Saturday, 26 September 2015

 And The Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini  has a gift of creating characters that you feel like you’ve already met  at certain points in your life. Perhaps it’s a skill he acquired when he worked as a physician in California. The general atmosphere of his writing s sombre, with this imminent feeling of ‘something bad is going to happen’. Setting the scene in pre-war Afghanistan, I loved how he depicts the various faces, lives and personalities that can exist in a place typically typecast in the Western world . The characters were complex with full lives that one could place them anywhere in the world, except for the Afghan history and idiosyncrasies that underlie the story. Religion, culture and politics are the propellants of all his characters lives, and he certainly has a knack for depicting how the choices of one individual can impact so many people in generations to come. In the most haunting way, of course. I found the opening characters of Abdullah and his little sister Pari the most endearing throughout the book and was so invested in how their fathers onerous life would impact theirs. The characters became all the more believable as Hosseini chose not not stick to the third or first person only rule in his narrations, which gives the reader the different perspectives of each character. An Afghan by birth, the story telling is all the more poignant given the first hand experiences of the author.
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