of short stories. Some were connected to the main plot, some weren't.

Thoughts?


message 2: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa I am so disappointed. I loved THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. This book was such a let down to me. JMO.


Priya Ambokar I liked the book. Abdullah, Saboor, Pari, Suleiman, Nabi, Nila all were fine, except Markos track. I found it okay to show him coming to Kabul and staying, but why so much of focus on him and Thalia track. I did not find a connect in their story. Also what happened to Abdullah and Saboor when they left pari, is not shown, that is a disappointment.

But nevertheless, being a Khaled fan, i would say. this book is worth a read, though not at par with Kite runner and Thousand splendid suns.


Dinah I agree with you Priya. Markos played a part in the story, but I did not understand why we went so far into his past.
And Reshma, I also did not get the relevance of Abdel and his father, except that they brought Pari's half brother back into the story.
We spent alot of time on these two, but then the time from when Markos called Pari until she found the younger Pari was skipped over, even though she went to Afghanistan and to her old village. That inconsistency bothered me more than the extra stories.


Teesha Thomas Masooma is left to die in the desert. That is how Parwana is able to marry Saboor.

The story of Adel and Baba Jan show us how Shadbagh is now, what happened to Parwana and Iqbal who were left behind (ie they take refuge in Pakistan.)

Roshi is the connect (in the present) between Amra and Timur/his brother and Abe/Abdullah.

I think all the stories just show how the connections between us and another person could be so relevant, if only we knew the connection.


message 6: by Ntombi (new)

Ntombi Ndhlovu I anticipated it. I read it. I loved the writing but disappointed in the story. The book had too many characters that took away from the immediate story: the separation between Pari and her Aboolah. I felt it was 'littered' with characters that did nothing to add to the richness of the story. I found it to be too scattered instead of cohesive...it took me a good week to get through the book. For me it was a book of two halves...the first half was fluid and captivating. The second half...i could have done without....


Nishat Farhat I was lucky not to be disappointed as this was my first Hosseini's read. I rated it a 3 though I am moving to A thousand splendid sons now!!


Dinah Nishat wrote: "I was lucky not to be disappointed as this was my first Hosseini's read. I rated it a 3 though I am moving to A thousand splendid sons now!!"

My favorite of the three! :)


Reilly I struggled to get through this book. I fell asleep so many times which was disappointing because Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Suns were so amazing.

His writing is wonderful, but the storyline just fell flat.


Melissa Pretty hard to top The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns was also very good. This book had too many characters, IMO, agree it was like a short story collection. A new direction for the author, not sure if it worked though.


message 11: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Yup, glad to read these notes and see I am not alone. The book felt like a collection of short stories. Maybe it would have worked better for me is it as told in a more linear fashion. The way it is told kept me at an emotional distance from the characters. I love his first two books because you care so much about the characters, this time I didn't feel close to them. Still, the author's imagery and storytelling are quite wonderful.


Carly I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns but I was not a fan of the way this book was written. I would just start to become interested in a Character's story and then it would end. I would hope that their story would continue in the next few chapters (aka Masooma) but it didn't. I felt like so many character's stories were pointless and that there was no REAL plot, but instead a bunch of plots and short stories pushed together to form a novel. I will always enjoy Khaled Hosseini's novels, but this one was just too hyped for me and it left me disappointed.


Syeda I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me, was written on a larger canvas! Sometimes its interesting to know about even the 'less-significant' characters as much as the protagonists...reading the book was more like having a nice look at stories that form life...not one but several...the dynamics of relationships...that throws light on, not just one but different facets of life! "My story is just not mine...it is the story of my being with the 'other' and the other's 'other'!!!"


Aisling Syeda wrote: "I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me..."

I agree Syeda. IMO this book is about the ripple effects of an action and the myriad lives impacted by that single action.


Reshma Syeda wrote: "I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me..."

Totally agree with Syeda and Aisling, so very well put.


Wendy Loved both his other books but was disappointed in this one.I think he is a wonderfully talented author but this book just did not do it for me


Raisa Unfortunately, I have to agree with the majority of people. I, myself love Hosseini's last two novels but this third book fell flat. I was in some instances confused as to who they story was about and what were their role in the story of Pari and her brother. I hope the next book is better.


message 18: by Ruth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth I'm with the other 5-star raters, Teesah,Syeda, Aisling and Reshma. This book represents a much larger story, and without the stories of the other characters it would have been flat and dis-satisfying.

Abdullah and Pari's story was an elegant framework to present us with a picture or life, our connections (whether perceived or not), and the impacts of our actions.

Strong characters and excellent prose; does not disappoint.


Nadine Syeda wrote: "I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me..."

I have to agree. I enjoyed the different points of view on how life changed in the village, and the house, as well as Pari and Abdullah's lives. Each element added to the whole. I liked getting the back story on many of the characters. It all led to the ending (which I won't reveal and spoil). Life isn't always tied neatly in a bow, but some people do adapt and flourish despite their troubles. And some don't.


message 20: by Lakshmi (last edited Jul 13, 2013 12:10AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lakshmi Syeda wrote: "I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me..."

Yeah I guess I must agree with you. I hadn't thought of it this way,but I would say I would prefer a few fully developed characters rather than many underdeveloped ones.I found the book kind of incomplete.While reading I wasn't actually sure about principle characters of the book.Describing other people's life is fine, but I felt he should have given Abdullah and Pari's separate lives in much more detail.I didn't like the way the author rushed through pari's life. In no time she became a grandmother!!
At the end it really seemed as if the author was rushing through the book and wanted to end it somehow. This is my take on the book. I must say I am slightly disappointed with this book.


Vaishali The book is a series of short stories and there is no connection. There is no doubt he is good story teller, but was really disappointed with this book as compared to his previous works.


Nadine I went to an author's talk recently where she was complaining about the current trend of telling a story from the POV's of many characters. She prefers to have one protagonist for the reader to identify with.

And the Mountains Echoed is an example of this technique. We mentioned Gone Girl in that discussion, as well as the Sue Grafton mysteries, and I was thinking of Game of Thrones. I just finished an Alexander McCall Smith, Trains and Lovers, and again, it's various POV's. It is a different type of story. It isn't linear, and doesn't have the traditional beginning, middle or ending. It's character centered, rather than plot centered. I suppose you like it or you don't. I can read either, as long as the prose is good.


Kristi Casey The author is amazing, but the disconnect between characters in this book left me wanting more. I wanted more of the characters that were left hanging.


Ankita Sharma Reshma wrote: "What happens of Masooma? Is one to think she dies in the desert with no one to take care of her?

How is the story of Baba jan and Adel relevant to that of Pari and Abdullah?

And Rushi? It almos..."


I agree with you...


Amanda Dillman I'm also with the other 5-star raters, Ruth, Teesah, Syeda, Aisling and Reshma.

The beauty of art is to be different and unique. You can't sit here and compare his other works to this. They're all different! This one just makes you work harder at understanding that the decisions we make as humans, whether right or wrong, can impact us forever.

I think the characters almost relate more to the average person because of the decisions the characters have to make in their life. Leave home, get married, travel, etc. It's actually real life and the characters over arch in the story to allow us to see a broader view and the ripple effect of their impacts on each other.And the Mountains Echoed


message 26: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana Ruth wrote: "I'm with the other 5-star raters, Teesah,Syeda, Aisling and Reshma. This book represents a much larger story, and without the stories of the other characters it would have been flat and dis-satisfy..."

I so agree with you and the other 5 star raters - this was an excellent book! It would'nt have been as strong only focusing on Pari and Abdullah's story. Everyone else's stories were somehow connected with what happened to Abdullah and his sister. Each story was unique and I loved how each of their lives are different, yet all have a tie to Afghanistan. Amazing read, I loved it.


message 27: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay B. Reshma wrote: "What happens of Masooma? Is one to think she dies in the desert with no one to take care of her?

How is the story of Baba jan and Adel relevant to that of Pari and Abdullah?

And Rushi? It almos..."


That's the same way I felt. Disappointed really in this third novel ... as a series of short stories it'd work beautifully but as a novel it was so disjointed, TOO many cooks


Margaret Lisa wrote: "I am so disappointed. I loved THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. This book was such a let down to me. JMO."

I think the Markos and Thalia focus was due to the fact that Markos connected with Pari.....I feel this was an extremely thought provoking novel...At times I put the book down and thought about all the connections we make in our life and what is left once we are preparing to leave this life...I actually had tears in many parts. I love him as an author and have enjoyed all three of his novel.


Susan I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose someone, is it better to remember or forget? Could the something you love be your home? Do you stay and care for the injured/old, or do you go off and live your own life? Does it take a special kind of person to care for the sick? Is helping someone die a part of caring for the sick? Do the sick have a right to commit suicide? Why are some people more loved than others?

++CONTAINS SPOILERS**;
Look at all the injured/old in the book, and the people who care for them or abandon them. (I am sorry, but I am terrible with names.) The girl pushed out of the tree -- her brother runs away to the city to avoid caring for her, her sister cares for her but actually caused her injury. That same brother spends years caring for his sick boss, while the boss's wife runs away. The doctor can't bring himself to help the girl with her head bashed in, but his brother does. Pari 2 sacrifices her own life to care for her aged parents. Markos can't bear the thought to care for his aged mother, but the girl who was mauled by the dog and is left by her own mother cares for Markos's mother.

It is the echoes of an old story.


Kavya Like too many cooks spoil the broth, too many characters cluttered the book. I felt the novel would revolve more around the lives of Abdullah and Pari. The life of Abdullah and Saboor after Pari is handed-over to Nila is unsaid. A lot of focus was given on Markos and Thalia, which was not that needed. I could not relate much to Amra and Roshi as well.

This was a much awaited read after "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and it turned out to be a disappointment !!!


message 31: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay B. Susan wrote: "I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose someone, is it b..."

I'm actually fine with all the individual narratives, and do notice how he showed our interconnectedness. Hosseini's writing is just as beautiful in this novel as its predecessors. What I found disappointed is in how disjointed the stories were. If this were an anthology of short stories, I'd be full of praises. As soon as I became enthralled in one narrative, it abruptly ended.


Cecilia I agree with Susan; the book is about loss and caring and how to cope with it without losing yourself.

I rated it 5 and even if I also wanted to know more about Pari and Abdullah; I found it nice to just glimpse their lives and have to construct them in my head.

What I found very fascinating is that two of the characters in the book speak as 1st persons (Markos and Pari daughter), and all the others as 3rd person. Has anyone thought about why the author chose to write that way?


Susan I'll have to think about that, Cecelia. I'm very lazy about noticing what person a story is written in, and when it changes.


Cecilia I try to think about who is "I" in a book and who is "he" or "she". If there is an "I" it has to mean something... At least it means something to me when I write something...

Also Nabi writes in 1st person in his letter, and actually, Saboor in the first chapter when he tells the story. But both the siblings Pari´s and Abdullah´s stories are in 3rd person.

BTW i read a translation of the book, but I expect these things are the same in all versions.


Margaret Syeda wrote: "I have a slightly different point of view. I loved the book and all the character portrayals as much as i loved his other two books (The Kite Runner and The Thousand Splendid Suns)This book, for me..."

nicely put!


Margaret Susan wrote: "I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose someone, is it b..."

thanks! I never thought of it like that.....taking care of each other..old, injured, lonely


Susan Cecilia wrote: "I try to think about who is "I" in a book and who is "he" or "she". If there is an "I" it has to mean something... At least it means something to me when I write something...

Also Nabi writes in 1..."

I know it must be important to the author or he/she would not have written it that way, and, therefore, it is important to the book. But I always forget to notice (just tried to remember what character the current book I'm reading is written in without picking up the book; first??). Then, when someone mentions it, I think, Darn, I missed it again. (Just checked; I was right!!!!)

If written in first person, I assume we are privy to all the person's thoughts. If written in third, the author can say what the person himself might not know or realize.


Susan Margaret wrote: "Susan wrote: "I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose so..."

You're welcome.


Cecilia Susan: I agree: it is important and it means something! In the case of daughter Pari, however, it could be for pratical resons: since the two Paris will meet and form a close bond it will be very confusing to tell the story if both are "she" and Pari at the same time.

I like stories written in 1st person. It creates a closeness to the character. And it gives his/her perspective not the author´s knowledge of the character. For this book; it would have been interesting to hear Abdullah speak as 1st. We only hear him in the short letter to Pari...


Susan Cecilia wrote: "Susan: I agree: it is important and it means something! In the case of daughter Pari, however, it could be for pratical resons: since the two Paris will meet and form a close bond it will be very c..."

Haven't thought this through, but the two characters who speak in the first person, Markos and Pari 2, were not born in Afghanistan. They are the outsiders.


message 41: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana Susan wrote: "I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose someone, is it b..."

I totally agree with everything you've said! Well put. The story is about different bonds we make with our family and with those outside it. Odie, marcos's mother, became like a mother to Thalia. And even idris became like an uncle to roshi, until he betrayed her by not contacting her. Nila became a mother and *spolier* in the end the two Pari(s) found each other through abdullah. It was a wonderful well thought out story, to make each character have a connection to another and all link back to the original story Saboor told at the beginning. Pari was the 'finger cut to save the hand'


Cecilia Susan wrote: "Haven't thought this through, but the two characters who speak in the first person, Markos and Pari 2, were not born in Afghanistan. They are the outsiders."

That's an interesting thought!


Guilie Just finished it (literally, just closed the book), and I loved it. Certainly it's different from Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, but I like it when an author throws me something new. I agree it's a series of short stories, somewhat like Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap: all the stories aren't just connected by the characters' connections to each other, but also by the themes--the way each of them is dealing with being betrayed, having betrayed. I enjoyed it enormously.


Reshma Susan : I totally love the way you have put your thoughts in words.


Susan Thank you, Reshma.


message 46: by M.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.D. Jerome Lisa wrote: "I am so disappointed. I loved THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. This book was such a let down to me. JMO.

I agree 100% with you!



Stacy  okun I just read this for my book club. I never read his work before, so maybe I shouldn't have started with this one. It confused me. A lot. I did like the story but it took a while for me to figure out whats really going on. Just ok for me


Stacy  okun Susan wrote: "I think many of you are missing the point. The book is not about Abdullah and Pari. They are one set of people connected to the original story told by their father. If you lose someone, is it b..."

ok that seriously helped me put it together, Thanks


Chahrazad I loved the book, very very much! At first I had the same impression many of you had when I was reading my way through the big number of characters... I felt confused. However, I learned to enjoy every story separately.
When I finished the book, it all became clear. How the little stories are small pieces of the puzzle, fragments of the big picture that is life.
I think that Khaled Hosseini left out some information on purpose, because there's no way we could account for every event that can happen in a person's life, or because unfortunately some people just fade in the background like Gholam, especially in a country that is suffering like Afghanistan.

Another idea that struck me was the title: "And the Mountains Echoed" how the echo travels in time and space, how all the characters are mirrors to each other (in a way or another):mother/daughter, father/son, brother/sister, lovers....

The book was amazing :)


message 50: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana Chahrazad wrote: "I loved the book, very very much! At first I had the same impression many of you had when I was reading my way through the big number of characters... I felt confused. However, I learned to enjoy e..."

I quite like your thoughts behind the name of the title! good idea and reasoning in your interpretation :)


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