"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Monday, January 6, 2014

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

It seems like every review I write starts out with a wish for a half-star rating option... This one is no different. If I had the necessary technology, I would rate this one 3.5 stars. Even 3.75 while we're talking about wishes. Just short of 4 stars by a very narrow margin. This book is beautifully written. I hi-lighted, noted, copied, and underlined line after line. Hosseini's writing has a soothing cadence that carried me effortlessly into the world he created, offering the chance to get to know the characters intuitively, as he knows them. The characters are so incredibly human, as to be nearly tangible. It was sometimes difficult to remember if it was fact or fiction that transported me so completely into these other lives. I have read Hosseini's others: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I enjoyed them both, the former slightly more so than the latter, but I enjoyed neither of them as much as I did And The Mountains Echoed. 

Despite the incredible feat of craftsmanship this novel is, I was slightly disappointed to miss out on what happened to a number of the characters. This is where the narrow margin between 3.5 and 4 stars lies... Unfortunately some of the characters who had a significant impact on me are dropped off along the way, never to be mentioned again. I was enthralled with the section of the story hosted by cousins Tamur and Idris but am still wondering what happened to them. There are others whose absence I also mourned. I suppose this is the downside to creating such dynamic characters. Their inevitable exit from the tale is noticed and they are missed.

This was a book club choice that I am anxious to discuss with my reader friends. The richness of the numerous characters and all the ways they each influenced the events of the story in varying degrees provides infinite possibilities for discussion, interpretation, and contemplation. My loyalty to the work of Khaled Hosseini was increased by this latest masterpiece and I look forward to more of his eloquent style in future. 

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16115612-and-the-mountains-echoed?from_search=true

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