And the Mountains Echoed
The prolific writer of the resoundingly successful novel "The Kite Runner" returns to the literary feast table with his latest novel "And The Mountains Echoed." Khaled Hosseini, an Afghan-born American and trained physician, rocked the snobby lit-world with his all consuming novel, and film, "The Kite Runner" and then repeated that with "A Thousand Splendid Suns" -- both spending weeks on end on the New York Times bestseller list.
His new load starts off with a quote from the great poet Rumi, who says, "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." This is a bold and bravely heartsore way to start a novel as the Persian poet speaks wisdom that somehow goes beyond words. But that is exactly how Hosseini approaches his work, surpassing and on the far side of just words.
"And The Mountains Echoed" follows the multi-generational family story with a central bond between two motherless siblings in an Afghan village and every repercussion post-birth. The traveling heart, the discontent nature of man, the deep sorrow of being alive and the full extent to which love will protect -- all form part of Hosseini's intricate knit. He grapples himself with betrayal, valor, honor and sacrifice as the characters dance on hot coals around the reader. Forgotten are trivial details and the novel concentrates on the powerful nature of emotions, spiritual belief and the lies, oh those lies of the mind.
The philosophical insights that Rumi often delivers come out of Hosseini, a goodwill envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency, in many a passage. He is the man, the maestro, unable to falter, it seems. With another novel that somehow surpasses the storytelling greatness of his previous two the author seems to have inspired a new way of looking at the world. Somewhere deeper than flesh and blood, deeper than just sentiment lays a human truth that is absolutely universal -- Hosseini has with some success attempted to carve that out. The reader, a mere spectator at this point, now has the choice to jump in or circle the pond.
"And The Mountains Echoed"