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A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

Written by Khaled Hosseini

Narrated by Atossa Leoni


A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

Written by Khaled Hosseini

Narrated by Atossa Leoni

ratings:
4.5/5 (699 ratings)
Length:
11 hours
Released:
May 22, 2007
ISBN:
9780743567619
Format:
Audiobook

Description

AFTER MORE THAN TWO YEARS ON THE BESTSELLER LISTS, KHALED HOSSEINI RETURNS WITH A BEAUTIFUL, RIVETING, AND HAUNTING NOVEL OF ENORMOUS CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -- that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives -- the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness -- are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love -- a stunning accomplishment.
Released:
May 22, 2007
ISBN:
9780743567619
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved authors. His novels The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed have sold over 55 million copies all over the world. Hosseini is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California


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What people think about A Thousand Splendid Suns

4.5
699 ratings / 415 Reviews
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Critic reviews

  • Khaled Hosseini pulled off a rare feat for a writer: He followed up his mega-hit "The Kite Runner" with this novel of equal caliber. Over 30 years of Afghanistan's war-torn history is told through the lives of two women from different generations.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I couldn't help but notice that Goodreads doesn't categorize this book as historical fiction, which is clearly is, covering life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion all the way to the point where America is already losing ground to the Taliban. The story centers on two key women whose lives come together in indelible ways. The early part of the book was written so extremely simply that I felt I was reading something that might have been appropriate to me as a sixth grader. As the characters lives became more involved, so did the writing. Eventually, you have serious adult drama on your hands and serious writing. At a climatic point a key character makes a most significant gesture that affects all the main characters. In my view, at that point the book could have and should have ended. The final pages felt like window dressing to me, stating the obvious, trying to point to a happy ending. It's all the more ironic that the ending gives a much more positive indication of the future than it turns out the historical reality that actually follows. All in all, an epic story well worth reading.
  • (5/5)
    Strong female characters.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written, poignant
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful engrossing narrative
  • (3/5)
    Simplistic and emotionally manipulative. It did, however, keep me going, and I did feel engaged with the main female characters to at least some extent. I'm glad to have learned a little more about that region but I recognise that it's basically surface level knowledge. Worth a read, but hasn't attracted me to read any of his other books,
  • (5/5)
    Just a beautiful book.
  • (4/5)
    30 years of the history of Afghanistan and a very sad story.
  • (4/5)
    A very good book on Afghanistan, from 1959 to about 1990, told through the eyes of two generations of women. It's a bit disjointed in the middle. The last 80 pages are magnificent. In my opinion [The Kite Runner] was better.
  • (3/5)
    This was not a winner for me. Yes, I get it. All Afghan men are cruel, power-hungry monsters who lord over their wives and all Afghan women are abused victims who are only beautiful in their capacity for sacrifice. (See, I've saved you from having to read the book now.)

    If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might call this anti-Afghanistan propaganda. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't actually think this is anti-Afghanistan propaganda. But, with the war and all, publishers don't seem to be trying paint Afghanistan in even a neutral light. Seemingly every recent popular book concerning the territory has this same theme. That makes reading this book an exercise in redundancy. I did not enjoy it and it felt incredibly arrogant to me. I don't care if the author was born (not raised, mind you, but at least born) in Kabul. The whole thing still felt like arrogant judgement against a people who have already had to weather one hell of a storm.

    Even worse, in its attempt to be so quintessentially tragic it was also utterly predictable. All you ever had to do was think what the worst thing that could happen next was and there you had it. Sometimes you didn't even had to do that, the trajectory of the plot-line was so blatantly obvious that it was practically written in neon.
  • (5/5)
    I found this book just as interesting the second time I read it as I did the first time, 7 years ago. The lives of two women in Afghanistan is central to the action in the novel. The story begins in the 1960s and ends in the 2000s, exploring a time of many changes in the country. Mariam and Laila are very different people yet share a love for their country and eventually for each other. The relationship between the two women changes and develops once their paths cross, affected by the political changes that are going on around them. I found the book touching, but I'm not sure I will read it a third time. The sadness stays with me too long.
  • (3/5)
    Very easy read but a difficult subject - this is a very grim book about a very grim society in a very troubled part of the world.The ending was formulaic and rather too easy.
  • (5/5)
    While it may begin a bit slow, this book had me in tears at least twice. This story is about two women in a miserable and abusive marriage with the same man during the rule of the Taliban. It is a gripping story about strong women; one was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
  • (5/5)
    this is a very timely, heartwrenching story of life in afghanistan over the course of thirty years ending in the present. very eye-opening on many plains.
  • (5/5)
    Just like "The Kite Runner" this is a wonderful, tragic, hopeful story of redemption. Mariam and Laila are among the strongest and most heroic characters I've ever met in a book.
  • (3/5)
    A moving and heart-breaking tale of a group of people in Afghanistan, spanning multiple decades. It depicts the unjust treatment of women and brings attention to the day-to-day lives of Afghani people, whom for many are just the faceless population of a country we hear about in the media.I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Hosseini in helping to make the world aware of the plight of Afgahni people--particularly women--but I found his writing to be awkward and a bit over-rated. A quarter of the way into the book there is suddenly a whole new cast of characters that are introduced and the two main protagonists were rather cliched.
  • (5/5)
    I've looked forward to reading the novel which came on the heels of The Kite Runner for quite some time. Let me say this novel is amazing. Hosseini writes of Mariam and Laila, women of Afghanistan, who, due to their station in life, were bound to a life of horrific abuse. Although they could barely tolerate each other at the start they found that together they had a power they didn't know was possible. An emotionally charged read and highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Wow. I'm exhausted after reading this. One of very few books that bring tears to my eyes. Magnificent work.
  • (5/5)
    Both The Kite Runner and this book are absolutely beautiful books. Hosseini paints this lush and vivid picture of the beauty of Afghanistan and then contrasts this image with the violence and brutality of the past several decades there. I normally picture that entire region of the world as arid and empty, the landscape itself hostile and unwelcoming.

    Hosseini shows us the beauty of the region, helps us love the area just as his characters love it, so that our hearts break along with theirs when their land becomes unrecognizable to them.

    This is an emotionally difficult book. It starts out bleak, and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse for the characters, they get worse, and worse again. But through all of the deceit and oppression and fear, the characters still are able to carve some semblance of a happy life, like a lone flower forcing its way up through a crack in pavement. They show what it's like to choose dignity in the face of those whose aim is to defile.

    I sat on my comfy sofa under my electric lamp with a snack, a cat, and a glass of wine beside me, the rest of my family snuggled warm in their beds while I read these scenes of desolation, deprivation, and violence. I had an urge to get rid of most all of my possessions and to take better care of those that were left. I wanted to clean the kitchen and hug my children. I felt acutely the privilege with which I've grown up as a member of the American middle class. I felt gratitude tinged with shame.

    This was a thoroughly satisfying read for me. The scenes of this book I'm certain will continue playing out in my mind for a long time to come.
  • (4/5)
    This book had me so angry the whole way through! So tragic yet, I couldn't stop reading. This story follows the lives of two young Afgani girls, in different time periods, until their lives intersect. These women deal with such a great amount of abuse and just have to accept it as their fate, or do they?
  • (3/5)
    I absolutely loved Khaled Hosseini's novel "The Kite Runner" so I picked up "A Thousand Splendid Suns" to find out what else he had to say. While I liked the book, it really didn't live up to his first book. This novel weaves together the story of two Afghani women who end up married to the same abusive man. He believes in the Taliban ideals before there is a Taliban in Afghanistan. The novel is really about the plight of women set against the changing governments in war-torn Kabul.I think this novel didn't ring as true to me because Hosseini doesn't understand the inner thoughts of women as well as he does men. I felt like the novel really just skimmed the surface for these women, presenting more plot than substance. As I said, the book was okay... I didn't hate it or anything. But it also didn't blow me away like "The Kite Runner" did.
  • (4/5)
    I understand that war can be isolating, I understand that being in a marriage that involves a lot of control can be isolating. But how did the two main characters get food and water but not interact with other people around them? Towards the start of the book the author allows them interaction at the local well, where does that interaction go? Sorry to rant, but I felt it was a major flaw in the book. Other than that, I felt it gave an amazing depiction of living through the war in Afghanistan and the devastation it wreaks on individuals and families.
  • (5/5)
    This novel tells the story of Afghanistan over the last forty years, seen through the eyes of two women: Mariam, born illegitimately and living with her mother as an outsider until she gets married off to violent bully Rasheed after the suicide of her mother, and Laila, growing up in Mariam's neighbourhood in Kabul until a stray rocket destroys her house and kills her parents, and who joins Mariam and Rasheed's household and becomes his second wife.This is a remarkable book, its prose evocative and eloquent, yet at the same time sober and occasionally blunt. There were times when I could not bear to go on reading after the harrowing descriptions of lives and limbs torn apart by bombs in all their graphic detail, Rasheed's cruelty and violence towards his wives, and the hardships and deprivations they had to face, both during the civil war and under Taliban rule. The narration is very intense in places, bleak und unrelenting, yet due to Khaled Hosseini's skill it is not a depressing book, the Afghan people's and especially Mariam and Laila's stoicism in the face of terror and adversity admirable in the extreme, and the ultimate message of this book one of courage and hope. The author's love for his native country shines from every page, the tale an accusation and lament for what could be called a collective rape of a single people. It is an immensely political book, and one that everyone should read who ever wondered why the UK and other countries were sending troops there. Read it and pass it on for your friends to read.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written, unbelievably tragic, eye-opening, and amazing. Not for everyone, but for those who want to see what life can be like in other parts of the world, this is a must read.
  • (4/5)
    I absolutely loved Khaled Hosseini's novel "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and so much more than "The Kite Runner". I thought the book more real albeit ultimately more tragic. The 'love' in this book simply shone through!
  • (5/5)
    One of the most harrowing stories I have ever read, but an incredible insight to life for some in Afghanistan
  • (5/5)
    A must read for all. Makes you appreciate your family and your country more!!!
  • (5/5)
    All I can say it that I absolutlly am in love with this book. It really is my all time favorite.
  • (5/5)
    A compelling and absorbing insight into aspects of life in the history of Afghanistan.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! The subject matter can be difficult to take in, but the words effortlessly flow off of the pages. Hosseini is such a natural storyteller. I would mark this as a book that everyone should read in their lifetime.