Being a Soldier deploying to Afghanistan, I was surprised at the cultural awareness this book enlightened me with. Not only a great plot, but also gives you some insight into the daily lives of Afghans that few will otherwise discover. I found myself sitting in my car listening to the book even after I had arrived at my destination!
Tell us about yourself!
Another spectacular book from Khaled Hosseini. Where the Kite Runner focused on a friendship between males this is from a female perspective. This book incorporates a great story with real events in Afghanistan history. I'm so happy I listened to the book rather than read it. Khaled Hosseini authentic narration made me feel like I was revisiting a familiar area of the world. It also helped me fully understand the struggle women have at that time (and still today).
We are introduced to two women whose lives eventually cross and entangle in a very intimate way. The narration is masterful, as the author (while invisable) leaves the reader in suspense. Just when one thinks the plot is figured out, there is a shift (it is an earned shift with all the clues there when one goes back and considers the events). My favorite line "A man's accusing finger always finds a woman." It is a woman's novel dealing with women's issues. Perfect for teaching in a women's lit. class. The best book I've read in a very long time.
Say something about yourself!
I struggle with reviewing these books but this one I would like to submit my opinion. It is disturbing on so many levels and my mind wonders back to it even though I read it in February.
The characters are oppressed and if one thinks they are one directional I would challenge anyone to live through that and not be. It speaks to the human spirit and the ability to suffer anything and still cling to hope.
Be prepared for physical and emotional subjucation of women; daily violence and the result of absolute power; in small and large arenas.
Very good read; I understand it is fiction and would like to know how much of it is true.
I'm not going to comment on the tragic beauty of Hosseini's story, which everyone else has remarked on in their reviews. I'm commenting on the production of the audiobook. The narrator is Atossa Leoni, the actress who played the female lead in the film version of the Kite Runner. She is clearly multilingual, and comfortably makes both English and Farsi sound natural. The performance, however, is very flat. Leoni reads choppily, taking a breath every few words, sounding passionless and killing the rhythm of the author's voice. If this book had been produced ten years ago, I would say this is fine. But today's audiobooks are performances, with the likes of John Lee and Jim Dale bringing life to the page and adding incredible value to the production. I found this book very hard to listen to. I kept telling myself that the oppressive listening experience was in keeping with the story, but really, the producers should have either coached Leoni to perform differently or found someone who could do the delivery justice. Still, for those who "read" on the go and don't have time otherwise, it will do.
In comparison to Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" which has an incredible emotional richness, this book was a bit dry and one-directional; the characters were described in daily chores and less by their unspoken thoughts.
Be prepared for the prevailing theme of physical and emotional suffering of women living in the world where war, violence, and men rule with iron fists.
How much more do I appreciate my life, education, and equality.
Absolutely loved this book. It has everything; great characters, wonderfully descriptive writing, and an interesting and unpredictable plot. It was a fascinating glimpse into the Afghan culture and the narrator was excellent. Hated for it to end.
This is a great book, not only for it's entertainment value, but also for it's realistic and historical look at life in Afghanistan over the past few decades.
Because this book was in different "parts" (4, to be exact), the first couple of parts did not do much to tell me how they connected, but parts 3 and 4 wrap it all up together, and it comes together and concludes nicely!
This book was pretty "calm" when it related to the husband/wife relationship in Afghanistan. It was often much worse than that, but this book did not go into great detail about the misery of women in Afghanistan during the Taliban era. (A great book to read is "The Sultan's Daughters", which goes into great detail about the life of women in Saudi Arabia, and does a better job at portraying the hypocrisy of Muslim men in these strictly Islamic countries.)
All in all, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” audio book was a very well written book and read very skillfully. It kept my attention clear through the 11+ hours it took to finish it. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in Mid-Eastern culture.
As a fan of The Kite Runner, I hoped this one would not be a disappointment. Thank goodness it wasn't. I love this book for so many reasons. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I hope the author is finishing a new novel at this very moment. Be sure to listen to The Kite Runners if you are one of the few to missed it. I think the narrators add an extra touch to the stories. Just perfection on every level.