Regular price: $31.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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
    5,321
  • 4 Stars
    2,199
  • 3 Stars
    582
  • 2 Stars
    151
  • 1 Stars
    97

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,860
  • 4 Stars
    1,011
  • 3 Stars
    239
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    33

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,930
  • 4 Stars
    960
  • 3 Stars
    239
  • 2 Stars
    58
  • 1 Stars
    35
Sort by:
  • Overall

Moving

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

brilliant but unbearable

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sensational!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peyton
  • Imperial, PA United States
  • 07-26-07

Allah Bless America

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...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Predictable *AND* frustratingly narrated

I suppose if I knew nothing of the world of Islam, nothing of the atrocities committed by one tribal or religious subgroup against another, nothing of the wars of occupation in Afghanistan, then I might be more inclined to give this book a pass. But that isn't how it is, and so I found the story predictable without being enlightening. The central character's life choice that is the backbone of the story is glossed over, leaving me no wiser in the end.

Add the narrator's cadence, with a pause after every phrase, every clause and every three words, and I was pulling out my hair. I did appreciate the narrator's pronunciation of all the place names and words in a foreign language, though. That is refreshing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

See the world through a burka

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]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Julie-
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 01-27-14

Great Read

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Powerful and thought provoking

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lee
  • Blue Anchor, NJ, United States
  • 11-21-12

Trying to understand Afghanistan

This book was amazing. As we become more and more lost in Afghanistan, this book is a point of reference. The story and the narration will stay with me for a long time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sue
  • Williamsburg, VA, United States
  • 10-16-12

Outstanding!!!

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

Gripping! Facinating! Stunning!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Miriam...her inner strength was amazing.

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

No

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

No...it was very intense.

Any additional comments?

The character development was fantastic. This is actually a book I would listen to again. Really enjoyed this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ruth
  • 11-09-16

This will stay with me

Narration a bit flat, but otherwise brilliant. A truly moving book which enhanced my understanding of the history of Afghanistan.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • R. Singh
  • 10-13-16

I love! Favourite book

I read this book a number of years ago and loved it and wanted to experience the story again, just as amazing listening to it years on. The narrator is amazing, really makes you connect to the story. I don't think there are many book readers/listeners out there that haven't read/listened to this book but if you are one of them...download it now!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • ?????''?
  • 10-03-16

great

great book. another gem from this author. love learning about afghanistan and the conflicts in this way. heroines lovely.... but for me not as great as the kite runner.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lisbeth
  • 09-08-16

Insightful, harrowing and beautiful all in one

Personally, I found the story tricky to get to grips with at the beginning. It didn't immediately hook me in, but I persevered and it was worth it. The story is captivating, the prose is beautiful, the characters feel real and the setting is harrowing.

The book gives an insight into a world so far away from my own experience, yet one which exists in the same age and on the same earth as mine. As a woman, I found this to be an important book; allowing a level of understanding as to what life might be like for women in Afghanistan.

I found the reader difficult to engage with at times. Her style felt quite flat in comparison to other books I have read. But I got used to it and by the end, I felt like her steadiness was appropriate for the context of this book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Miss
  • 08-30-16

Stick with it its truely inspiring

The plot really opens your eyes up into how hard life can be in the Middle East. I was very impressed with the authors vivid descriptions. Completely recommend this book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Miss S Attarid
  • 06-27-16

Harrowing but excellent story.

Harrowing story but beautifully written. Will bring you to tears. Women still live like this.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mark
  • 05-04-16

Heartbreaking work of genius

Brilliant novel; searingly painful but a compelling read. I had to adapt to the curious vocal phrasing of the narrator which put me off at first but the story powered through. Read it and you will be angered, saddened and humbled.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dr S.
  • 04-22-16

Hard to get into but hugely rewarding

Boy do you grow to care for the central characters, and for Afghanistan. The pronunciation of names will live on long in my memory.
The graphic description of Sharia law (as implemented by the Taliban) and its impact on women is so educational.
I feel hugely emotionally and factually enriched by this book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs. E. Arman
  • 04-20-16

A thousand splendid suns

This book has been a gripping read from start to finish.It makes a pleasant change to have a book that says it as it is.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Becki
  • 02-29-16

captivating

finished in two days. incredible. Wonderful insight into Afghanistans history and how things have transpired. Beautiful characters