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A Thousand Splendid Suns | [Khaled Hosseini]

A Thousand Splendid Suns

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of 30 years of Afghanistan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (6000 )
5 star
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4.5 (2115 )
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Performance
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  •  
    June Bedford, TX, USA 09-16-07
    June Bedford, TX, USA 09-16-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    207
    10
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    Overall
    "Even better than Kite Runner"

    I really loved the Kite Runner by the same author, so I was excited to download and listen to A Thousand Splendid Suns. This new novel is even better than Kite Runner. The authors imagery and character development are wonderful. The narrator is perfect. I found myself crying, laughing and even disagreeing with the main character's choices often -- shaking my head and wishing they would make other choices. The two main women characters are heroic and ring true. Both are characters I will remember.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 09-15-07
    Julie 09-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    35
    2
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    "Most Enjoyable"

    I purchased this audio book to listen to during a trip that I was leaving on in a week. I thought I would listen just to get a taste of it and couldn't stop listening. Needless to say, I finished the book in two days. The voice of the narrator was wonderful. The way she conveyed the words of Khaled Hosseini just carried you away to Afghanistan. I felt the characters were memorable. I would highly recommend this audio book....a most enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert San Antonio, TX, USA 09-14-07
    Robert San Antonio, TX, USA 09-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    10
    3
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    "Who doesn't love it?"

    I can't imagine anyone not loving it. My father who is 70 even listened to it and loved it along with The Kite Runner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mohammed 09-13-07
    Mohammed 09-13-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    5
    2
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    "Excellent read"

    I thought that the author could not outdo his first book "The Kiterunner" but he has with this book. Very real depiction of the plight of women in that part of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Corrales, NM, United States 09-13-07
    Mark Corrales, NM, United States 09-13-07 Member Since 2014
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    "annoying and boring"

    I really enjoyed Kite Runner but I found this one quite boring. I felt like, it is no surprise that women living in an oppressive, mysoginistic culture are going to have a terrible time. And yet the woman routinely has sexual relations (and has a child) with her disgusting older arranged-marriage husband, which seems to me like accepting serial rape in a way. Also I found the narrator's voice very annoying and did not want to return to this audiobook. I forced myself to for a while, then gave up when the monotony persisted.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Woodland Hills, CA, United States 09-12-07
    Allison Woodland Hills, CA, United States 09-12-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    5
    2
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    "Better than Kite Runner"

    This book was even better than the author's first book. I really enjoyed listening to it and highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Lou Fockler Centerburg OH USA 09-09-07
    Betty Lou Fockler Centerburg OH USA 09-09-07 Member Since 2012

    Been listening when listening to books was unheard of - and on tape. I've evolved along with Audible and love everything about Audible!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "A Wonderful Book"

    Another wonderful look at life in Afghanistan; this time,through the eyes of a woman. I did not enjoy it quite as much as The Kite Runner. However, I came away so grateful for my freedoms as a woman in this country. And, I feel so sad for those women who exist(ed) under such male/Taliban domination. I learned more about the evolution of conditions in Afghanistan and I enjoy that. I will look for the next Khaled Hosseini book and hope to be one of the first to enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 09-08-07
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 09-08-07
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    "Not to be Missed"

    The high quality of the writing is matched by the expressiveness and perfectly rendered narration. A more intimate and revealing view of life than in his first book, Hosseini delivers character studies that are believable, poignant and authentic. I knew the end of the book was inevitable, but I dreaded it---I wanted it to go on and on and on. My highest recommendations for both the novel and the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Washington, DC 09-02-07
    Donna Washington, DC 09-02-07 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    33
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    "I'm sorry it is finished"

    This is one of the best novels I have ever read. The author's writing is descriptive yet not tedious -- and the narration only added to the experience. It was just that -- an experience. I was so drawn to the characters and their stories that I, like so many other reviewers, was moved to tears several times. I was awed by the lives these women lived because they had no other choices and I was struck by the fact that, although this was fiction, it was probably very accurate. How fortunate we are to live in a country where women are respected and have choices.

    Although it is not a "feel good" story per se, the narration and the writing style come together in such a way as to be captivating. It is an experience not to be missed!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rio 08-30-07
    Rio 08-30-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    "A beautiful book"

    A Thousand Splendid Suns is a simply told story of endurance strengthened by love. What would be unimaginable to the sensibilities of most Americans, is the everyday life of the women in this story, caught in the crossfire of warring factions in Afghanistan. Their lives are tragic, but love and their faith endures. It has been some time since I have read a story that touched me in such a way that this one did. It is a beautiful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jackie
    Romford, Essex, United Kingdom
    7/15/07
    Overall
    "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.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Siobhan
    Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, United Kingdom
    7/31/07
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mirium
    SAFFRON WALDEN, Essex, United Kingdom
    2/6/08
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan
    Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    9/6/07
    Overall
    "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

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Tracey
    5/20/08
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    United Kingdom
    3/27/08
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    St Agnes, United Kingdom
    8/9/11
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gerd
    London, United Kingdom
    4/18/11
    Overall
    "Splendid"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • beverley spencer
    6/16/10
    Overall
    "great"

    what a fab book and beautifully read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Vicky
    Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, United Kingdom
    4/21/10
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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