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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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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    239
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    58
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  • Rebecca
  • Fort Oglethorpe, GA, United States
  • 07-29-11

Never connected with me

I read this book because of the great reviews and I really wanted to like it. The story is good, I guess, but I just couldn't get into this book at all. I finished it and, unlike other books I've recently read, I was excited to be at the end (so I could at least say I read it) instead of sad to see it end.

The transitions between events are awkward and I found myself frequently rewinding to say, "Wait, where are they now?" If you lose attention for a moment, you're lost.

I typically love books that span many years / decades. However, the writing is a little too choppy to span so much time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Compelling...

This book is sure to become a classic, if it is not already considered one. The major characters are well developed, the story is engaging, well told and sounds very realistic. It gives the reader an insight into the culture of Afghanistan, the ways of the Taliban and the complicity of the lives of the people living in that Moslem country and shows how their lives became incidental to the the motives of two super powers. This book celebrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit in a big way. This author is truly gifted and I will forever be a fan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • kimberly
  • claremont, CA, United States
  • 06-14-10

A memorable book

This book took my breath away. The story was so sad but beautifully delivered by the author. You hope with all your heart that things will be better for the main characters, but alas....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great listen

Great story! Suggest to listen to this book after "Kiterunner".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captivating!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It gave me a different perspective of war & the Middle East. I tend to look at what has been happening "over there" as unreal like a movie. How lives are torn apart by unnatural belief systems is hard to fathom in my day to day world. I cried, laughed and became a more aware person because of this novel. Compassionately written and well narrated I highly recommend this as excellent listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captivating!

This is one of the most heart-wrenching books I have ever read (or listened to). It was so well narrated-- I feel like I knew the characters in real life. I have never been so moved by an audiobook. And when it was over, I began a search to learn everything I could about the history of Afghanistan!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Angela
  • Riverside, CA, USA
  • 10-04-08

Amazing

I was so involved in this story that is was hard to put it down, and I didn't want it to end. Not every book can get you to laugh, cry and gasp in fear!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amanda
  • Clearwater, FL, United States
  • 09-07-08

Excellent

I don't write reviews. However, this book was so attention-grabbing, educational and entertaining that I had to say something about it. I ran my ipod out of battery staying up all night to hear more. Read it; listen to it; don't miss it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • wataga, IL, USA
  • 09-02-08

Really great read!

I started listening to books while marathon training during my long run. This book kept me going for 20 miles each Monday. I loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing Book

One of few books that keep you on the edge of your chair waiting for next chapter. great value and enjoyable story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-20-16

Best book Ive read in 10 years!

Thoroughly good story, embedded with culture. Had to turn speed down slightely to appreciate fully, but read brilliantly.

My second Audible book - and LOVED it. Have already downloaded The Kite Runner! :)

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  • p sweeney
  • 02-05-16

Thought provoking

It makes you think about different cultures and events.
A very special book, full of emotions.

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  • Catherine
  • 01-05-16

Brilliant!

I've been an avid reader for as far back as I can remember and this is my standout favourite book. There's nothing more to say.

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  • Sheila
  • 11-06-15

Poor reading skills

The reader paused slightly every few words, which disturbed the flow of the story. She also read at the same pitch of voice and at the same speed all the time, using no expression.

I do hope you get someone else to read this and use a better version instead of this one. The story is well worth listening to, but the reader was really irritatingly bad.

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  • J
  • 10-11-15

Brilliant!

What did you like most about A Thousand Splendid Suns?

Amazing story which takes you into the lives of two Muslim women with a background of real historical events in Afghanistan. You can feel the culture of the society, both the positive and negative aspects.

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

I have no comparison.

What about Atossa Leoni’s performance did you like?

Her voice was perfect for the book - and the accent helped to set the scene and make the text more authentic.

Any additional comments?

Just read it - it will open your world.

  • Overall
  • Stephane
  • 09-09-15

A masterpiece

I have read "the kite runner" and loved it so I decided to try this one and it is excellent. I truly believe thta Khaled Hosseini is one of the best writers of our century. I definitely recommend it to anyone

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  • FionaF
  • 06-28-15

Thought provoking, Heartbreaking

A story, primarily of one womans life from childhood. The heartbreak and hardships she endured, the friendships formed. A story that kept me hooked and praying for a happy ending. I found the narration difficult to listen to at times, with pauses in the wrong places and at times she sounded like a computer generated voice ! However I got used to it and overall loved this story.

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  • Carol
  • 06-24-15

excellent . Sad, thought provoking, intriguing

I found this a compelling book and would highly recommend it. I shed a few tears in places.

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  • Rosie Gosden
  • 06-15-15

Love

Read this book some years ago and could not put it down. Changed my thinking about Western involvement in Afghanistan and gave me a thirst for knowledge about this beautiful yet broken country. Passages that haunted me when reading were equally as powerful listening to the narrator.

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  • hfffoman
  • 04-24-15

One dimensional and lacking insight

Would you try another book written by Khaled Hosseini or narrated by Atossa Leoni?

No

How did the narrator detract from the book?

At first I thought the narration was charming. After a while I noticed that she pauses in completely wrong places like someone reading a foreign language or a child learning to read. As I progressed, the narration grated more and more and interfered with listening.

Any additional comments?

There is no country on Earth I feel more sympathy for than Afghanistan which has suffered decades of torment from cynical manipulators and international bullies. And no-one in Afghanistan deserves more sympathy than its women whose treatment is beyond endurance. This novel follows the lives of two women through the last half century.

I expected it to be fascinating. In the end it was slightly disappointing despite a promising first section. The story is well crafted. As a catalogue of abuse and suffering, and the love and humanity that endures it, it evoked my sympathy and outrage. But the characters were one dimensional, if not formulaic and, it didn't offer any real insight into the political events which wrecked their lives.

Sympathetic as I am to the horror, this is a 3 star novel held down by the narration.

If you are interested in the subject and don't mind reading about a different country, I recommend The Spider's House by Paul Bowles (nicely done on audible), about life in Morocco under French rule. It was so insightful, I felt I reached an understanding of the moslem people, their religion and their customs. Reading it permanently changed the way I think of them.