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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    5,319
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    2,198
  • 3 Stars
    582
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  • 1 Stars
    97

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    2,858
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    1,010
  • 3 Stars
    239
  • 2 Stars
    60
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    33

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    2,928
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    959
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    239
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    58
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    35
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Stacey
  • Broomfield, CO, USA
  • 10-26-07

Excellent Story and Audiobook

Phenomenal audio book, beautifully read by a woman with just enough accent to set the mood, but very very easy to understand. This was one case where I thought I enjoyed the audio book more than I would have the written book because she pronounced many native references correctly, whereas I would not have known how they sounded if I had read it myself.

Also, I am sure you can read all the positive reviews on Amazon, but this story is excellent. I have never sought out this genre, where actual history (of Afghanistan) is brought to life through the eyes of fictional characters. The way two initially separate plots are woven together was very interesting. I highly recommend it to all readers. The characters in the story are very realistic and well-developed; even the antagonists have elements of humanity. The book presents Afghanistan's tomultuous recent history without politicizing it, simply presenting it.

I enjoy many types of audiobooks from chick-lit to non-fiction, but this has been my favorite one so far.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I'll end up buying the hard copy...

... so I can go back and re-live it. Just don't listen while you're trying to drive. It made me cry. Excellent historical reference, character definition, and narration. An outstanding audio book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maria
  • Carlsbad, CA, USA
  • 11-10-08

Combined voices of Hosseini & Leoni AMAZING

A beautifully moving, descriptive, and incredibly sad story and Leoni's narration hits all the right notes. Her voice, too, sings and is touching and amazing. I cried many tears and I was left with a hunger for dishes from Afghanistan and for a hunger to know more about the country and it's people.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Well written, but sad

The book is well written, and it gives you a voyeuristic view into Afghanistan, but it's so sad. I bought this book because someone said it’s not like his previous book, Kite Runner, which was also really sad to me. But it is sad. That’s why I gave it 3 stars. If you can bear the tragedy of lives destroyed by a God dishonoring culture and war mongering men, then you’ll love this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lauren
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 12-27-07

Narration Takes Away From the Story

I couldn't get into this book at all because the narration is so unnatural. The narrator speaks in the same monotone and meter the entire time and is the same for all characters so it is very difficult to get into the story at all. I started listening to this book over 6 months ago and have since listened to 6 other books. Given the universally laudatory reviews, I have been quite disappointed that I have not been able to share such pleasure in this book.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melody
  • Morriston, FM, USA
  • 05-29-07

Wonderful

I could not tear myself away from this audiobook... sorry, honey and kids! The reader was excellent and the story beautifully written. I was brought to tears several times. I read The Kite Runner, now I have listen to this book. Now I await this author's next book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 03-03-13

Extreme Love, Perseverance where Women are OWNED

Beautiful, heart breaking story of three generations of Afghan women who face incredible abuse and hardship, that western women cannot even imagine. Unlikely friendships and sacrifices by the women over the span of many years and what they do to protect the children that are born to them will keep you on the edge of your seat, listening, crying, and absolutely infuriated that such injustice exists . . . even now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Listen, Sad History

I'm very glad I read this book. To see how events in Afghanistan affected people's lives, even in a fictional context, was eye opening. You'll want to listen to see what happens next, and yet because the political events are so heartless to people it breaks your heart. You almost don't want to know the next thing that will hit these people.

This is a story of women. It jumps back and forth between two women's lives and how they learn to lean on each other to survive in war torn Afghanistan, and the sacrifices they make for each other.

After finishing this book I am even more grateful I live where I do and not in a country torn by violence and war.

I think I actually liked the Kite Runner a bit better, but this was definitely worth reading. The narration is also quite good. Read this one and you won't be sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Julie
  • Le Center, MN, USA
  • 04-23-09

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

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • zena fox
  • 01-18-18

an exceptional story

I had read this book 10 years ago and it had made an impact.
It was different to have it read to me but really enjoyed it.
The narrator was perfect.

  • Overall
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  • Ms. M. Connolly
  • 01-07-18

Beautiful book

Such a lovely book harrowing at times to realize what life is for some people. Beautifully read.

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  • S.A.
  • 12-09-17

AWESOME

loved this book! read it years ago and now downloaded the audio. never gets old, it's everything a great and classic book should be.

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  • aziz
  • 11-01-17

touching story of mothers love and sacrifice

it took a while to get through. but it really showed a beautiful story of a mother's love through intergenerational timelines. definitely worth a read once

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  • Story
  • Hatty
  • 10-18-17

incredible

This book brings a beautifully melancholic feeling to a story of utter hardship. The most striking thing about this book, for me, was how the reader is spared no details in the lives of the characters and how personal the relationship is with them as a result. This book taught me about the political history of Afghanistan in a way I have never learnt history before; it brought a social side to it and personified it in the differing opinions of its characters. a troubling book but very inspiring

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-14-17

Wonderful listen

I have read this book before but wanted to re-visit it and thought I'd try an audio book. I'm very glad I made the decision as the narrator did a great job of bringing the story to life. Would definitely recommend this to anyone.

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  • MISS
  • 09-01-17

Loved this!

The narrator of this book gripped me from the start. Her pronunciation and the sincerity of her voice convinced me that every word was real. Amazing book but sadhowever, it gave me perspective of my own life and made me re- affirm my belief in how lucky I really am.

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  • Adam Preston
  • 08-01-17

Sad. Heart breaking but powerful story

I don't know why some people have complained about the narration. I thought the narrator did an excellent job. You can't expect her to read in tears every time a sad thing happens. With a story like this she would be crying while reading all the way through.

The story is a great insight in the modern history of Afghanistan as well as being a heart wrenching story of how women are treated in some Islamic countries

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  • Ms. F. P. T. Percival
  • 07-21-17

A fantastic narration.

loved the narration. found it very compelling. a great way to revisit the book. I had read it a while back but needed to revisit it for supporting a student. made it easy to add another book to the read list!

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  • Ms R.
  • 07-01-17

A challenging listen

Had to listen in two stages as the story became harrowing. Worth persevering with. Full of heart and tragedy.