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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
    5,365
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  • 3 Stars
    583
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  • 1 Stars
    97

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,904
  • 4 Stars
    1,017
  • 3 Stars
    240
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    33

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    58
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    35
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rachel
  • AURORA, CO, United States
  • 04-09-12

A Life-Changing Novel

A beautifully written epic about the struggles of women in Afghanistan. It was a difficult read but such an important one. At times I thought it was getting too long and involved, but it came together perfectly by the end. I fell in love with the two main characters and have thought of them often since I finished the book. Most of all, this book made me think about the world and my place in it--it made me profoundly grateful for my life, my family, and my freedoms.

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  • Casey
  • INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States
  • 03-10-12

Excellent book

Would you consider the audio edition of A Thousand Splendid Suns to be better than the print version?

I would consider the audio version better than the print version. This is one of the first books I have done an audio version of and I highly recommend it. The Middle Eastern vocabulary was nice to hear pronounced correctly. It was also like story telling. The narrator had good inflection in her voice. I couldn't wait to get in my car to listen. The characters and their troubles were real. I was emotionally vested in this book. I would definitely like to read the Kite Runner too.

What did you like best about this story?

The way I felt attached to the characters, especially Lila.

Which scene was your favorite?

One of my favorite scenes was when Miriam, Lila, and Aziza were trying to leave Rashid but were caught at the bus station. I had such hope for them.

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

No

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

An excellent listen

What made the experience of listening to A Thousand Splendid Suns the most enjoyable?

The story was unforgettable, tragic.

What did you like best about this story?

The reader obviously knew the language and could communicate her knowledge of the place and its people easily. The story, although tragic in nature, was spell-binding and educational.

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

All the characters were believable; I had the most sympathy, of course, for Mariam.

If you could take any character from A Thousand Splendid Suns out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I don;'t think I could take a character to dinner because I feel inadequate to their suffering, and I lack the cultural knowledge for that.

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  • Story

My favorite audible book of all time

If you could sum up A Thousand Splendid Suns in three words, what would they be?

Deeply moving story

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

This is a heart breaking, meaningful and uplifting book. I wanted to finish it but did not want it to end. Beautifully drawn characters who I actually cared about. Courage, strength, human fragility all swirled into modern headlines. Loved it!

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  • Story
  • Matteo
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • 12-08-11

Not as good as the Kite Runner

I wanted to read this book because I loved the Kite Runner so much. The reader is a women, and it was the first time I have listen to one in an audibook. Although strange at first, I started to love the way she read, making the story even more interesting. I love the Afghan words in the middle of the audiobook, making it so much reacher then a book.

Unfortunately the story was not as good as the Kite Runner. I read it more to pass time then for interested, the story has not hocked me. If you havent read it, I really recommend the Kite Runner

  • Overall
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  • Story

a powerful story beautifully written

I nearly didn't read this book because I wasn't all the keen after reading "The Kite Runner" (Amir drove me crazy with his ineptitude.). But I'm so glad a friend convinced me to read it. Powerful story.

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  • Shannon
  • Mooresville, IN, United States
  • 12-02-11

He did it again.

Once again Khaled Hosseini impresses me with his impeccable ability to take you there with his writing. As with The Kite Runner, it is a very sad story but if you're willing to step out and experience what was likely the reality of many women of this time, then this is the book to read. Atossa Leoni does an excellent job narrating. I would recommend this book and hope to see this authors name again soon!

  • Overall
  • Shelly
  • La Mesa, CA, United States
  • 08-12-11

Worth it in the end

This book, like many I read, was very difficult emotionally in parts, but the story is absolutely worth it in the end. A book of struggle and such unfairness that has you angry in many parts of the book. I really enjoyed the kite runner, but I liked this book at least as much if not a bit more. I would give 5 stars just for the book, but I have to reduce it 1 star because I really struggled to love the narrator. I know part of it is just "me", because I typically don't care for for female narrators as much. But a lot of it is that I didn't feel a connection of the narrator AS the women. I felt her flat and detached and difficult to listen to at times. The sentence structure unnatural and having pauses in places they didn't belong. However her accent and pronunciation of non English words I found very good and added to the story. Once I got into the story and the characters enough, I found the narrator easier to listen to and tune out the things I didn't care for. A worthy book in my opinion nonetheless.

  • Overall
  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 07-11-11

Beautiful, wrenching story

Well-deserving of its success. A Thousand Splendid Suns has a bit of a storybook quality, thrusting two Afghan women from drastically different backgrounds together in virtual imprisonment under a tyrant of a man, but it's also a rich window into daily life over several decades in a country that once had hopes of modernization, but became devastated by war and locked in the iron grip of fundamentalist Taliban rulers, under whom women were all but stripped of rights.

For Western readers who know little about Afghanistan, or growing up female in that part of the world, this novel provides a vivid tour of a reality very different from our own, one filled with oppression, despair, heartbreak, horror, and profound unfairness. Yet, Hosseini tells his tale with simple, unassuming honesty, and like the most (genuinely) inspiring writers, locates beauty, hope, and love amid the darkness. The novel's day-by-day and year-by-year sweep through the intertwined histories of his two protagonists and Afghanistan itself, is absorbing and full of story. And his sympathy for all his characters, even the villains, gives it a lasting resonance as a reflection on the capacity of all people for both goodness and harm, and a tribute to the part of the human spirit that won't surrender to those who rule by fear.

I can't compare this book to the Kite Runner, which I haven't read, but I think it stands powerfully on its own. Only the most jaded or incurious readers, I think, will be unmoved.

  • Overall
  • YOON
  • aix en provence, France
  • 05-11-11

Touching story & good narration

This book is really good to know isramic culture. Also, loved the narration by Atossa leoni. It was clear and touching.