I received a free copy of And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini from Audible.com in exchange for an honest review of both the audio book and Audible’s service in providing it. I won’t otherwise receive any commission for the links you may or may not follow in this post.
I love, love Audible.com and have been a member of the site for years. After I started using it I converted my sister, my mother, my father, and my husband. We all use Audible.com now. I listen to audio books while I’m doing housework, while I’m running, while I’m tending to babies… There are lots of moments that fill the day that you can’t have a book in your hand, but can have earphones in your ears. Audible is affordable, a user friendly site, has a great selection of books, and has THE BEST customer service. Something else I’ve really enjoyed since they’ve teamed up with Amazon.com (I was a member long before that) is the “whispersync” feature that allows you to go back and forth between an audio book and an ebook, if you have a copy of both. SO CONVIENENT!
Remember, the fact that I think Audible.com is freaking awesome is just my honest opinion, despite the fact that they asked me to do this review.
Now, about And the Mountains Echoed: I felt like Hosseini’s other books (The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) were books that really introduced life and culture in Afghanistan. There were, of course, other themes as well, but a lot of what drew me to those books was an immersion into a culture that is not my own. This book reads a little bit different. It is was more about the people and their lives than the culture. In fact, following the lives of these characters, and how they intersect with one another, takes us to several different cultures. And I must say, I think it is beautifully done. This is a story about humanity, and how none of us lives on an island. (Metaphorically, of course. Because in the book some of the characters actually DO live on an island.) The choices we make will affect not only our children, parents, and siblings, not even our own families in future generations, but also the lives of people that intersect ours in both profound and seemingly benign ways.
I identified more with some of the stories in the book than I did with others. As a result, there were parts of the book I devoured and parts that I didn’t love as much. There was nothing I didn’t like though. Each story was incredibly engaging and heartfelt.
The audio of this book was read by the author Khaled Hosseini, an actor Navid Negahban (you might recognize him from the series Homeland or 24) and the actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (whose voice I love, and she was also in 24). None of these are professional narrators, and you could tell; it wasn’t the most fluid of readings. BUT, they all emoted well and it was awesome having the different voices. Since the story is told from so many different perspectives, it was really neat to have the narrators change throughout the story. And it is always fun to hear an author read his or her own work.
You can get the audio version of this book on Audible HERE.
I give it:
Just as a reminder, other than receiving the book for free (and one other, they gave me an extra credit for another book) I’m getting nothing else out of this post. No commission on the links or anything of the sort. Click away at your hearts content without worrying about me.