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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 (5681 )
5 star
 (3410)
4 star
 (1609)
3 star
 (453)
2 star
 (127)
1 star
 (82)
Overall
4.5 (1842 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (1833 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeff deland, FL, USA 07-14-07
    Jeff deland, FL, USA 07-14-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    21
    7
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    "This author can write."

    This author can write. I very much enjoyed the Kite Runner but wondered if the success was freshman luck. Not the case. this is very much a similar tale but told from a female persperctive. Terrific!. Now I can't wait to see if he can write something this well not involving the Afghan war. I hope so....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaymie Winamac, IN, USA 07-14-07
    Jaymie Winamac, IN, USA 07-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Timeless"

    This book really brought into light some of the effects that war has brought. The narrator is very good and easy to understand. This book will be around for years and years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 07-13-07
    Julie 07-13-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    48
    3
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    0
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    "Painful"

    The continued pain the author experienced from his childhood is portrayed through a woman's point of view. I had nightmares from the story. It's amazing that the entire, remaining male population of Kabul and surrounding villages, weren't abolished by their wives. I'm looking forward to the author's next story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy G. Greenwood 07-12-07 Listener Since 2000

    TimG

    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Memorable"

    I finished listening to this a couple of weeks ago but keep thinking of the main characters. The two initial stories merge in a most compeling manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Barrackville, WV, USA 07-12-07
    Mary Barrackville, WV, USA 07-12-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    42
    3
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    "Splendid!"

    If you like a story that will cast a spell and stay with you, then this is one. The writing is clear and the characters are wonderfully written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda 07-12-07
    Lynda 07-12-07 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "splendid!!!"

    As good a "read" as The Kite Runner" and as different a story. Set in Afghanistan, a country torn by war over the period of the novel, this story is about the developing and lasting friendship of two women, thrown together by that war. The reader, being an American woman, will really feel for the plight of all women living in an oppressed society. It will make you want to DO SOMETHING.
    A wonderful second novel for this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Howard Chicago, IL 07-12-07
    K. Howard Chicago, IL 07-12-07 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "You won't want to stop listening"

    I did not choose to read this book. It was the book that was chosen by my bookclub. I have not read or listened to a book in quite sometime although I was an avid reader years ago. This book has sparked a flame in me that has not been present for a long time. I found myself listening to it every chance I got and for longer than planned. It made me realize how truly blessed I am to live in America. At the same time it helped me understand why women in countries such as Afganistan put up with such harsh treatment. They do not have a choice. They need to protect their children and therefore had to deal with cruelty and abuse to survive. I greatly appreciated being able to listen to this book as I would not have been able to pronounce many of the foreign words and was glad that I could close my eyes and focus on the material instead of a few words. This is a great book for teens as well. My son was as invested in the book as I was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rae Sedgwick, KS, United States 07-11-07
    Rae Sedgwick, KS, United States 07-11-07 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    19
    7
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    "Another hit!"

    I loved this book! It not only speaks to the heart and soul of the reader, but also serves to help better understand what has occurred in Afghanistan the past three decades. I enjoyed The Kite Runner and find this book just as compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert in Denver 07-10-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    55
    4
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    "One of the best"

    I am as upset that this book had to end as I was when the Kite Runner ended. I get so involved in the lives of these people that I can actually see the streets of Kabul and feel the underlying emotions of the characters. I can almost believe that these are real people. It's true that this is a very sad book in a lot of ways, but you don't have to look very hard to find underlying themes of joy, love, perseverance, and hope. But, the sadness, loss and oppression are a very real part of the story for the Afghan people. As to the reader of this book... 5-stars. Wow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ks PETALING JAYAMalaysia 07-05-07
    Ks PETALING JAYAMalaysia 07-05-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Just half way through, and its good!"

    This was the first audiobook novel I've "read". Mr Khaled's use of words to paint the imagery of mundane events and things around the main characters was the highlight.

    Once started, hard to stop.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 301-310 of 370 results PREVIOUS130313237NEXT
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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.

    6 of 6 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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