Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And the Mountains Echoed | Khaled Hosseini

If you are only going to read one novel this year, let it be this one.
Hosseini is the author of the famous Kite Runner, and then A Thousand Splendid Suns. And yet I think this is a much better book.
The structure of the book is masterful, he manages a whole screed of characters, interwoven with the main storyline in such a way that it is a fabulous read. It could have easily been a confusion, meandering mish-mash.

The story starts with Pari and Abdullah, two children in Afghanistan. They are with their father, a poor labourer who works tirelessly to be able to survive and keep his children fed. The three of them are walking to Kabul to see Uncle Nabi, who may have work for them.

We read between the lines and sense there is something more sinister going on, which remains hidden from the children until it is too late.

We follow the children as they grow up and this is where the structure of the book is so well managed. Pari and Abdullah's story is the hub of a wheel and the spokes are made up of other Afghanis who are expats or locals, living through the difficult history of that nation and who come in contact with the hub of the story.

Any more said would spoil the plot, but it is a  wonderful and incredibly well written novel. Thoroughly recommended.

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