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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 (5706 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary MORRISTOWN, NJ, United States 12-04-08
    Gary MORRISTOWN, NJ, United States 12-04-08 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Great follow up by Khaled Hosseini"

    Another spectacular book from Khaled Hosseini. Where the Kite Runner focused on a friendship between males this is from a female perspective. This book incorporates a great story with real events in Afghanistan history. I'm so happy I listened to the book rather than read it. Khaled Hosseini authentic narration made me feel like I was revisiting a familiar area of the world. It also helped me fully understand the struggle women have at that time (and still today).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee 09-27-08
    Renee 09-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    8
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    "The Splendid Sun"

    We are introduced to two women whose lives eventually cross and entangle in a very intimate way. The narration is masterful, as the author (while invisable) leaves the reader in suspense. Just when one thinks the plot is figured out, there is a shift (it is an earned shift with all the clues there when one goes back and considers the events). My favorite line "A man's accusing finger always finds a woman." It is a woman's novel dealing with women's issues. Perfect for teaching in a women's lit. class. The best book I've read in a very long time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 08-17-08
    Kimberly 08-17-08 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    177
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    "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

    I struggle with reviewing these books but this one I would like to submit my opinion. It is disturbing on so many levels and my mind wonders back to it even though I read it in February.

    The characters are oppressed and if one thinks they are one directional I would challenge anyone to live through that and not be. It speaks to the human spirit and the ability to suffer anything and still cling to hope.

    Be prepared for physical and emotional subjucation of women; daily violence and the result of absolute power; in small and large arenas.

    Very good read; I understand it is fiction and would like to know how much of it is true.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 06-16-08
    Deborah Parker, CO USA 06-16-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More PLEASE!"

    This author is inspired. After Kite Runner and ATSS I would buy anything he writes!! Very, very good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-26-08
    Alexandra Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tragic tale of Afgani women"

    In comparison to Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" which has an incredible emotional richness, this book was a bit dry and one-directional; the characters were described in daily chores and less by their unspoken thoughts.

    Be prepared for the prevailing theme of physical and emotional suffering of women living in the world where war, violence, and men rule with iron fists.

    How much more do I appreciate my life, education, and equality.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol anderson, SC, USA 03-05-08
    Carol anderson, SC, USA 03-05-08
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    "fabulous"

    Absolutely loved this book. It has everything; great characters, wonderfully descriptive writing, and an interesting and unpredictable plot. It was a fascinating glimpse into the Afghan culture and the narrator was excellent. Hated for it to end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther Monroe, WI, USA 02-11-08
    Esther Monroe, WI, USA 02-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "Intriguing and Educational..."

    This is a great book, not only for it's entertainment value, but also for it's realistic and historical look at life in Afghanistan over the past few decades.

    Because this book was in different "parts" (4, to be exact), the first couple of parts did not do much to tell me how they connected, but parts 3 and 4 wrap it all up together, and it comes together and concludes nicely!

    This book was pretty "calm" when it related to the husband/wife relationship in Afghanistan. It was often much worse than that, but this book did not go into great detail about the misery of women in Afghanistan during the Taliban era. (A great book to read is "The Sultan's Daughters", which goes into great detail about the life of women in Saudi Arabia, and does a better job at portraying the hypocrisy of Muslim men in these strictly Islamic countries.)

    All in all, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” audio book was a very well written book and read very skillfully. It kept my attention clear through the 11+ hours it took to finish it. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in Mid-Eastern culture.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sindi 01-19-08
    Sindi 01-19-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfection!"

    As a fan of The Kite Runner, I hoped this one would not be a disappointment. Thank goodness it wasn't. I love this book for so many reasons. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I hope the author is finishing a new novel at this very moment. Be sure to listen to The Kite Runners if you are one of the few to missed it. I think the narrators add an extra touch to the stories. Just perfection on every level.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. J. Benyei 12-18-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moving"

    This is a well written well paced book full of touching characters. You will love some and hate others, but the author will make you feel something for all of them. I felt pity, sadness, anger, frustration, joy. Not only are the characters wonderful, the writing smooth and flowing, but the historical/cultural insights are as interesting as the characters and their stories. It was a wonderful listen, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Schlarmann 11-08-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Gripping"

    I really enjoyed this book although it tells a heartbreaking story. If you want a real life account of some of today's oppressed middle eastern women and the lives they lead, read this book! It's compelling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 31-40 of 371 results PREVIOUS134538NEXT
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  • Kat
    croydon, United Kingdom
    12/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story but......"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • M. Carter
    England
    10/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written, beautifully read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way it's written and the the way it's narrated. Together it makes for such a wonderful experience.


    Have you listened to any of Atossa Leoni’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Unfortunately this is the only book she has narrated, apart from the abridged version that I won't listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would happily do that, and probably will before the year's out.


    Any additional comments?

    Just a thank you from a very, very satisfied customer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • k
    southampton, United Kingdom
    8/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Thousand Splendid Suns to be better than the print version?

    Yes I think it gained more by hearing the names and places read by some who pronounce them properly


    What did you like best about this story?

    It wrapped around me and enveloped me


    What does Atossa Leoni bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Because she rad it so beautifully with the right accent pronouncing names if mAde more alve


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many


    Any additional comments?

    Completely recommend ths audio book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    Kilkenny, Ireland
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    2/16/13
    Overall
    "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

    I have been a member of Audible since its inception and have never written a review but after listening to this book I believe it is the most amazing book I have ever read. I think about it still - the most wonderful author brilliantly narrated and if a film is made I would guarantee it would be in line for oscars, etc.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola
    Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "A must have in your library"

    I enjoyed this book tremendously and have listened to it twice now. Set in its historical context, the awful events in the story were a powerful way of highlighting the heroism of ordinary women living their everyday lives in Afghanistan. The reader’s voice was appropriate for the story and very easy to listen to. An epic and interesting book that gave me an insight into the conflicts in Afghanistan that still feed into the troubles today. I would recommend highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Abergavenny, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Everybody should read this book"

    This is a stunning book. Like 'The Kite Runner' before, it paints a picture of Afghanistan - good and bad sides - that we could all do with reading. Compelling narrative and characters. Extremely well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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