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.
"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)
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.
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.
The writing and character development is perhaps even better than in Kite Runner, and the story rings true. But it is so unrelentingly sad that despite the beautiful writing and occasional glimmers of hope and light, I couldn't force myself to endure it until the end.
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
It's difficult to describe this book's myriad dimensions. It is at the same time sad, uplifting, thought-provoking, and more. It is a love story, a political statement, a social statement, a familial statement, and more. And it's all tied together with wonderfully written prose. Worth every letter, word, phrase, sentence.
This is a story of man's' inhumanity to man. It is a difficult story to hear, but a story we need to hear to be responsible adults in the global society in which we exist. This is not for children. With the daily rhetoric, and horrifing facts of the casulities in Iraq, it is difficult to stomach our government's willingness to send our country's young people (as in the past our grandfathers raised the flag in Iwo Jima), to achieve our unitied, moralistic goal of combating evil and the persecution of peoples across the planet. Though some may view this national dedication as an ego for "world dominance", this story shows us how our efforts in remote, discounted lands have achieved great things, not only in this current conflict, but throughout our country's history... Yes, with action there are always mistakes, but this story shows our country as we are viewed by the sick, downtrodden, and poor (where did I read that?). The USA shines as a beacon to liberation, justice, and the right to pursue happiness for all.
If you were in trouble, who do you want to hear... From the French in WWII, to the Afghanies/Mujahadin/Taliban as the story relates. I think all the peoples suffering injustice in the world would want to hear the engines of Apaches and Blackhawks accompanied by the call of the US Marines.
Disagree if you want, that is what we fight for... Great book!
May God, Jehovia, or Allah remove the ignorance and intolerance that is chronicled in this book... In Afganistan, Somalia, Iraq, or the next conflict. Inshallah...
Dr. Hosseni used to be my doctor so you'll be happy to know that he is not only a fabulous writer but he is also a good guy and a wonderful doctor. I thought the Kite Runner was excellent and this one exceeded my expectations. Dr. Hosseni is probably doing more for the humanitarian cause than anyone else as far as putting faces with a culture that has been ignored except for the focus on war. I get lost in his books. I'm stuck in traffic and don't even care and in fact, want it to take even longer to get to work. I feel like I'm visiting another country. Having lived in other countries and traveled extensively, I know that there are some people that are always going to fight for power (unfortunately) but at the core of the population are good people everywhere, just trying to do life the best they can.
A deeply disturbing, emotional story, and one of the most influential and important novels I've ever read. I grew to love Mariam and Laila like they were my own family, and I experienced their story with deep sadness and affection. The story still claws at me, even after finishing, and I suspect it will continue to haunt me for some time.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
This novel did a phenomenal job of explaining what it was like to be a woman in Afghanistan in the years between 1960 – 2001. Told from the point of view of two Afghan women, the story of their complete subjugation to men was heartbreaking, so terrible at points that I wanted to put the book down. One of the women, Mariam, is born out of wedlock, relegating her to the sidelines of life—which is saying a lot in a culture in which women are pretty much powerless. The reader experiences with Mariam what it was like the first time she put on a burka, we mourn with her the loss of peripheral vision, we chafe against the feel of fabric pressing on her mouth. When her husband casually tells her “you’ll get used to it,” that was really the theme of her whole life. Get used to being beaten, get used to being told you are worthless, get used to being ignored, get used to bombs falling all around you, get used to hunger.
“Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer.”
The second, younger woman, Laila, is born in happier circumstances, but the war and circumstances land her in the same house with Mariam and is subjected to the same inhuman treatment at the hands of their mutual husband.
The day the Taliban arrive in Kabul and make their decrees for women public, heralds yet more restrictions.
“Attention Women: You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home. You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with burka when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten. Cosmetics are forbidden. Jewelry is forbidden. You will not wear charming clothes. You will not speak unless spoken to. You will not make eye contact with men. You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten. You will not paint your nails. If you do, you will lose a finger. Girls are forbidden from attending school. All schools for girls will be closed immediately. Women are forbidden from working. If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death. Listen, listen well, obey. Allahu Akbar.”
But despite the grim circumstances in which the women find themselves, the author is able to draw the reader into their lives and show how love can flourish even in such dire circumstances. The writing is so superb, the characters so real, I was weeping at the end. A very important book and a must-read for anyone interested in the Middle East in general and Afghanistan in particular.
[I listened to the novel read by Atossa Leoni. Her performance was dispassionate, a stark contrast to the sometimes horror-filled events she was narrating, but that seemed appropriate, since the women in the book were extremely stoic in their own endurance of hardship. I did listen at 1.25 speed]
This was a great book, with a great narrator, not many books stick with me after I have finished reading them but this one did. I cried and rejoiced with the characters in this heart wrenching novel. Its a must read.
What a phenomenal book. After reading “The Kite Runner,” I knew I had to read this book. It was a hard read because of the spousal abuse, but I knew I had to do it. This book really tells us about life in a third-world country that has gone through war for many, many years. It will tear at your heart strings and make you want to weep for the two women in the story, Lila and Miriam, who in our eyes had horrible lives. But they knew great love and strength and faced life’s challenges with fortitude and grace. The book covers the social conflicts in the country as well as personal love and strife.
There are a few books that you read in life that really grab your heart and this was one of those books. Although I continually cringed while reading the book, I found I couldn’t put it down. My hat is off to Khaled Hosseini for helping us to learn of his country and its magnificent people.
Yes. Makes me realise how lucky we are in the Western world.
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.
All the women named.
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.
A book that should be in every school and library
"Beautiful and Inspiring"
The readers voice is brilliant, she interprets the story well with her accents and tone.
I love how it teaches of real life struggles within Afgahnistan
"A wonderful story but tedious narrator"
Yes I like Khaled Hosseini but my enjoyment of the story was spoiled by the monotonous way Atossa Leoni read the story.
Tariq. A kind selfless man
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.
I would not listen to another book narrated by Atossa Leoni but would happily read another book by Khaled Hosseini.
The story was beautiful and beautifully written. Touching and educative.
The childhood......it is the same all over the world.
The reader was just reading, using pauses where they didn't belong etc.
"Painful listening, I forget my own pains in life!"
Made me aware of events and places in the world I knew very little about.
"An eye opening book"
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!
movies and books such as not without my daughter
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.
When the rules the Taliban enforced were read out for the first time.
"what we will do as humans"
Strong. Emotional. Touching
Two woman having a great bond over all they have faced.
I liked it all. I laughed, cried and gasped during my read.
A life worth more than can be seen.
This author is great and should get more recognition for the work.
Yes most definitely, especially for people who don't get the chance t sit and read.
The storyline is amazing, it's highly inspiring and totally recommend it.
I'd like t believe I enjoyed every single chapter.
"Great Story but......"
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.
"Beautifully written, beautifully read"
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.
The way it's written and the the way it's narrated. Together it makes for such a wonderful experience.
Unfortunately this is the only book she has narrated, apart from the abridged version that I won't listen to.
I would happily do that, and probably will before the year's out.
Just a thank you from a very, very satisfied customer.
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