The Norman Transcript

N-town reviews

July 5, 2013

Book review: And the Mountains Echoed tells flawless story of love, sorrow

NORMAN — Book: And the Mountains Echoed (2013, Riverhead Hardcover)

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Why you should read: Resting at No. 3 on both the New York Times and USA Today’s bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed” is yet another masterpiece to be devoured by fans and newcomers alike.

From the same talented mind that created “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” comes a story filled with beauty, love and sorrow that spans continents and connects not only with readers’ minds but their hearts.

In “And the Mountains Echoed,” the subject of family is taken and molded in several different ways. Hosseini shows readers the consequences of decisions made to hurt, protect, betray and honor family, and how they resonate through time. The opening pages set the tone for the rest of the story, beginning with a folk tale of a man who must give up one of his only children to a beast in order to save the rest of his family. The old man telling the story, Saboor, uses the tale as a way to make his own son, Abdullah, understand his coming plans.

The resulting separation of Abdullah from his sister, Pari, is a blow both characters and readers must bear, and the pages only become more and more emotional. The characters in this story, including Abdullah’s stepmother and her brother, overlap and entwine with one another. Some are aware of that fact and some aren’t. Ultimately, the pages seem to turn on their own, and the deeper the story goes, the more interesting it gets.

All in all, Hosseini has done a wonderful job in creating this globe-spanning novel. His knack for flawless writing and description keep the interest rock solid, and he provokes a myriad of emotions through it all. However, the excess characters do slow the story down a bit, and the urge to get back to the main characters is strong on occasion. But in the end, the overall satisfaction for the read is well worth it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
N-town reviews
  • Book review: Kidd delivers thought-provoking novel on slavery

    by Amber Hodge Book: The Invention of Wings (2014, Viking) Author: Sue Monk Kidd Why you should read: Kidd might be known for her worldwide hit “The Secret Life of Bees,” which released in 2002 and spent more than two years on the NY Times ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Book review: Philomena a sad, worthwhile read

    by Amber Hodge Book: The Lost Child of Philomena Lee (2009, Macmillan) Author: Martin Sixsmith Why you should read: Originally published in 2009, “Philomena” tells the true story of Michael Hess, who was a lawyer, and later deputy chief ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Music review: Johnny Drummer brings spark, swagger

    Musician: Johnny Drummer Album name: Bad Attitude Why you should listen: It’s probably reason enough to spin this record that producer Michael Frank wrote a thousand word introduction for the liner notes. The man who founded Earwig Music ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Music review: Helen Kelter Skelter offers psychedelic gem

    Musician: Helen Kelter Skelter Album name: Self-titled Why you should listen: Helen Kelter Skelter is a Norman band comprised of Eli Wimmer, Cody Clifton, Nathan Harwell, Jay Jamison and Tim Gregory. Their band’s name is a tongue twisting ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Book review: Anna Quindlen creates poetic narrative in Still Life with Bread Crumbs

    Book: Still Life with Bread Crumbs (2014, Random House) Author: Anna Quindlen Why you should read: It’s hard to find authors who have the kind of talent that brings life to inanimate objects. Fortunately, Anna Quindlen is one such writer ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Book review: Under the Never Sky a clever sci-fi

    Book: Under the Never Sky (2012, HarperCollins) Author: Veronica Rossi Why you should read: “Under the Never Sky” is a clever young adult novel built around a distopian future akin to “The Hunger Games” or the “Divergent” series....

    March 14, 2014

  • Music review: Goodnight Moonshine offers fresh sound

    Musician: Molly Venter and Eben Pariser Album name: Goodnight Moonshine Why you should listen: It’s the rare 21st century professional musician who has just one project. Molly Venter and Eben Pariser are no exceptions. Venter played here ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Music review: Eddie Ate Dynamite is explosive, twisted listen

    Musician: Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats Album name: Eddie Ate Dynamite Why you should listen: All you have to do is glance at this album’s cover art to know it’s going to be a twisted listen. A stick of high explosive in a hot dog bun on ...

    March 14, 2014

  • Book review: Rainbow Rowell paints perfect love story

    Book: Eleanor & Park (2013, St. Martin’s Press) Author: Rainbow Rowell Why you should read: After 11 weeks of gracing the NY Times Best Seller list for young adult novels, “Eleanor & Park” currently rests at No. 8 on the charts. With its ...

    February 14, 2014

  • Book review: JJ Abrams creates literary masterpiece

    Book: S. (2013, Little, Brown & Company) Authors: J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst Why you should read: Created from the mind of J.J. Abrams, producer of hit films and television shows such as “Lost,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Mission: ...

    February 14, 2014