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A Thousand Splendid Suns Audiobook

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

4.5 (6912 )
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Overall
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Story
4.5 (2914 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Diana Shipman, VA, USA 03-04-08
    Diana Shipman, VA, USA 03-04-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Despressing but good read"

    The subject matter is disturbing as is any about the oppression of humans. I found it hard to understand the abrupt end in one woman's story until reading further about their interconnected lives. This author writes beautifully. The reader was excellent also. In audio books, the reader is almost as important as the author.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Aurora, IL, USA 02-26-08
    Mari Aurora, IL, USA 02-26-08 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    1
    Overall
    "A Sad Story"

    One of the best books I have ever 'read'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sangho Artesia, CA, USA 02-17-08
    Sangho Artesia, CA, USA 02-17-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "good read but could be better"

    Although I enjoyed the book, it is less engaging than the author's first novel, The Kite Runner. One plot weakness of A Thousand is that the part describing the bonding between the two main characters, Mariam and Leila, doesn't seem very convincing, making the rest of story development a bit artificial.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Whitewater, CO, United States 02-15-08
    Cynthia Whitewater, CO, United States 02-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Captivating"

    Everything from the narrator's captivating pronounciation (I never knew how to pronounce Afganistan!) to the blossoming of the characters as their world disintegrates around them. There were indeed times I had to stop listening as my spouse came home because I was so angry at the character's situation that I was unreasonable with my own, very innocent husband.

    I did have to leave off for a week or so during the darkest part of the novel. I was a little disheartened and needed a break from the soul-crushing plot, but that is the sign of an engaging story, all the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reeann Bahde 02-13-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Even better than The Kite Runner"

    This is the best book I have ever read. It should be required reading for every American. I wake up everyday grateful that I, a woman was born in this wonderful country. The story is a touching tale of two afghani women and all that they endure during the rein of the Taliban. A Must read for man or woman. God Bless the USA.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Conni Bothell, WA, USA 02-08-08
    Conni Bothell, WA, USA 02-08-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    "Unexpectedly Lingers"

    I know the Kite Runner is his better known book, but A Thousand Splendid Suns has stayed with me and I found it most intriguing. Two women come together in an unexpected and sometimes horrible way, struggle to build a relationship in a crazy situation and ultimately create an unusual bond. It reads more like a documentary than a piece of fiction. I highly recommend it - it will make you think about how good your life is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 02-07-08
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 02-07-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    182
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Torturous reading"

    Simplistic, repetitive, unimaginative writing + Slow developing plot = Me getting exactly halfway through this before abandoning it.

    It's a shame because I'm extremely interested in both the culture and the time period. There were some decent parts in the book, but I just couldn't make it. Depressing, no suspense, nothing to look forward to.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Stony Plain, AB, Canada 02-07-08
    Rebecca Stony Plain, AB, Canada 02-07-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "A Difficult Listen"

    I found this a hard book to finish - mostly because the events described are plausible. It is extremely unsettling to think that such horrible things could happen in this day and age, but they do. The hatred and level of violence described are not for the faint of heart. I only finished listening to this book because I had hope that there may be a satisfactory (ie - less than heartbreaking) ending. If you're squeamish or uncomfortable with violence against women, skip it.

    On the "audio" side, I wasn't terribly impressed with the rhythms of the narrator. However, it's likely that I would have abandoned the book completely had I been reading, rather than listening, as the narrator was able to guide me through the pronounciation of names and locations that are completely foreign to me.

    Yes, the story is interesting. This is my second purchase of audio books by this writer, but I won't be buying any more. I don't think I could take any more heartbreak. Although, that does mean he's connected with me...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-05-08
    Daryl Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Where's the plot?"

    I found the book dull and heavy. I wanted more plot to go along with the interesting description of women's lives.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Odessa, FL, USA 01-24-08
    Dan Odessa, FL, USA 01-24-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    1
    Overall
    "Hosseini does it again"

    When an author comes up with a story as powerful as "Kite Runner", one expects to be disappointed with subsequent offerings. But Kahled Hosseini has done it once again. This is an excellent book told by a master storyteller and narrated beautifully by Atossa Leoni. Two thumbs up!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    6 of 6 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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