Author: Khaled Hosseini (2003)
Listening Length: 12 hours and 1 minute
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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This book. Typically you will find me swimming comfortably inside the personal development and business book lanes. That is until I heeded Tim Ferris recommendation to change things up with fiction novels every once in a while.
Tim highly recommended this book and it didn’t disappoint. I listened to Khaled read the audiobook. The book was wonderfully written. It was quite poetic with great imagery and descriptions.
It felt like I was listening to a moving church choir. Every beautiful quote was a moving stanza. The transitions were so purposeful and poignant. They felt like radio/television teases that left you paralyzed wanting to hear more. The moment Amir finds his nephew in the bathroom. I felt the transition was amazing in that only a few moments into the next chapter did you fully grasp what had transpired. It’s like the author uses his transitions to cast a fishing line into the near future only to slowly draw you back to where he left off in the next chapter.
There were quite a few times when I literally gasped and a couple where I almost cried. That’s how emotionally engaging the story was at times. I also loved learning so much about Afghanistan culture. It was great to also gain valuable historical perspective untaught in Western schools. I learned that the “g” is not pronounced when saying the proper name of the country or its people
There are many memorable quotes throughout the book. Two that stood out for me were the following:
“When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.”
“…lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.”
I was in awe at how much detail the author was able to remember about his childhood until it became clear that it was indeed a fictional novel. The use of the first person gives the book that autobiographical feel. The term is actually Creative Non-Fiction. The book goes right up there with Ready Player One as one of the best modern fiction books I’ve consumed.