And the Mountains Echoed [Audiobook Review]

Title: And the Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Narrator: Khaled Hosseini;  Navid Negahban; Shohreh Aghdashloo
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 416
Audio: 14 hours
Year: 2013
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: @cassandraneace
Book Rating: 4/5
Audio Rating: 2/5


And the Mountains Echoed takes its readers from in a small town in Afghanistan to Kabul, Paris, Greece, and California, telling tales of families: the separation of normally inseparable siblings, the strain between mother and child, the way the past affects the present.

My Thoughts:

I picked this one up expecting a novel, but really it was more a collection of interconnected short stories.  Each story features a different main character, but each character is related to the others in some way. I think I liked this better as I couldn’t get bored with any one story.

Hosseini does not shy away from human weakness and does not try to fit things into a black and white right and wrong. His character make questionable decisions, but most of them are just trying to do the best they can. It’s sad and refreshing.

Hosseini is a masterful storyteller and an excellent puller of heartstrings. This one is good, but make sure you have your tissues.

Audiobook Thoughts:

I would urge you to pick up the print version of this one. I really struggled through this audio. This may sound amazingly American-centric of me, but I cannot understand the decision to use heavily-accented narrators for this one. Had Hosseini narrated the entire thing, I would have been much happier. But after the first chapter, Negahban and Aghdashloo take over and it required every ounce of energy my brain had to follow along. The decision is even stranger because not all of the characters are even Afghan – the stories of the Parisians, Americans, and Greeks are still read with these accents – so it’s not even adding to the authenticity. And, to make it worse, the narrators simply read the story. No real attempts to distinguish the voices of characters or add emotion to the (very emotional) stories. While Hosseini’s storytelling is exquisite, I simply can’t recommend this one in audio.

4 thoughts on “And the Mountains Echoed [Audiobook Review]

  1. Sandy August 12, 2013 / 6:07 pm

    I like that you split your rating into two parts, because this one definitely needed it. He is a great writer and storyteller for sure, but good Lord those narrators. Not only were they hard to understand but that female! She sounded like a 98 year old smoker! And she was supposed to represent young girls! Gah!


    • Michelle August 13, 2013 / 8:52 am

      Right? It made my throat hurt to listen to her.


  2. After reading the author’s other two books I knew I was in for a treat and I was not disappointed. He has a way of drawing you in and weaving the story so magnificently. I was sad when it ended but somehow suspect there is another one soon in the wings.


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