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And the Mountains Echoed
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And the Mountains Echoed > Final Thoughts *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
Final thoughts of And the Mountains Echoed


LyndiLea Hardman (LyndiLeaHardman) | 31 comments Loved, loved, loved!


message 3: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
I didn't think much of it, he is a story tell but I found very little literary value to it. But then again I was reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena at the same time, this obviously distorted my opinion as that book was amazing


message 4: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 120 comments Michael, what time period was Constellation set in?


message 5: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (last edited Feb 03, 2014 07:35PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
MK wrote: "Michael, what time period was Constellation set in?"

1994; not too long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the Chechen-Ingush ASSR split (1992).


message 6: by MK (last edited Feb 03, 2014 07:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 120 comments Michael wrote: "1994; not too long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the Chechen-Ingush ASSR split (1992)."

Ty, Michael :). Appreciate it. I have this one (Constellation) on my thr shelf. Think I'd like to get to some earlier imperial Russian era literature, and early to middle Soviet Russian era, first, though. Probably would appreciate the 90s better, after I have a bit more history under my belt. (Reading Doctor Zhivago now, and it's really piqued my interest in learning more of the history of Russia and it's neighbors.)


LyndiLea Hardman (LyndiLeaHardman) | 31 comments I've never read any of his other works or watched the film adaptations either. This was my first experience with his work. I am the type if person that looks for a good story and this book delivered on that.


JoBerlin I was dissapointed. In my opinion it a not a novel but several stories tied to each other. None of thse stories is developped enough (can you say so? Pardon my English) and the characters remain just sketches.


Cristina | 20 comments I read the book,influenced by its popularity...After reading it, it left myself wondering why.
For the last half of it, I had to really pull myself to finish reading it (I can't stand to start a book and not finish it).


message 10: by M.L. (last edited Feb 06, 2014 01:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.L. | 309 comments For me it was place as protagonist. Harshness of life in this land-locked rugged place. More a place where earliest inhabitants passed through on their way to somewhere else, the kind of place you would not choose but for various reasons some people stopped and went no further.

I loved the way he juxtaposed motive and results. The 2 brothers, one very shallow who ended up doing good, was responsible for re-habilitating the girl scarred by the ax attack; the other genuinely well-intentioned but unable to do anything.

I think he had a phenomenal perspective in weaving a tapestry of society, economics, the old and new, cross-cultural currents, Afghanistan, Paris, America, Greece.

It was about memory, what you remember, what you forget. The hardback version had a little feather marking each section and that tied back to what the brother gave his younger sister. In the beginning fable the jinn granted the father forgetfulness. Memory linked to the guilt many people carried. So in a very large but fablesque way he posed the question, is forgiveness something only a deity can give.

I am not a fan of long story sections told by newspaper clippings or of a lot of sentimentality, but in the end he overcame any objections.

It was a fable on a grand scale.


Jeff  (jeffpartlow) | 9 comments I enjoyed the first half, but spent most of the second half trying to figure out why he titled it "And the Mountains Echoed". Then, while perusing the Acknowledgements after ending the book, I discovered that the title was based on the poem "Nurse's Song" by William Blake. So, I Googled and read "Nurse's Song", which ends: "And all the hills echoed". Can someone please explain how this poem relates to "And the Mountains Echoed"? To anyone who responds, thank you.


JoBerlin No idea. It sounds .... interesting maybe?
The German edition is called "Dream collector".


Cristina | 20 comments good question Jeff..I was also wondering about the title and the connection with the plot


message 14: by Gaby (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gaby (gabitag) | 6 comments The title takes me back to the days before Pari and Abdullah are separated.

Blake's poem talks about happy children playing and laughing:

‘Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.’
The little ones leapèd and shoutèd and laugh’d And all the hills echoed.


Sally906 I really enjoy his writing - his previous books have all been 5 star reads for me bu this one didn't quite make the grade of the other two.

The main problem I had was with the plethora of superfluous characters - I mean some of them I could not see why they were even mentioned and their connection to the story was tenuous at best. And for me this is what let the whole book down.


Sally906 Jeff wrote: "I enjoyed the first half, but spent most of the second half trying to figure out why he titled it "And the Mountains Echoed". Then, while perusing the Acknowledgements after ending the book, I dis..."

In an interview the author was asked:

Can you tell us a little about the title, And the Mountains Echoed?

The inspiration for it was The Nurse's Song, a lovely poem by William Blake, in which he ends a verse with the line, "And all the hills echoed."

"Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed."

I changed "hills" to "mountains" partly because of the obvious nature of Afghanistan's topography, but also because of the pervasive presence of mountains in the book. In fact, the mountains in this book bear sole witness to a couple of key, pivotal events. Just as a mountain would echo back a shout, the fateful acts committed before the mountains too emit an echo. They have a rippling effect, expanding outward, touching lives further and further away. I liked the idea of a decision or an act echoing through both place and time, altering the fates of characters both living and not yet born.


message 17: by Brenda (new) - added it

Brenda Sally906 wrote: "Jeff wrote: "I enjoyed the first half, but spent most of the second half trying to figure out why he titled it "And the Mountains Echoed". Then, while perusing the Acknowledgements after ending t..."

That's really interesting Sally, thanks:)


Sally906 I did know of the poem - William Blake is a particular favourite poet of mine :)


Chandler I haven't read any of Hosseini's other books so I don't have anything to compare this book, too. I agree with other bloggers about the first half being stronger than the second half. The connections to Abdullah and Pari seemed less fluid but more forced in the second half. The ending wasn't what I hoped it would be but that's life, I suppose.

Overall I think it's quite the book. Hosseini is a great storyteller. It's intrigued me to want to read his other books. The message is strong; the metaphor of throwing a pebble in water and watching the ripple effect. It's chilling when applied to our own lives and I think that's what Hosseini was going for. In that case, bravo.


Chandler Gaby wrote: "The title takes me back to the days before Pari and Abdullah are separated.

Blake's poem talks about happy children playing and laughing:

‘Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
..."


Good connection! I'm sure Hosseini would appreciate that.


message 21: by M.L. (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.L. | 309 comments I thought the story fragments were like mountains echoing as lives played out.
The cover too resonated the timelessness of the mountains standing dispassionately, and in the foreground the shadows of the lively children aware only of each other.


Heather Fineisen I thought the end became a bit too bogged down with the characters. But the writing is strong, and the identity with Afghanistan seemed poetic at times. I wonder if Hosseini moved in to unfamiliar territory for himself, and that contributed to some of the readers sense of disconnect with the rest of this novel. I haven't read his other two novels, but his passion is seemingly Afghanistan and the issues there.


Kendra (kenderj) | 10 comments I finally finished yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. Unlike some of the other commentors, I found the first part (after the 2nd chapter)to be boggy and difficult to dig through. It was the second half that picked up steam and I had a hard time putting it down. The last two chapters were my favorites. Marcos' story (Wow, Thalia, an amazing person) and Pari's final chapter. One of the things I really enjoyed was how so many people were connected, even if tenuously, to Pari. It broke my heart that when Pari and Abdullah were finally reunited, Abdullah was too far gone to recognize her. I was disappointed that we didn't get more of Abdullah's story. We got Pari's entire story, but then the book was about her. We also got Markos' whole story and he was a fairly minor character. What happened to Abdullah between when his father chopped down the Oak tree and when we see him again as Pari jr's Baba? When did he leave, what did he do, how did he meet his wife, how did he come to the US? I really liked Pari and am glad she had a pretty good life.


message 24: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 120 comments I had a hard time getting started, but once in, I too, found it layered, and lovely. Here's my very short review:
Just beautiful. Maybe I have Doctor Zhivago on the brain, but this book reminded me of that one, nonetheless. Many layers, many characters, stories weaving together, as adversity and war shake repurcussions through many families and many decades. And the same coincidental bumping into people whose stories turn out to be linked, too, even though it's not realized, at first.



message 25: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 120 comments Flash Beagle wrote: "I thought the story fragments were like mountains echoing as lives played out.
The cover too resonated the timelessness of the mountains standing dispassionately, and in the foreground the shadows ..."


I like the way you said that. It ring true, for me.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Another moving story by Khaled Hosseini. It will join "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and "The Kite Runner" on my Keepers Shelf. :)


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