Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever-escalating dangers around them, in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul, they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.
A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.
©2007 TKR Publications, LLC. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
"Another searing epic....[Hosseini's] tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Unimaginably tragic, Hosseini's magnificent second novel is a sad and beautiful testament to both Afghani suffering and strength. Readers who lost themselves in The Kite Runner will not want to miss this unforgettable follow up." (Booklist)
It was unbelievably good. I thought after the Kite Runner that would be hard to match, but this is just as good if not better. If ancient customs of arranged marriages bother you, the Taliban incense you and spousal inequality make your blood boil, you're going to love this book. What a cleverly woven tale of how 2 woman's lives merge for the better, then the worse, then the better...
This book is a masterpiece because it paints a vivid picture of a mysterious, hidden country; a modern setting that we have seen on television, but could not understand. The human story it tells is universal. If you listen to this audiobook, you will care about the characters, and you will surely recognize people you have known.
I could not tear myself away from this audiobook... sorry, honey and kids! The reader was excellent and the story beautifully written. I was brought to tears several times. I read The Kite Runner, now I have listen to this book. Now I await this author's next book.
This is not a happy book, although the ending is much happier than the beginning. It does offer much to think and talk about, and reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for. The situation in Afghanistan for women is abysmal, to put it nicely. This book lets us have a glimpse into what it must be like for women over there, and it is not a pretty picture. I have often wondered how I could live under such circumstances because I have a rather spunky attitude. As a child I fought for my own identity with everything within me because of two older brothers whom I perceived as being more valued than I was. Would I be inclined to do likewise under the thumb of the Taliban or Sharea Law? (sorry if I am misspelling those words) I know I would want to fight back, but the fact is, women, even strong, spunky women, are helpless over there. It breaks my heart.
This is a heartbreaking book that, nevertheless, needs to be read by everyone. It underscores the fact that, even in the face of incredible hardship and injustice, many people are inherently good and loving, and can make it through some pretty tough situations if they will turn to love instead of hate.
Beautifully read by Alossa Leoni.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini is a book that easily can be your favorite book of life. It certainly is for me.
The first thought to reveal about the book is that it makes the fantasy and fiction - the unified reality of such enormous realness, that it is hard to believe, during the rearding of the book, that you read another fiction novel.
The book describes the lives of two women in Afganistan in the critical part of its history, between early 1960-ties to early 2003. The destiny and history of the two women is intertwined with the troubled history of the beautiful country. The history that is mosty tragic and miserable, particularly during Taliban reign. However, even if history plays an important role - the book is about human condition - about the difficult and impossible love and friendship, about the greatness of human spirit over the world full of hatred and evil.
In many ways, the most important message we read in this book is that formulated by Victor Frankl: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." I haven’t seen more powerful scene that illustrates this truth than the scene of the death by public execution of one of the book heroes at the hand of vindictive Talibans...
The book reiterates the fundamental truth - the basic human feelings and behaviors, those of the glorious and of the deplorable significance - are independent of the culture, religion, political system etc. We see there both admiration of traditional humble Islamic values and reproof of their perversion in the culture of Taliban, Mujahideen and similar (like Hamas or Hezbollah) culture of killing and murder. After reading it, you will have more moderate view on the Western-Islam conflict...
Last but not least - the book is also about love. I would say - it is all about love...
This book came highly recommended to me, and having enjoyed Khaled Hosseini's other novel 'The Kite Runner', I thought I would give it a try. What a listen! Well narrated, good pace, and a compelling story about the life of two women in Afghanistan under both the Soviets and the Taliban. The tragedy and strength of everyday life during difficult times is lyrically portrayed. For me, a 5 star Audible book is one where, after my 1-hour commute home from work, I don't want to get out of the car right away as the story is so engrossing. This is one of those books.
This is a heart-breaking book; one of those books you will never forget. Not all of it is sad - there are moments of happiness. It made me take a second look at the newspaper article story this morning about Afganastan.
This was a very enjoyable audiobook, I loved every minute of it. The author made you feel close to the characters, caring about their lives and sympathizing with their plight. The emotions that are conveyed feel as if you are experiencing them.
A must buy.
Seems like a womens' book [gendre intended only]. But hugely informative of the Afgani tradgedy told through the eyes of two women. This reveals the terrible evil of a patriachal society that defends bullies and bigots. The account will remain with me for a lifetime. Well told. But be warned, this account will test the mettle of your emotions, and you will not come away feeling good about radical Islam. I'm ordering the Kite Flyer.
This book was beautifully written and gave the reader a powerful look into a world that we as Americans do not often get to view. The connection between the characters was intertwined throughout the entire story and wonderfully told. I truely enjoyed this book.
I loved The Kite Runner, but this novel is, surprisingly, even better. Hosseini is a gifted author and I found myself listening intently to every word. Beautifully read and highly recommended.
"Loved this Book"
This is a fantastic book loved the readers voice made the book even better.
"Loved this book"
I really loved this book, as I did the kite runner, it gives an bit of insight into the plight of some of the people in Afghanistan and is beautifully written.
"For love of Afghanistan"
I never thought those words could go together, 'love' and 'Afghanistan'. My sketchy knowledge from newspapers and images from television led me to want to look the other way, to know no more about a cruel, harsh environment that could only breed violence. The Kite Runner gave me some knowledge, a little more empathy; A Thousand Splendid Suns has drawn me in, as if Afghanistan is in some small way part of my own emotional life. I've hoped and despaired, feared and rejoiced, sometimes all at the same time, with Hosseini's Afghan women, and shared in their love for one another and for the children.
The continuing tragedy of Afghanistan has acquired another dimension for me, I can't look away.
"Wonderful Story, Dull Narration"
The story was wonderful, very poetic and thoroughly enjoyable. However, I really didn't like the narration. She was really dull, characterless and monotonous and because I am British, the American accent was too annoying for me and difficult to follow.
Never the less, I would still recommend.
"Over-rated and poorly read"
I think this book is very over-rated. It certainly makes you very, very aware, painfully aware of the horrors of life in Afghanistan, for women particularly, but so much of the novel dwells on the trivia of day to day exitance. It reads like an airport novel for much of its length.
Everything is dictated by events and chracter analysis is minimal. We do not explore the characters in any depth, but see only the events which happen to them.
The final quarter of the book is very moving however.
My wife tells me I'm wrong - so was I perhaps turned off by the flat, characterless reading of Atossa Leoni with her stange hesitancies which broke up phrases and destroyed sense. Such an amateur reading style.
An excellent example of life of most women in Afghanistan, was hooked on this from beginning till the end.
The author has shown amazing insight into life, love, betrayal and personal sacrifice of the everyday Afghan in this book.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns, a Must Read"
This is perhaps one of the most profound works of contemporary fiction I have come across. On a par with Snowflower and the Secret Fan, and Half of a Yellow Sun, the story of two women in war torn Afghanistan is both beautiful and tragic. The book also gives a great insight in to the lives of Muslim women and how the Taliban's rule affected the lives of ordinary people.It made me realise what our soldiers are fighting for still today in Afghanistan. Although the narrator sometimes reads without feeling, her pronounciation and delicate tone brings the characters to life. I would urge you to read the unabridged version, as the extended detail is what gives Hoseini's writing it's beauty. A prize winner for sure!
This hooked me in and had me boiling with rage and tearful in equal amounts - loved it.
"One dimensional and lacking insight"
At first I thought the narration was charming. After a while I noticed that she pauses in completely wrong places like someone reading a foreign language or a child learning to read. As I progressed, the narration grated more and more and interfered with listening.
There is no country on Earth I feel more sympathy for than Afghanistan which has suffered decades of torment from cynical manipulators and international bullies. And no-one in Afghanistan deserves more sympathy than its women whose treatment is beyond endurance. This novel follows the lives of two women through the last half century.
I expected it to be fascinating. In the end it was slightly disappointing despite a promising first section. The story is well crafted. As a catalogue of abuse and suffering, and the love and humanity that endures it, it evoked my sympathy and outrage. But the characters were one dimensional, if not formulaic and, it didn't offer any real insight into the political events which wrecked their lives.
Sympathetic as I am to the horror, this is a 3 star novel held down by the narration.
If you are interested in the subject and don't mind reading about a different country, I recommend The Spider's House by Paul Bowles (nicely done on audible), about life in Morocco under French rule. It was so insightful, I felt I reached an understanding of the moslem people, their religion and their customs. Reading it permanently changed the way I think of them.
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