Tag: Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Posted February 27, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book of the Month, Historical Fiction / 0 Comments

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled HosseiniTitle: And the Mountains Echoed (Goodreads)
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Published: Bloomsbury, 2013
Pages: 404
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Publisher

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Abdullah and Pari are close, very close; Pari idolises her older brother and there is nothing he wouldn’t do to keep he safe. But at the age of three Pari is sold to a glamorous young woman who couldn’t have children in Kabul. Without any form of goodbyes Abdullah never forgets his younger sister, but she has forgotten all about her previous life.

Khaled Hosseini sets out to explore the different ways in which families nurture; he begins this novel with a fable about a mythical creature known as the div who comes to the village and takes young children to his fort in the mountains. One day a farmer was so heartbroken of the loss of a child that he climbs the mountain to kill the div. After a brief battle with the creature the div shows him the most beautiful place the farmers ever seen and the children all happy. The div tells the farmer that he has come to test him and he has to choose what is best for his child.

I might lose some fans but I have to say it; people talk about Khaled Hosseini’s literary genius, with so much hype surrounding And the Mountains Echoed but I don’t see it. I will admit that I have not read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns so I’m only judging his literary merits by this alone and I might be wrong. Here is my thoughts based on only this book; he is a great storyteller but he is no writer of literary fiction, in fact I think he still has some work to do, before I would consider him a good writer and I don’t think I would even class this as literary fiction.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading this novel but I was expecting literary fiction and I was disappointed I didn’t get it. I was also reading the most wonderful novel at the same time, which actually covers similar themes and plot points. So I continually compared this novel with the other and when you are facing off against A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, it really had no hope in winning. The story was nice and I found myself racing though the book but all the time I wanted to go back to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.

Well well go and play till the light fades away
And then go home to bed
The little ones leaped and shouted and laugh’d
And all the hills ecchoed.

The title of the book comes from a William Blake poem called Nurse’s Song (I have no idea why Blake spells echoed with a double c but if you have any insights on that I would love to know) which feels fitting to the book. I think of Abdullah as the nurse who wants to protect but Pari is off having a good time (a far better life) and I’m not good at interpreting poetry but I think that’s where the analogy ends. There is the moral and ethical dilemma here about Pari, is she better off with the rich family or with her brother and family struggling.

As far as I can see this was a great story and I would read Khaled Hosseini again; I am curious to compare this to his other two books. I just think this is just great storytelling with a moral but there is nothing to make this stand out and think this is literature. In fact none of the characters or plot was so memorable, so when it came to talking about this book in book club I struggled to remember the plot and characters and I only finished it the day before.

At times I felt this book was a little staged and forced and I finished the book not learning anything about Afghanistan and the life of the people living there, so I felt disappointed. I know of offended people on the Khaled Hosseini bandwagon but sadly I just didn’t get into it. I liked the book but there is no lasting impression left on me and since I was reading a book that will easily be in my top five  books of 2013 at the same time, I think that really gave me a negative opinion towards And the Mountains Echoed. This is the type of book you take to the beach or on holidays for a mindless but enjoyable story, there is nothing really else there.


Monthly Review – July 2013

Posted July 31, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

This month we looked at the satirical novel and read Kurt Vonnegut’s modern classic Cat’s Cradle. This was a lot of fun for me; even though I’ve read the novel, I’m becoming a big fan of Juvenalian satire. While it might have been a little difficult for others, it is always great to go out of our comfort zones and read something great. Next month we are dipping into some non-fiction when we read Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway, considered one of the best books ever written about bullfighting.

My wife has been away for almost three weeks and in that time I thought I might have gotten a lot of reading done, but sadly this was not the case. I’ve done pretty well for myself but nothing amazing, it seems like a regular month for me; reading wise. The biggest highlight for the month would have to be A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra but I did hit rock bottom as well and read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I would love to know what your highlights or lowlights of the month were and even what you read this month.

My Monthly Reading


My Winter Reading List

Posted July 14, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in What are you Reading / 0 Comments

There seems to be a lot of talk about summer reading lists lately, but its winter! I know, I know, it is summer over where the majority of book bloggers live so I thought I will join the discussion. This is the time of year where all the big blockbuster books are released and everyone is picking out what they plan to read while they have time off or go on vacation. This is the wrong time of year for this over in Australia but we sometimes plan to read books as well (I try not to but there are so many books I want to read). So I thought I might post some books that are waiting for me on my nightstand.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Everyone is buzzing about this novel but I’ll admit I’ve never read The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns. This book is the book chosen for my local book club so there is an excuse to read this. I’m not sure what to expect but judging by the hype I’m worried I’ll be hugely disappointed, I hope not.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting
Arguably one of the most talked about books at the moment; this is disturbing and uncomfortable and I can’t wait to read it. I know it will make me sick and the idea of sexual psychopath with a fetish for 14 year old boys is too disturbing to talk about, but these subjects often need addressing more than ever. The bonus is the cover of this book, it’s highly suggestive but turn the book over and you see the button.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
What can I say about this book? It’s set in Russia, so I’m sold. I’ve been hearing great things about this book and then the wonderful Anne at The Reading Room recommended and sent me a copy of this book, so I know it will be on the top of my reading list. There are other people out there raving about the book as well and for the most part they are people whose opinions I trust.

Constance by Patrick McGrath
From the acclaimed author of Asylum and Martha Peake, a masterful new novel of psychological suspense, the story of a marriage haunted by trauma and descending into crisis. This book has peaked my interest and I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve never read Patrick McGrath so I’m not sure what to expect, but it sounds intriguing.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace – until one of his victims survives. I’m not sure if I need to say more to sell this book. This book has enough buzz to speak for itself, mainly because  Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company brought the television rights to this book before it was released in America.

I’m sure everyone has some books they are planning to read over the Winter/Summer so I’d love to hear what is currently on your list. I’m sure there are millions of books on your TBR’s, I know mine is growing faster than I can read and who knows if I’ll get to all these books in time for Spring, but I’ll have fun trying.


What Books Have Been Trending – January-March 2013

Posted March 29, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book Trends / 0 Comments

It seems to me that 2013 has been off to a great start in the world of literature. I have already managed to read a fair few books released this year and for the most part they have all been wonderful. Most of you will already know how much I enjoy this series, so I hope I do not disappoint. I know I will have missed some books but for the most part this is just the five books that I think have gotten the most buzz each month. I do try to offer a cross section of different genres, so if you feel a book has more buzz then one I’ve picked, chances are that I cut it for already picking something in that genre already.

January

The Wheel of Time series finally comes to an end with A Memory of Light. Brandon Sanderson has been praised for his job in finishing the Robert Jordan series. Now we can finally have the conclusion for this extraordinary saga upon us; fourteen books later.

 

Gun Machine is the result of Warren Ellis’ reimagining of New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS. This blends Ellis’ humour and takes on crime novels with another quirky mystery from this twisted mind known mainly for his graphic novels.

 

Tenth of December is another collection of short stories from one of the biggest living legends in this medium, George Saunders. The collection sees the return of the thought provoking and satirical style that this man is known for. Deliciously dark while packed with some clever humour.

 

The Aviator’s Wife pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage—revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.

 

Y by Marjorie Celona is the highly acclaimed and exquisitely rendered debut about a wise-beyond-her-years foster child abandoned as a newborn on the doorstep of the local YMCA. The ravishingly beautiful novel offers a deeply affecting look at the choices we make and what it means to be a family, and it marks the debut of a magnificent new voice in contemporary fiction.

February 

Etiquette & Espionage is the latest book from Gail Carriger and a brand new series. It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to the Finishing School series. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy.

Scarlet is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. This is not the fairy-tale you remember, but it’s one you won’t forget.  Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing; the police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

 

If you are an Australian, then you would have seen The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion everywhere you look. A moving and comic novel, sustained by a remarkable narrative voice, takes the reader on an immensely satisfying journey as Don seeks to see more within himself than he ever thought was possible.

 

The Storyteller sees Sage Singer befriends an old man who is particularly beloved in her community who asks her for a favour: to kill him. What do you do when evil lives next door? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – is it murder, or justice?

 

Bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family; Touch & Go. Justin and Libby Denbe have it all: a beautiful daughter, a gorgeous house, a great marriage, admired by all. Arriving at the crime scene of their home, investigator Tessa Leoni finds no witnesses, no ransom demands or motive – just a perfect little family, gone.

March

Calculated in Death sees a well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta on someone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

 

Clockwork Princess has danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

 

Fade to Black by Francis Knight is about the city of Mahala–where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under. Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic

He makes things disappear. It’s what he does. This time he is tidying up the loose ends after a casino heist goes bad; The loose ends being a million dollars cash. But he only has 48 hours, and there’s a guy out there who wants his head in a bag, if he can find him. They don’t call him the Ghostman for nothing…

 

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is Mohsin Hamid’s spectacular, thought-provoking novel of modern Asia. Fast-paced, vivid and emotionally absorbing, this novel creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.

 

I know there are many more books that have been trending, I actually started out with fifteen books from each month but thought that would make for a very long post, so I culled. Now is your turn to tell me what books I’ve missed and think deserves to be mentioned and also what do you expect from the next few months coming. I suspect Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman  will be on everyone’s radar already, but what else?