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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
  • 5 Stars
    5,366
  • 4 Stars
    2,209
  • 3 Stars
    583
  • 2 Stars
    151
  • 1 Stars
    97

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    2,906
  • 4 Stars
    1,017
  • 3 Stars
    240
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    33

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    2,971
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    971
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  • 2 Stars
    58
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    35
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 01-13-09

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • MORRISTOWN, NJ, United States
  • 12-04-08

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Alexandra
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-26-08

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

  • Overall
  • Carol
  • anderson, SC, USA
  • 03-05-08

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

  • Overall
  • Esther
  • Monroe, WI, USA
  • 02-11-08

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

  • Overall

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

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • 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.

  • Overall
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-01-17

As sad as beautiful

Loved the story although sad. unfortunately it is reality for many woman out there who fight.
let's hope for a better future.
The book is really rich with detailed descriptions that made me dream and almost smell and feel it as reality. this writer is a genius. well done.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • H. L. Mason
  • 06-28-17

Tasteful but distant

A book of considerable artistry but somewhat distant in feeling. The sort of novel that makes for a highly atmospheric film, but not particularly enveloping to read. The lives of a small Afghan family spanning three generations is both moving and inspiring, yet rather monotonous and repetitive. It is a superior work but very much let down by a performance that borders on Apple's Siri type of modulation, although Siri would probably have made a better job of it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-26-17

A hugely insightful and touching story.

A well written, beautiful, sad and inspiring story of resilience, stoicism, love, hate and strength. It will make you cry, laugh, smile and sigh. I both dreaded and looked forward to the next page. Not for the faint hearted.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • P. M. McLoughlin
  • 05-09-17

Awful narration

One of my all time favourite books.....ruined by awful flat narration. Returned. My first dissapointed on Audible

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • S. Godwin
  • 05-01-17

A must read book, an amazing story that will affect your life.

This is the most incredible book, it tells the story of 2 women of Afghanistan and how their lives become entwined and how they survive the horrors of war and a cruel husband. It will make you laugh, cry, be shocked and be amazed all through it. It tells of the human condition and how mankind can be so kind and cruel. An excellent book. Recommended to all.

  • Overall
  • Story
  • MG
  • 02-22-17

melancholic monotony without purpose

Atossa Leoni did a fine job at narration, but there was only so much that she could do.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs. P. Fowell
  • 01-23-17

Enjoyed it.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, It opens your eyes to other cultures and made me realise that I am indeed lucky to have been born a female in a civilised country with my feisty personality I wouldn't have lasted long being born there.

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

No other that I have read

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

No

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

Yes most certainly, I felt so sad mainly for the female's in this book but also found myself creaming ant them to fight back for the life they deserve as much as the next person.

Any additional comments?

I found it hard going at first to understand a lot of the words and what the story teller was saying as she spoke with an authentic accent but she couldn't read it any other way really as it would not have achieved the same impact.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Louise
  • 01-10-17

Fantastic

I listened to the entire book in only two sittings.
In my opinion, this was much better than The Kite Runner, which I found slightly far fetched at times.
The narrator really brought the characters to life and to hear it performed with an accent transported me to Afghanistan.
The relationships between the characters were incredibly touching and heartbreaking at times.
Even though the themes of the book involve war and all of its horrific losses, there was something incredibly uplifting about it.
I absolutely loved this book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ms. Cheryl Sim
  • 12-23-16

Wonderful

Thanks for a beautifully presented story. My first perspective on Afghanistan life. Highly recommend. Sad but full of hope.