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.
Audible Member Since 2003
Make no mistake, Khaled Hosseini is a very talented author, as his tremendous success with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Spledid Suns will attest.
For me, I enjoyed The Kite Runner a little bit more. This is strictly a personal opinion based on the extreme amount of suffering and pathos in this, Hosseini's second novel.
Even writing the review is difficult for me, as I don't wish to criticize the writer's talent. It isn't that at all. Rather, the subject matter of extreme abuse of women is in itself difficult to digest, and I could not find any pleasure whatsoever in this story.
Very well written, to be sure. Emotionally provocative, without a doubt. The story will resurrect many memories of the news stories we all saw regarding the Taliban after 9-11. Only this is a lot more personal, as the reader gets to intimately identify with the oppressed.
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.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns"
The book had me hooked from the beginning, its a VERY graphic account in life in Afghanistan during the occupation by the Russians and under the Talibans. At some points I dreaded listening scared of what was to follow next. If you like fairytales with everyone living happily ever after this is not for you. But for me it gave me an insight into Moslem life and an awareness of how lucky we are in the Western World.
"Passionate story, passionless reading"
It is sheer testament to the beauty and lyrical passion of Hosseini's writing that the story still lives and breathes beyond the unemotional (whilst perfectly pronounced), characterless reading by Atossa Leoni.
"Recommended - but not much fun"
I don't think that 'enjoyment' is quite the right word to describe how I felt while listening to this. If I had been reading, I would have said that it was a real page-turner, as I was gripped by the narrative, and all the time wanted to find out what was going to happen next to Mariam and Laila. I kept waiting and hoping for something nice to happen - but it never did.
It was a good insight into the politics of Afghanistan, without feeling like a history lesson. The writing was vivid, and brought to life both urban and rural landscapes.
I felt very sad at the end, as while there is a suggestion of hope, we now know what has happened in Afghanistan since. Just supposing Laila was a real character rather than fictional, I wouldn't rate her chances very highly.
It was beautifully read.
"The best novelist of our generation?"
Simply a stunning book that engrosses from start to finish. If you liked the Kite Runner, you will love this. Khalid Hosseini is quickly becoming the best novelist of his generation
"A Thousand splendid suns"
This book is wonderful but if you want a nice book then don't read this one, good job I was listening and not reading as I wouldn't have been able to see the pages from the tears. The two women in this book have a terrible life and you are captivated by their strength. A wonderful story.
"A compelling listen"
This fascinating book gives a detailed insight into the lives of Moslem women in Afghanistan during a turbulent time. The attitude of their men towards them is almost unbelievable to Western women. We can be grateful that our life is unlike theirs (in normal circumstances) as it could possibly be. The bravery of the two main characters, knowing the possible punishments for their bid for freedom, takes ones breath away and life has to go on hold while you wait to hear how the story unfolds. A great listen.
"Emotional & wonderful"
This is simply the best book I have read/listened too in a very long time. The characters were beautiful & I really found myself caring about them deeply. I didn't think the Kite Runner could be beaten but this story was so gripping I found myself thinking about it all the time. I think everyone should read this beautiful book as it gives such insight into ordinary women, the true heroines of this awful time. This book gives Afganistan a human face rather than the picture built up by war & the Taliban.
What a fantastic book! Gives you a real insight into what it is (or was) like growing up as a woman in Afghanistan, especially under the Taliban regime and the utter disregard for women's human rights there. All the serious stuff aside, the book is full of sights and smell and texures and has really made me want to go there and see the place for myself. It has pointed out to me that beyond the war and suppression it is a country full of history and beauty that is deserving of attention in its own right. With regards to the narration, it is (suitably so) read by a woman who obviously has the right cultural background, as every local name or Farsi/Pashtun word is pronounced like a local, making the whole experience more believable.
what a fab book and beautifully read.
"A beautifully written tragic story with hope"
I absolutely loved listening to this book. It was so well written that I was in the book living the lives of those two heroic women. I was totally absorbed and had to sit in the car at the end of my journey so that I could carry on listening. It has also taught me about Afganistan and the issues that they have had to contend with. Well worth a listen.
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