Sunday, February 16, 2014

And the Mountains Echoed

by Khaled Hosseini
Jan 6-Feb 16, 2014

Well, that took me an inordinately long time to read. I'm not really sure what the holdup was, but I'm eager to start a new book. Hosseini really is a gifted author, but I had a hard time gaining any momentum with this, his third novel. For more than three quarters of the book, I just felt as though the story was still building up to something greater. I'm really glad I hung on to the end though, because it proved well worth it. The story eventually came together, expanding with every page, and was quite satisfying.

Mountains begins in a fictional village in Afghanistan in the 1950s and spans about six decades and travels to Paris, Greece and San Francisco; through several different voices, but each one is intertwined in way or another. Saboor must sell his only daughter in order to survive and adequately care for the rest of his family. Though a stoic man, he never gets over his decision and what unfolds is a sweeping narrative of how many generations are effected by this action.

In the beginning, it was a bit frustrating to jump between decades and voices with each chapter. It took me a while to figure out what was unfolding before me. Once I caught on, I began to like the structure. Of his three novels, this one probably ranks third for me, but that shouldn't diminish its appeal to anyone.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion
December 2013-January 2014

Don Tillman has Asperger's Syndrome. But don't tell him. He doesn't realize it. He's extremely intelligent; a genetics professor, but sometimes the most obvious is also the least obvious. Upon meeting a new person, Don estimates his age and approximate BMI. Hilarious.

Don is looking for a wife. That's where Rosie comes in. She is the exact opposite of everything he requires in a mate. Of course, that's what made this book so enjoyable. I'm not sure I would have liked The Rosie Project as much if I would have read the physical book. The story really benefitted from the narration of Dan O'Grady and his excellent Australian accent (his English accent, not-so-much).

Overall, I wouldn't say this book had much "meat" to it. Don't yell at me, some will argue with that for sure. Maybe I can say it had less substance than what I normally read. But that doesn't make it any less of a treat. For once, I just don't have a lot to say about it.

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