Sunday, March 2, 2014

Can you hear the echo?

Khaled Hosseini's storytelling is simply amazing. Ever since Kite Runner I have loved his writing. It touches you deep inside your heart and draws out such emotions that you can barely follow. I didn't think he could outdo himself with his next book but along came A Thousand Splendid Suns which is still one of my favorite books of all times seven years after its initial publication.
Needless to say And the Mountains Echoed was so eagerly awaited that I was nervous about reading it in the first place. What if it isn't as good? What if it's not good at all? And if it is that good, after it's over, I'll have to wait for the next one forever again so... Either way I was screwed. Yes, I know. White world problem, right?

"I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable
odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us."

The key code of this book is - love. This time it's not just a tale of parents and children or two star crossed lovers or friends. This time it encompasses parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, caretakers, strangers and friends. This time Hosseini is discovering family dynamics, how they love, honor, protect, wound, betray and disrespect. The central story follows a brother and a sister who try to find each other across all the mountains of this world. It's packed with emotions, details and characters that come alive the very moment you read their story. With every word you read, they become more real.

There is no denying that Khaled Hosseini is one of the most powerful storytellers of the current time. And there is no doubt I will be eagerly awaiting his next book, whenever it may come. But this is the weakest novel of the three.
I think he had too many stories in his mind that he wanted to convey. He couldn't manage to contain them all and perhaps save them and give them their own book. Among those that added nothing to the story, despite them being wonderful and outstanding, was the Greek story, for example. All in all there were too many points of view and too many storytellers and characters. I got lost in the number of them and missed the gist of the brother and sister. How that main, core story developed and resolved itself was amazing, I could not have anticipated anything better or more unbelievably wrenching at the same time. And yet I felt he needed a stricter editor who would tell him he went a step or three too far and needs to return. But then again, that's just me.

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