Quotable quotes: And the Mountains Echoed is full of them!

Mar 28, 201826 comments

I rarely gush books. Okay, that is a lie. But I could say the number of books that I hold close to my heart are few and they are special. One of such books is And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hossieni. You can read my raving review about the book here and when you return I still wouldn’t have done fangirling about the writer. There is something so simple and realistic in his writing that never leaves me unmoved.

I recently listened to an old interview of his a short while ago and I had to revisit some of my favorite passages from his books. I thought I will share some of the quotes I love from And the Mountains Echoed. I think these quotes will make it worthwhile even if I decide to re-read And the Mountains Echoed for the third time. So let us get on with it shall we?

1) he didn’t understand why a wave of something, something like the tail end of a sad dream, always swept through him whenever he heard the jingling, surprising him each time like an unexpected gust of wind. But then it passed, as all things do. It passed.

2) Kabul is … A thousand tragedies per square mile.

3) Parwana feels herself standing on the brink of telling her everything, telling Masooma how wrong she is, how little she knows the sister with whom she shared the womb, how for years now Parwana’s life has been one long unspoken apology. But to what end? Her own relief once again at Masooma’s expense? She bites down the words. She has inflicted enough pain on her sister.

4) A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.

5) She was an extraordinary woman, and I went to bed that night feeling like I was perhaps more than ordinary myself. This was the effect she had on me.

6) I remember that when my parents fought, they did not stop until a clear victor had been declared. It was their way of sealing off unpleasantness, to caulk it with a verdict, keep it from leaking into the normalcy of the next day. Not so with the Wahdatis. Their fights didn’t so much end as dissipate, like a drop of ink in a bowl of water, with a residual taint that lingered.

7) The net effect is that she has made me feel vaguely reprimanded and, what’s more, deserving of it, guilty of wrongs unspoken, offenses I’ve never been formally charged with.

8) a nagging doubt begins to set in. A faint intimation that I have judged Madaline harshly, that we weren’t even that different, she and I. Hadn’t we both yearned for escape, reinvention, new identities? Hadn’t we each, in the end, unmoored ourselves by cutting loose the anchors that weighed us down? I scoff at this, tell myself we are nothing alike, even as I sense that the anger I feel toward her may really be a mask for my envy over her succeeding at it all better than I had.

9) I have waited all my life to hear those words. Is it too late now for this? For us? Have we squandered too much for too long, Mamá and I? Part of me thinks it is better to go on as we have, to act as though we don’t know how ill suited we have been for each other. Less painful that way. Perhaps better than this belated offering. This fragile, trembling little glimpse of how it could have been between us. All it will beget is regret, I tell myself, and what good is regret? It brings back nothing. What we have lost is irretrievable.

10) You’re lucky, Pari. You won’t have to work as hard for men to take you seriously. They’ll pay attention to you. Too much beauty, it corrupts things. She would laugh. Oh, listen to me. I’m not saying I speak from experience. Of course not. It’s merely an observation.

11) You’re saying I’m not beautiful. I’m saying you don’t want to be. Besides, you are pretty, and that is plenty good enough. Je t’assure, ma cherie. It’s better, even.

12) Must have been quite the culture shock, going there.Yes it was. Idris doesn’t say that the real culture shock has been in coming back.

13) I learned that the world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone. It was as simple, as absurd, and as cruel as that.

14) Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.

15) It’s a funny thing, Markos, but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.

16) the creative process as a necessarily thievish undertaking. Dig beneath a beautiful piece of writing, Monsieur Boustouler, and you will find all manner of dishonor. Creating means vandalizing the lives of other people, turning them into unwilling and unwitting participants. You steal their desires, their dreams, pocket their flaws, their suffering. You take what does not belong to you. You do this knowingly.

17) All my life, she gave to me a shovel and said, Fill these holes inside of me, Pari.

18) Perhaps if she had grimaced at him, said something infantile, full of loathing and hate. An eruption of rancor. Perhaps that might have been better. Instead, a clean, diplomatic dismissal. And this note. Don’t worry. You’re not in it. An act of kindness. Perhaps, more accurately, an act of charity. He should be relieved. But it hurts. He feels the blow of it, like an ax to the head.

Are there any authors that have affected you as much? Are there any books that you read for the writing even though you knew how the story goes? Let us talk. I would love some recommendations.

26 Comments

  1. Vivien Ayinotu

    Nice sharing this Gaya. Some authors are truly gifted.

    Congratulations!

    You were one of the winners of Happiness At Last Book contest that began on the 17th of March and ended on the 5th of May.

    Can you please provide me with your shipping address over the next ten days?

    Thanks a lot for your participation. I truly appreciate.

    You will enjoy the book because I had a swell time writing it😄

    I await your response.

    Many thanks🙏🏼

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I have mailed you and thanks 🙂

      Reply
  2. The Story Sponge

    These are really good quotes! I especially like 4, 9, 15, and 17.
    I love books with rich writing. Some books that I have read that have exceptional writing are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo, and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. These authors weave the words so expertly into the story that it is like poetry.
    Great post!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I loved Book thief and All the light we cannot see, especially the writing.

      Reply
  3. Terri A. Wilson

    I haven’t read this book. Now I think I need to. I don’t know that I remember quotes from a book like that. I remember stories as a whole and how they move me. To this day I still remember the way Joy Luck Club made me think about my relationship with my mother.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I have not read Joy Luck club yet but I have heard so much about it. I usually don’t but there are a very few authors who can make me remember or to search for their quotes later.

      Reply
  4. Tin @ The Book Maiden

    Love the quotes above. I love book that has a lot relateable quotes. I love Jenny Han and Sarah J Maas! Paulo Coelho’s on my top list too.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I have heard so many good things about Sarah J Maas’s books but never got to around to read any. Maybe it is time to change it.

      Reply
  5. Andreea

    All these quotes show what a good writer he is – I especially like quotes that even when taken out of the context can touch you even though they might not make as much sense.

    And I loved “Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I think you will love this book, if you like that quote. You should check it out.

      Reply
  6. Nikki

    My favorite from him is ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes I love that book too. The friendship of those women moved me.

      Reply
  7. Angela S

    Fantastic how a book and a writer can have such a powerful and lingering impact. One author that had this impact on me was David Mitchell.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I have not read any of David Mitchell’s I think. I will look into them soon.

      Reply
  8. DJ Sakata

    I’ve not read this genius… silly me

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Let me know if you try them.

      Reply
  9. Tasha and Megan

    It is wonderful to have such love for a book.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I agree.

      Reply
  10. Kiss Like a Girl

    This sounds like a lovely book. I’m glad you enjoyed it, great review!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thanks a lot.

      Reply
  11. The Orangutan Librarian

    Ah Hosseini is such a beautiful writer- these are wonderful quotes!! Glad you loved this book!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      He is one of my favorite writer of all times.

      Reply
  12. Lara @ Words With Lara

    Aaaah I love books that are full of quotable quotes!!! I really need to read this… I’ve wanted to read The Kite Runner for aaaages so I really just need to get onto it.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      You are missing out on a gem. You have to read it asap.

      Reply
  13. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    This book has been on my TBR list ever since I read The Kite Runner. I clearly need to read it!

    “A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.”
    This was my favorite of the quotes! 🙂

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I loved Kite Runner too. It pushed me to tears the first time I read it. I have been following the author since then.

      Reply

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Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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