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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
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    "Heartbreaking and beautiful"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 01-13-09
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 01-13-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    701
    ratings
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    538
    311
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    "Unpleasant Subject, Pleasant Story"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 12-08-08
    Gary 12-08-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best this year!"

    Being a Soldier deploying to Afghanistan, I was surprised at the cultural awareness this book enlightened me with. Not only a great plot, but also gives you some insight into the daily lives of Afghans that few will otherwise discover. I found myself sitting in my car listening to the book even after I had arrived at my destination!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
    24
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    10
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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 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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
    228
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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  • Chris
    Teignmouth, United Kingdom
    12/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book"
    Would you listen to A Thousand Splendid Suns again? Why?

    Yes. Makes me realise how lucky we are in the Western world.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Thousand Splendid Suns?

    It was the realisation that no matter what I thought of the Afghan way before, my vision gave little credence to what it is actually like.


    Which character – as performed by Atossa Leoni – was your favourite?

    All the women named.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me feel very inadequate in my knowledge of Middle Eastern and Islamic ways especially having also read The Kite Runner by the same author.


    Any additional comments?

    A book that should be in every school and library

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Camilla
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful and Inspiring"
    What made the experience of listening to A Thousand Splendid Suns the most enjoyable?

    The readers voice is brilliant, she interprets the story well with her accents and tone.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how it teaches of real life struggles within Afgahnistan


    Which character – as performed by Atossa Leoni – was your favourite?

    Mariam


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

    Yes! Definitely


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K. Stokell
    Wirral UK
    5/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful story but tedious narrator"
    Would you try another book written by Khaled Hosseini or narrated by Atossa Leoni?

    Yes I like Khaled Hosseini but my enjoyment of the story was spoiled by the monotonous way Atossa Leoni read the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tariq. A kind selfless man


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Thousand Splendid Suns?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    I would not listen to another book narrated by Atossa Leoni but would happily read another book by Khaled Hosseini.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Giovanna
    Varberg, Sweden
    5/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Touching"
    What made the experience of listening to A Thousand Splendid Suns the most enjoyable?

    The story was beautiful and beautifully written. Touching and educative.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Thousand Splendid Suns?

    The childhood......it is the same all over the world.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader was just reading, using pauses where they didn't belong etc.


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

    A few.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    UK
    4/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painful listening, I forget my own pains in life!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Made me aware of events and places in the world I knew very little about.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Countess_Dracul
    UK
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An eye opening book"
    What did you like most about A Thousand Splendid Suns?

    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!


    What other book might you compare A Thousand Splendid Suns to, and why?

    movies and books such as not without my daughter


    What about Atossa Leoni’s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    When the rules the Taliban enforced were read out for the first time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jayne
    bracknell, United Kingdom
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what we will do as humans"
    If you could sum up A Thousand Splendid Suns in three words, what would they be?

    Strong. Emotional. Touching


    What did you like best about this story?

    Two woman having a great bond over all they have faced.


    Which character – as performed by Atossa Leoni – was your favourite?

    I liked it all. I laughed, cried and gasped during my read.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A life worth more than can be seen.


    Any additional comments?

    This author is great and should get more recognition for the work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alina
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bla"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Thousand Splendid Suns to be better than the print version?

    Yes most definitely, especially for people who don't get the chance t sit and read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The storyline is amazing, it's highly inspiring and totally recommend it.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I'd like t believe I enjoyed every single chapter.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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

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