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)
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.
Phenomenal audio book, beautifully read by a woman with just enough accent to set the mood, but very very easy to understand. This was one case where I thought I enjoyed the audio book more than I would have the written book because she pronounced many native references correctly, whereas I would not have known how they sounded if I had read it myself.
Also, I am sure you can read all the positive reviews on Amazon, but this story is excellent. I have never sought out this genre, where actual history (of Afghanistan) is brought to life through the eyes of fictional characters. The way two initially separate plots are woven together was very interesting. I highly recommend it to all readers. The characters in the story are very realistic and well-developed; even the antagonists have elements of humanity. The book presents Afghanistan's tomultuous recent history without politicizing it, simply presenting it.
I enjoy many types of audiobooks from chick-lit to non-fiction, but this has been my favorite one so far.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
Like so many others I was so excited to listen to this one because I enjoyed The Kite Runner so much. Hosseini set the bar very high with his first book and I wondered if he would be able to meet it with this one.
When I first started reading the book, I started having my doubts. Where The Kite Runner brought the relationship between Amir and Hassan into play much earlier, in this book the relationship between Mariam and Laila didn't happen till much later. The first half of the book dealt with background information of the two women seperately and how their lives were before they actually crossed paths. The second half of the book concentrated on their relationship together and how it grew. For me, the second half of the book was incredible!
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book that will leave you thinking and wondering about how so many people survive a life like this. It made me think about the devastation some woman endure. The strength, courage, faith and love that can come from a tragic life.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I thought the narrator was mediocre. Of course her pronunciation of the foreign words was perfect, but I just felt she wast a bit too monotone. It does not ruin the listen in anyway though. You will totally enjoy this one.
A beautifully moving, descriptive, and incredibly sad story and Leoni's narration hits all the right notes. Her voice, too, sings and is touching and amazing. I cried many tears and I was left with a hunger for dishes from Afghanistan and for a hunger to know more about the country and it's people.
Great characters, wonderful dialog, brilliant descriptions, tight writing, and so little story. If you loved the moving and colorful world created by the author in the Kite Runner you'll like certain aspects of the book. But if you want a good old fashioned story that drives you on and on to stay up past your bedtime for yet another 15 minutes, this is not the book. I need a stronger story line. The prolonged misery of the characters was not enough to keep me interested.
I couldn't get into this book at all because the narration is so unnatural. The narrator speaks in the same monotone and meter the entire time and is the same for all characters so it is very difficult to get into the story at all. I started listening to this book over 6 months ago and have since listened to 6 other books. Given the universally laudatory reviews, I have been quite disappointed that I have not been able to share such pleasure in this book.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Yesterday, October 1, 2012, in Afghanistan, a women was executed, killed, murdered, call it what you will, for allegedly committing adultery. Her male partner was unpunished. In the same newscast that reported this execution, the beautiful, young, orphaned faces of a first in that country girl soccer team were shown celebrating their freedom to... to... just be girls and play soccer. Such is a taste of life and death in Afghanistan. Such is a taste of A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The book is simply and beautifully written. If you liked the Kite Runner, you will probably appreciate this book also.
I'm very glad I read this book. To see how events in Afghanistan affected people's lives, even in a fictional context, was eye opening. You'll want to listen to see what happens next, and yet because the political events are so heartless to people it breaks your heart. You almost don't want to know the next thing that will hit these people.
This is a story of women. It jumps back and forth between two women's lives and how they learn to lean on each other to survive in war torn Afghanistan, and the sacrifices they make for each other.
After finishing this book I am even more grateful I live where I do and not in a country torn by violence and war.
I think I actually liked the Kite Runner a bit better, but this was definitely worth reading. The narration is also quite good. Read this one and you won't be sorry.
I defy any western woman to read this book and come away without being moved by how privilaged our lives are. This book is an argument against cultural tolerance, if by cultural tolerance we mean condoning the torture and enslavement of an entire gender based upon religious beliefs. The courage and love in this tale will break your heart. It is a testament to how the human spirit can survive and even thrive in the worst of circumstances.
I chose this book as a lesson in culture and wan't dissappointed. This is not main street America. Characters are wonderful. I found myself screaming at them, crying for them, loving with them.
It was a fairy tale ending of sorts, but I still did not want it to end. Truly, this book was a treasure to find.
"A wonderful story but tedious narrator"
Yes I like Khaled Hosseini but my enjoyment of the story was spoiled by the monotonous way Atossa Leoni read the story.
Tariq. A kind selfless man
Utterly tedious and really spoiled the story. Admittedly her pronunciation was excellent but her reading of English was stilted and monotonous. She sounded like a computerised voice. Meaning was lost when she failed to read sentences with the correct punctuation and intonation. Rather like somebody picking up the book for the first time without reading the chapters first. This meant that I found it very difficult to sympathise with the characters who all sounded the same.
I would not listen to another book narrated by Atossa Leoni but would happily read another book by Khaled Hosseini.
The story was beautiful and beautifully written. Touching and educative.
The childhood......it is the same all over the world.
The reader was just reading, using pauses where they didn't belong etc.
"Painful listening, I forget my own pains in life!"
Made me aware of events and places in the world I knew very little about.
"An eye opening book"
It gave me a glimpse into the history of a country I know virtually nothing about. And a life I'm glad not to live!
movies and books such as not without my daughter
Excellent, performance with clear pronunciation of names that I know if I had been reading myself I would not have had a clue how to pronounce.
When the rules the Taliban enforced were read out for the first time.
"what we will do as humans"
Strong. Emotional. Touching
Two woman having a great bond over all they have faced.
I liked it all. I laughed, cried and gasped during my read.
A life worth more than can be seen.
This author is great and should get more recognition for the work.
Yes most definitely, especially for people who don't get the chance t sit and read.
The storyline is amazing, it's highly inspiring and totally recommend it.
I'd like t believe I enjoyed every single chapter.
"Great Story but......"
I think this audible production is a great example of how a narrator can impact the effect a book has on the listener. This story is such a memorising, often harrowing tale. When I listened to The Help, another tale centered around the hardship of women, I was intrigued, I laughed, I cried as I was drawn in by the amazing performances of the narrators . This story is just as good but the slightly robotic monotone of the narrator meant that I didn’t connect with the characters in quite the same way. Please don’t be put off, it’s still a very good download but I personally feel that a story of this magnitude deserves to have a much stronger actress who can convey all the strong emotions that run through the story.
"Beautifully written, beautifully read"
5 years ago I was working in Dubai and I bought this book at Birmingham (UK) airport as I was flying back out after some time off at home. I can't remember the flight, all I remember is the story, how it grabbed me from the first page and kept me in it's grip until I finished it just before the plane landed. The differing emotions that I experienced during my journey through the story were as varied as the countries that sped by beneath me; a truly wonderful, moving and heart wrenching story that makes this book one of the best I have ever read...... I didn't think it could get any better.
Nowadays I drive an hour to work in the mornings and another hour back home at night so I decided to give audio books a try to break up the boredom of the journey. I've listened to many over the past year but this one, which already has such a special place in my heart, was one that I really looked forward to hearing after my experience of reading it 5 years previously.
Atossa Leoni did not disappoint, she not only read the story incredibly well, she also put her heart and soul into it and once again I was transported back to war torn Afghanistan and to the lives of the two women who the book focuses on. You lose yourself in her voice, you become one with the story and feel like your a part of it and the emotions you experience seem more raw, hurt deeper and last so much longer. I'm 52 years old, served my country for 23 of those years in the British Army and have seem some terrible things that I thought had hardened me emotionally, but this book, and the way Atossa narrates it, reduced me to tears many times.
I didn't think it could get any better, Atossa Leoni proved me wrong.
Thank you to Khaled Hosseini for writing such a beautiful, moving novel and to Atossa Leoni for narrating it in such a beautiful way so as to take the reader even closer to the emotions that the story evokes.
I hope, and pray, that Audible and Atossa agree to her narrating on Hosseini's new book "And the Mountains Echoed" because I for one would very much look forward to hearing her read that.
The way it's written and the the way it's narrated. Together it makes for such a wonderful experience.
Unfortunately this is the only book she has narrated, apart from the abridged version that I won't listen to.
I would happily do that, and probably will before the year's out.
Just a thank you from a very, very satisfied customer.
Yes I think it gained more by hearing the names and places read by some who pronounce them properly
It wrapped around me and enveloped me
Because she rad it so beautifully with the right accent pronouncing names if mAde more alve
Completely recommend ths audio book
"Educational, dark and emotional"
I picked up this book on a recommendation and by the half-way point I feared I was going to be disappointed. It seemed Hosseini's characters (excepting Jalil) were one-dimensional and although the story was interwoven with interesting insights into recent Afghan history, the plot itself seemed not to be going anywhere interesting. From that point on, the plot really took off though as the relationship between the two main protagonists (Laila and Mariam) developed. In the end the book turned into a real tearjerker with some surprisingly dark moments, and I thoroughly enjoyed it to the end. In my opinion it would have benefitted from an extra hundred pages in the early chapters for the author to add more layering and complexity to the characters but it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless.
The author once said, "I would like readers to walk away with a sense of empathy for Afghans, and more specifically for Afghan women, on whom the effects of war and extremism have been devastating". This is exactly how the book affected me, so the author hit his mark in my case. The story is one of regret, sacrifice, loss, ill-treatment, war and extremism and there's not much positive to balance this gloom. There are of course some moments of joy and positive relationships along the way, but often the price paid for these is ridiculously high. Although it is only a fictional account of two women and not a statement on the lives of all Afghan women, it is nonetheless educational and revealing for those of us far removed from the culture and politics which underlie so much of this.
All in all, really good read, highly recommended.
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