A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Paperback | November 25, 2008

byKhaled Hosseini

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After more than two years on the bestseller lists and over four million copies in print, 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, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.


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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Paperback | November 25, 2008
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From the Publisher

After more than two years on the bestseller lists and over four million copies in print, 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...

Khaled Hosseini is one of most widely read and beloved novelists in the world, with more than ten million copies sold in the United States of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, and more than thirty-eight million copies sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations H...

other books by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner

Paperback|May 11 2004

$11.50 online$21.00list price(save 45%)
And The Mountains Echoed
And The Mountains Echoed

Hardcover|May 21 2013

$10.00 online$30.00list price(save 66%)

Paperback|Nov 6 2006


see all books by Khaled Hosseini
Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.9 inPublished:November 25, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143054406

ISBN - 13:9780143054405

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Customer Reviews of A Thousand Splendid Suns


Rated 5 out of 5 by from a thousand splendid suns I read this after I read The Kite Runner......another well written and very emotional read.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A tale of an unlikely friendship I love everything this author does. He just gets right into your soul as a reader.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved Khaled Hosseini is a genius! I will read what ever he writes and this book did not disappoint. Full of emotion.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Great read, one that I will read again and again. Was a big fan of "the kite runner" as well. Found it hard to put down, & is in my top 3 fav books I have read
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing x 14934380 I've read this multiple times and have never gotten bored. There are so many intricacies in the book you feel every emotion each character goes through in their personal journey, and you basically find yourself cheering for these women.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great picture of women in Afghanistan I loved this book even more than The Kite Runner! The only thing I would criticize the book for is the way it depictited some of the female experiences in the book (only 2 in particular). They are things that men cannot experience and it just felt like the author was using someone else's words to write the scenes. Normally, the description used would not of bothered me but its because I love the author's style and way of describing situations in ways that are not ordinary that I had trouble appreciating this scene. Otherwise, fantastic read that definitely brings you through 2 women's experiences in Afghanistan!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book Makes me emotional every time I read this. It's one of those where you can read it a thousand times and never get sick of it!
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from really good loved this book he does amazing at writing
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Literature I love the realism in this book. It is really eye-opening. There is more to just the plot of the story, you get a glimpse of people's lives of different backgrounds. Each chapter is narrated by a different character. It is wonderful how the author managed to string all of these people together into one story. This is truly a masterpiece.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First book I recommend to anyone This book definitely stays with you for a while. It was one of the those books that touches the deepest parts of the human condition, and leaves you feeling more understood and connected to those around you.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a powerful story This book had me in tears so many times. I highly recommend reading this. Such a powerful read. Absolutely inspiring.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book The way the author writes is pure talent. The was he describes and lays out the story is remarkable. I couldn't put this down.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read This book should be mandatory reading in educational institutions. Not only does it have historically pertinent information, young people will see how the choices they make whether big or small can have massive repercussions.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All Time Favourite This book is written so beautifully, amazing work by the author.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING One of my favourite books of all time. Amazing story and so well written!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THIS (especially if you enjoy Hosseini's other works)!!
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book You really appreciate every emotion of the protagonist. Wonderful book.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good story A great story and wonderful biography
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great book If you loved the kite runner, you'll love this on as well. Quite an emotional read.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great If you're interested in the lives of women in contemporary Afghanistan I would highly recommend this. A very emotional story, and one I won't soon forget.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good If you enjoyed reading Kite Runner, you'll definitely like this.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! I was give this book to read for an assignment at school, i had no interest in reading it but once i started i couldn't stop! i absolutely loved this book. It actually made me really interested in reading other books by the author.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! I just recently read this book for my English course and wasn't sure how it was going to be at the start. As i got more and more into it it sucked me in and i got addicted. Loved it, especially for an assaigned book!#plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Great Great! I read The Kite Runner and was very excited to see this. It focuses on the lives of the women living in Afghanistan at this age, and i s such a gripping tale of tragedy. A great read to curl up by the fire.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better than The Kite Runner! I like this one more than The Kite Runner, which is also awesome. This one has a unique narrating style and i think Khaled Hosseini pulled it off well!! The characters in this book are very memorable and I cared about them quite a bit. The author wrote about one character I began to worry about how her life will turn out. Suddenly, the author changes the point of view. The new character I began to care about but I kept wondering what happened to the previous one. Then, the lives of both women met. The reader knows the history of the two women but they don't. It was brilliantly composed and really shows us the importance of understanding and how little we know about each other's lives and struggles. Super cool story telling! I really enjoyed this one more than the Kite Runner and hope this one will be turned into a movie as well.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth the read Although this book is fiction it offers a different perspective about the war-torn middle east than what you see every day on the news.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from heartbreaking The details are great! captivating novel, The true depth of woman's struggle in a way we may not see in our NorthAMerican lives in the same sense. I could read it again.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kite Runner II? If you liked the Kite Runner, you'll like this. Personally, I felt like I was reading the same book again, or at least a continuation of the story. I found both books a bit melodramatic for my taste.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful story Amazing story of 2 women and the turns their lives take. A take on gender roles and dynamics in Afghanistan.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartbreaking and beautiful A really deep look into the lives of these children... really enjoyed this book
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I don't have words I can't seem to explain how beautiful this story was. It made me weep. Very few books have the power to really make me feel and this is one of them. You will not regret reading it. Absolutely no doubt one of my favourite books of all time, hands down.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Hosseini tells a beautiful tale of struggle and strength in a manner that won't let you put the novel down. Absolutely amazing.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Possibly my favourite book by this author. Left me speechless so many times. I loved especially the strength of the women in his novel!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Simply incredible. I was left speechless countless times throughout the story. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I love this book, I read it for a project and honestly expected to hate it at first, but it's pretty amazing. It addresses real life struggles, and portrays a touching story about two women, I couldn't hate it if i tried.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book This is my favourite book. I also read Khaled's other books but this one is his best.
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it !! This was an amazing read. I was glued to it and Khaled Hussaini did an amazing job to keep me engrossed in the story. I felt that I knew Miriam. I've read Kite Runner previously to this book which had me hooked. I would definitely recommend this book and I am currently on the look out for his other books.
Date published: 2016-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing read How this author being a man, is able to put himself in women's shoes is an accomplishment on it's own. You learn a great deal of the Afghan history from the book and you can feel the author's pain caused by his country's fate. Makes one think how little we know about the other half of the world and how little some people care.
Date published: 2015-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing There isn't one word that I can think of that would perfectly describe this book. I have read all the books this author has written, and I have loved them all. This novel was no different. I loved it from start to finish. The plot kept me completely enthralled. A wonderful, well written novel. I would advise any book lover to read this.
Date published: 2015-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite books I can't get this book out of my head even though I read it two years ago. A truly incredible read - you miss the characters long after you've finished the last page.
Date published: 2015-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Although the story is fiction I believe it gives an accurate portrayal of the injustices women have and still endure. It gives an accurate portrayal of the power of love and provided me with an appreciation for all that I have. It was also an amazing story with romance, heartache, and never ending suspense.
Date published: 2015-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply amazing! I learned so much about the wars that have gone on for decades or more and as always there are the people who wage wars for whatever their cause and there are those who are the innocent bystanders who are just trying to stay out of the line of fire Beautifly written. One of those books you cant wait to get back to.
Date published: 2015-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable Such an amazing novel; you feel the struggle these women face and the strength they have to keep on living. At times, it is very hard to read about the atrocities the character experience but as Hosseini takes you through these very dark places, he manages to incorporate elements of compassion, love and strength. An extraordinarily powerful novel that will stay with you forever. You must read it (along with his other fantastic novels)!
Date published: 2014-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing this book was full of emotion and heart wrench, another great book by Khaled. 
Date published: 2013-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from As good as the Kite Runner, but would make a better movie plot This book told a story of two brave women despite their difficult lives. The book was as good as the Kite Runner, but it would make a much more interesting movie. These two are my favourite from Khaled Hosseini. And the Mountains Echoed is my least favourite because it was confusing and only got interesting towards the end. What I liked about this book was that it didn't drag on wasting pages on describing unnecessary things. Every chapter has a real content and purpose. It was engaging and sparked my curiosity. Excellent read. I look forward to more of Hosseini's work.
Date published: 2013-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A deeply moving novel that plunged my soul into darkness... Khaled Hosseini, the much acclaimed author of Kite Runner comes back once again with a heart wrenching novel about life in Afghanistan that spans between the invasion of soviet union and the consequent Taliban regime to post Taliban rebuilding. This novel is centred around the lives of two women Mariam and Laila. Mariam is an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man Jalil and lives in the outskirts of Herat. When Mariam's mother commits suicide out of shame, she is forced into matrimony by her father with Rasheed who is very much elder to her….After few miscarriages, Rasheed loses hope on Mariam and now comes the hatred and domestic violence…. Laila who lives few blocks next to Rasheed is fortunate to have a father who believes in education for women. With the advent of Soviet's invasion on Afghanistan, Laila loses her parents to war and her boyfriend Tariq flees out of town for survival. WIth no help and support around, Laila ends up marrying Rasheed. When Rasheed starts torturing both the women, Mariam and Laila strengthen their relationship and each one finds solace and comfort through the other… A series of events unfolds that shapes the two strong female characters Mariam and Laila and now they fight against the domestic abuse and retaliate with a vengeance… Will they succeed ??? Through the lives of Mariam & Laila, Hoseini attempts to portray a vivid picture of the lives of hundreds of women in Afghanistan who have to undergo the hardships for their survival…There are too many graphic scenes that really disturbs the reader's minds both on a domestic level and through the means of war…. Like in Kite Runner, Hoseini adapts to a simplistic style of writing that is very effective in creating a emotional temperament throughout the novel… Overall, the seemingly endless tragedies that leaves very little hope in The Thousand Splendid Suns did not brighten up my spirit but then dampened my eyes very much and plunged my soul into darkness and hence the 3 star rating…..
Date published: 2013-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Thousand Splendid Minutes Reading This One I am a redneck Canadian who likes action-adventure, high fantasy, and hard science fiction who never in a million years thought I would ever read a book about women in Afghanistan. By fluke chance I picked this book up and couldn't put it down. You literally feel like you have been transported into Afghanistan and are right there with the two central female characters of the book, in their minds, wallowed in their emotions. This book broadened my worldview tenfold, and likely in ways I haven't even realized yet...
Date published: 2013-05-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely! This was a wonderful book. I felt it took a while to get into it but all the details in the beginning were necessary for the story to evolve and help understand the characters through the book. I definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2013-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotionally Charged A couple of years ago I had the chance to read the astounding work known as 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. That novel was able to clench at my heart strings in a way that no other story had before. I found it inconceivable the notion that any other novel could come close to the impact that the 'The Kite Runner' had on me. Also I felt that a story of it's magnitude could not be duplicated nor replicated; so my expectations for Hosseini's second novel 'A Thousand Splendind Suns' were very low to the say the least. I didn't believe that he'd be able to recreate those feelings of character attachment again, and surely the story would pale in comparison to the former. I was very wrong! Mariam and Laila's journey through the years of war torn Afghanistan explores the difficulties of being a woman in a man's world. Taking a woman's perspective of that world instead of mans (i.e. The Kite Runner) and exploring the issue of war more deeply one finds that Hosseini seems to have a magical ability at storytelling. Pushed to tears, I reminded myself that both of his novels are works of fiction. However, especially in the case of the present book I could not overshadow the fact, that occurrences such as those in this book, are the realities for many Afghan women. Truly an amazing work; best enjoyed as a companion to 'The Kite Runner' rather than its rival!
Date published: 2012-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The story that stays with you... Definitely a well written book. I really felt for the main character and all the trials and tribulations she faced at such a young age and then growing into an adult. Even though I read this book a few years ago some of the passages still remain with me. I would totally recommend this book!
Date published: 2012-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional You know when you read a book or see a film that has had great reviews and you finish feeling disappointed because it didn't live up to the hype? My experience reading this book was the complete opposite. I loved it. I didn't feel the message of the book was one of brutality or depression, but of hope and the toughness of the human spirit. There are plenty of awful scenes to lend credence to its reputation. While the story's time frame spans thirty years, the main focus of the novel are two woman, a generation apart, whose lives cross as they become the wives of the same man, Rasheed. The elder, Mariam, was born to a servant woman out of wedlock and is raised in banishment, ignorance and eventual rejection during the years the Afghani government was controlled by the communists. She finds herself forced to marry a much older man after her mother commits suicide. Laila, fifteen years younger and raised by intellectual parents, enters the marriage under much different circumstances. Alone after a bomb destroys her home and kills her parents, and pregnant by her childhood love who has fled the country, she marries Rasheed in a desperate attempt to save her unborn child. The writing engrossed me. Much like the Kite Runner, Hosseini magically puts the reader in the city, neighborhood and house of his characters. Much to his credit, I found myself torn between wanting to yell at Laila to hush up, so that she'd avoid another beating, and kicking Rasheed myself, because he is a despicable brute. Mariam, one of the most tragic characters in literature, makes this book what it is; a story of love and strenghth. She, who didn't have an easy day in her life, allows herself to be touched by the love of Laila and her children. In return, she performs the ultimate act of love and saves a family. I appreciate Hosseini's portrayal of a part of the world that is under so much scrutiny lately. Afghanistan, and the city of Kabul where the story takes place, have a long history of wars and occupations which result in a great chasm between different ethnic tribes, Islam, economic classes and gender. Hosseini uses this novel to tell the story of Afghani women and the hardships that face them with each regime change. As a woman, I feel blessed to have been given confidence and opportunities. I truly cannot imagine what it would be like to live under the conditions the women in this book live under. I am grateful to be born to the family I was born to and in a country which allows me to live the kind of life I choose. Miram and Laila didn't have the opportunities or support that I have. And yet they survived. They endured and they reached out to others, despite their circumstances. In this, Hosseini redeems all of Afghanistan by showing these two women's humanity. He shows that in a place whose beauty was written about in a 17th century poem, where "One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs and the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls" is a city that can become illuminated once again.
Date published: 2012-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartwrenching Though not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, I finally succumbed after reading several rave reviews and must admit I wasn’t disappointed. Face-paced and well-written, it is easily read in a few sittings. The story follows 2 women, Miriam and Laila, both born in Afghanistan but in different regions and hence very different worlds. Both their lives ultimately collide through the consequences of unrelenting battles, invasions and uprisings this country has undergone over the last half century. As both women endure unimaginable suffering and degradation, the story climaxes with the rise of the Taliban and its notorious intolerance and cruelty that will make any woman reader grateful to have had the extraordinary luck of living in a free country. What I took away from this story is that there is a culture to Afghanistan that is constantly overshadowed (or in some cases, destroyed) by its political issues. If nothing else, it compelled me to explore its history and unique culture a little further.
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sad & moving! I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about Afghanistan and how much change it has gone through over the years. The story itself is of two different women whose lives end up connecting in the story. It is such a sad story and when you think it will start getting happier, it doesn't (but it does eventually!). The story itself has lots of unexpected turns and has you hooked the whole time. I shed tears reading this boo, but I absolutely loved it!
Date published: 2011-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read This book is incredible. The story captures you right from the beginning and keeps you deeply involved right through the entire book. Khaled Hosseini speaks of the absolute horrors of war and tells us of the strength of the innocent people caught in it's path. It is a touching story and an important one.
Date published: 2011-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An incredible book! A devastatingly beautiful novel. One of the most magnificent pieces of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Khaled Hosseini tells this story brilliantly. His words create vivid images of the horror that our friends in Afghanistan face daily. This is a true eye-opening novel that I would recommend to anyone. This story not only shows the power of extreme evil, but also the power of friendship and the sacrifices some are willing to make for the people they love. Be prepared to have your mind and heart opened and enlightened. An inspirational story for women, yet an important read for all.
Date published: 2011-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! What to say about this book. This was an emotional book to read. It really grabs your emotions. The true test of family, of friends and especially of women. I cannot believe what the women have had to endure in their life time. It astonishes me that they were able to bear so much and yet come out of everything so much stronger. I highly recommend this book. This book can't even be compared to the Kite Runner. I have to say this was much more emotional and heartfelt. Read it!
Date published: 2011-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Memorable and very fascinating This book by the same author of "The Kite Runner", is also set in Afghanistan. I really enjoyed this book, although I liked it slightly less than "The Kite Runner". Nevertheless, it has adventure, and a rivetting story line. I found that Hosseini really developed the characters exceptionally well. I felt really connected to the characters despite that they come from a very different background to me. I think this book also helps us appreciate how within one country,i.e. Afghanistan, come people who are all very different - much like any other country. What I mean by this, is that the main characters despite being from Afghanistan, are very different people. One character is strong, independent and resourceful, while the other prefers the protection of her burkha, is obedient and loyal. Both characters are endearing. I really recommend this book, and again, you need to get your tissue out for the end. It is a great book.
Date published: 2011-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read This book is a must read. I have also read The Kite Runner, but found this to be a better book. My heart broke for the women and their powerlessness in life.
Date published: 2011-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title is a quote from an Afghani poet- about Kabul and its people Much better than his novel -The Kite Runner. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a modern story with historical background powerfully woven into the story of two women and the people they love and others who control them. You will absolutely hate certain characters while being enmeshed in Afghanistan's history and the mixture of cultures within its borders.
Date published: 2011-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Brilliant Such an amazing story and so well written. One of the best books I've ever read. Such an emotional, gripping and eye-opening story filled with sadness, bravery and love. The writing draws us into the characters, settings and we feel what they go through. Highly Recommended - you will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2011-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something Spectacular There's something quite spectacular about this story that has opened my eyes to a whole knew world that is so unknown to me. I admit, there are few things I am quite unaware of when it comes to Kabul, Afghanistan during the Taliban. But while reading the book I knew exactly what was happening, historically, during the period of the novel and was pleasantly surprised that it did not overpower the storyline at all. Often I find that some authors have the tendency of bogging you down with too much facts, which then takes away from the story and vice versa. Khaled was nothing like that. A thousand splendid suns was a perfect mesh between facts and fiction. In truth, there was a whole range of emotions I felt while reading this book and I expect for you too feel the same. These women are not a figment of the authors imagination. These are real women, living very real lives which makes it even more heart wrenching. Read it but don't be surprised to feel angry, sad (even in tears) and truly happy for these two beautiful women. I promise you will not regret it.
Date published: 2010-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ every woman should read this book...makes me thankful everyday i was born in canada...i can not express how good this book is YOU HAVE TO READ IT
Date published: 2010-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye-opening beautifully written, captivating story!! I definitely recommend this one
Date published: 2010-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone needs to read this book!!!! At the risk of sounding cliche, this is one of the most incredible books I have ever read. It is a story so beautifully written, so poetic, you can't help but give up your heart and soul to it. I read this author's previous book, The Kite Runner, and thought there was no way this second book could possibly measure up, but I was truly wrong. This book is as good if not better than his first. A Thousand Splendid Suns will open your eyes to the heart-breaking struggles the people of Afghanistan endure. It will help us, as Westeners, to be less judgmental and certainly more understanding of unfathomable circumstances that are so foreign to us.
Date published: 2010-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the most AMAZING books I've ever read! This book was absolutely fantastic. One word cannot describe the deep meaning of this book. It broke you apart and got you cying at parts, it made yuou feel the characetrs pain. I absolutely reccomend it. It was...astonishing. It makes you look back at your own life and appreciate it that much more, because you donthave to go through what Laila and Mariam went through. This book was absolutely heartbreaking and inspiring. One of my favourite books of all time! wow...Khaled Hossieni is an AMAZING author. Every word he writes down comes to life in this book.
Date published: 2010-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A sad and fantastic story The interweaving story about two women growing up in Afghanistan may be fiction but one can imagine it is an exaggerated version of life in the female oppressed nation. It is a well written and extremely sad tale, with one or more tear-inducing moments. The reader becomes sympathetic to the two main characters, who are subject to a lifetime of torture at the will of one man, who deprive them of almost any reason to live. They endure abuse, but never let go of their dignity, pride, and hope, never surrendering their souls. With the government in collapse and heavily corrupted from war, the reader hangs on with them, holding out hope that against all odds they can escape and find a better life for themselves. Khaled Hosseini does a wonderful job with this sad and eye-opening title about the life of two women in war-torn Afghanistan.
Date published: 2010-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrifying and amazing at the same time! Before I tell you how great the book was, how you should read it and blah blah blah, let me tell you what I feel ahsamed of saying as a citizen of North America. I had no idea, not even the slightest, what it is really like out there in Afghanistan with our troops fighting and innocent people getting killed until I started reading this book. You would figure that with so many years gone by and the several papers I wrote on this subject for school would be enough to give me a glimpse into the hell-fire but my vague suspisions were just hitting the surface beforehand. Once you pick up this masterpiece you realize that you aren't holding an ordinary novel in your hands. There are few in the world that are like it. It literaly opens your eyes and squeezes your heart that even the most stone-like will weep with sadness. It is a definite must-read. The author draws you into the world so deeply that you start to feel as though Leila and Mariam's misfortunes have somehow morphed into your own. By the last word on the last page you will feel a tad bit more humane and a whole lot more thankful for the peace and security we have here. It is beautifully written and I recommend it to anyone who is willing to shove Hemmingway, Dostoyevsky, Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King away long enough to allow a little truth to seep into their non-fiction bubble. You will not regret it, I promise!
Date published: 2010-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from what a great read! what a beautiful, sad,motivated and devistating book. It was definetly amazing picturing it through someone elses eyes. What a great book!!
Date published: 2010-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lauded for no reason at all Personally, I thought that the subject of the treatment of women in Afghanistan was intriguing - most everyone knows of the liberties the media takes regarding the altering of info available to the public, so the promise of this book was simple and inviting: to uncover a bit of truth. However, this promise faded after a few chapters when I found out how shallow the writing was, and that it suffered from the same affliction as Dave Eggers' 'What is the What' - it's an easy way out for those whose consciences seek soothing. People know the gist of the problems occurring in far-off lands, but don't really know the specifics. For some, reading this book is their way of engaging in the conflict behind the comfort of distance and anonymity, but to me it seemed like the novel pushed an attitude of ethno-centrism rather than one of cultural relativism. Ultimately, Hosseini sent no message with this novel as he refused to take a side with regards to the central issue. I enjoyed the format of the book - the time shifts and changes of points-of-view - but it felt as though he was merely trying to make some fast cash.
Date published: 2010-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Eye Opener Again Khaled Hosseini has open my eyes to a worl of hardship and customs that we would never think were possible. To capture the story of two females that went through the wars and leaderships that they did, and too tell it in such a way that you can picture and feel the things they are going through, amazing!
Date published: 2009-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow! 4.5 stars. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a rich father and his housekeeper. The story follows her, from the 1970s through the 2000s during her lifetime in Afghanistan. I won’t summarize anymore, as I don’t want to give anything away. Wow! This may shape up to be one of my favourite books read in 2009. A couple of times I had to double check that it was written by a man, he does such an incredible job of telling the life of two women in Afghanistan, and the struggles that they go through. I liked it better than The Kite Runner.
Date published: 2009-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful and Touching Although the two protagonists were created by Hosseini, the dire conditions in which they lived are not. Half a world away there are women who have lived through the brutal massacre of their families, the destruction of their homes and the extreme torture inflicted upon them by military factions. Unfortunately, it is not over. Fighting continues as the struggle for power over the people never ends. I think that what makes this book such an emotional read is that these two women do exist in that their stories are ones that we hear over and over again. I appreciated that Hosseini did not take an overly heavy hand to the political aspect of Afghanistan, but focused on the effects these political decisions have had. By the end of the book, at the end of the suffering and unhappiness the women experience, I was reminded that at this point Laila would be my age now. Both women are described as if they were in their 70s and had lived a full life, but they were not even close. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to see these atrocities at such an early age, yet with such descriptive writing, I can picture it more clearly. This book looks at the relationships between men and women, women, mother-child and political uprisings in the Middle East and I would recommend it to anyone interested in sociology, world events, or politics, especially. www.thatjusthappened.ca
Date published: 2009-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Heartwrenching Told from the point of view of two Afghani women, A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of Mariam and Laila, two strong women drawn together trying to survive and overcome the obstacles and oppression that has been a part of the history of Afghanistan over the past thirty years. Khaled Hosseini shows the reality of the political landscape in Kabul to a frightening realism and shows what it has been like living under the leadership of the Taliban, not only for women but men as well. However, Hosseini also brings this exotic world that most of us have only read about or heard about in the news to us in a way that shows the beauty and richness of the Afghani culture, a beauty that has almost been lost due to the tumultuous wars that have stricken the country. The characters he has written are deep and it allows us to see that no matter who someone is and where they are from, we are all basically the same. The Afghani people have suffered so much due to political strategy. As a woman, this novel really opened my eyes to the oppression and abuse the Afghani woman have had to go through and it really makes one appreciate growing up in a country without that kind of oppression. Where once there were women who were doctors and lawyers, held political office and were teachers, after the Taliban took charge women where no longer allowed to leave their homes, work, having to cover from head to toe, being subjected to beatings, not only from their own husbands, but any man if he deemed it necessary . I really feel this novel should be required reading, however controversial it may be, by every student in North America so they can fully understand more than what is just outside their back door. This novel had a realism that lends itself to feeling like a biographical story, but I’m sure in some ways it is. I’m sure there are a thousand or more stories just like it. Story **** Characters **** Readability **** Overall rating ****
Date published: 2009-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent ... Hosseini is a master storyteller This sweeping novel, set against the backdrop of war and civil unrest in modern-day Afghanistan, is exceptional. Khaled Hosseini brings his characters, and the horrors that they face in their everyday lives, into vivid, colourful life. Aside from the masterful storytelling, the author brings the horrors of the past thirty-something years in this tortured country home to all of us. We only imagine what it's like to live in a country that has been at war with others, and with itself, for more than a generation. This is a must-read book. It should be required reading for high school students around the world.
Date published: 2009-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book opened my eyes This might be the best book I have ever read. Reading articles about Afghanistan in the paper or watching on the TV didn't come anywhere close to bringing this country alive the way this book did. The women are so strong and loving and I can't imagine what it must be like for them. A must read.
Date published: 2009-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching; well-written. I have read this book twice and could not put it down either time. Khaled Hosseini's writing style transports the reader to Afghanistan, into the lives of ordinary families living their lives. I was terribly saddened by some of the events in the book, but was amazed at their perseverence through it all. I agree with another reviewer who said that we are very fortunate to live in Canada, but this gives you a true picture of what is happening on the other side of the world. I admired Maryem and Laila's characters, and hated some of the others... I recommend the movie "Kingdom", which had a similar effect on me, even though it takes place in a different country.
Date published: 2009-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Thousand Splendid Suns (Book Review) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is a number one bestseller. It is published by Bloomsbury in paperback and its ISBN is 978074758297724. It is a wonderful romance story but also a powerful and sad insight into war and the carnage and chaos it causes. One cannot read this and be unmoved by the suffering of women in Kabul during the Taliban rule. It is told from a female perspective. It catalogues the lack of education of women, rapes, beatings, arranged marriages, head covering and their low social status in vivid detail. The main character is Miriam who at the tender age of five discovers she is illegitimate and gradually becomes to realise her father does not acknowledge her in public and has her living in a hut miles from civilisation. When her mum Nana commits suicide her father Jalil runs her out of town and marries her at 15 years of age to a 45 year old man. Rasheed her husband inflicts upon her a life of beatings and torment. Until he takes a second wife Laila and things get worse for Miriam. Slowly the women form a friendship that eventually leads to a mother and daughter type of relationship. Miriam in a final confrontation with the violent Rasheed stabs him to death to give Laila freedom and a new life. While Miriam is sent to prison, Lalia, Tariq and the kids escape to Pakistan until it is safe to return home to Kabul. They return to help rebuild it and start work in an orphanage. Lalia becomes pregnant, a new life, a new beginning, the ultimate metaphor for the rebirth of Kabul. This is a beautiful novel depicting the cruelty of war and the beauty of family and romance. I highly recommend this novel. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.
Date published: 2009-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Thousand Splendid Suns ... Brilliant Khaled Hosseini’s detailed description of what many women endure is heartbreaking, intriging, violent and most of all it is inspiring. I read this book yesterday afternoon sitting in the sun, I couldn't put this book down. I was completely drawn into the lives of both Mariam & Laila. I found myself rooting for them thru their struggles yet knowing that they were going to suffer greatly before the book was finished. This book brought me to tears with the insurmountable obstacles that many women in Afghanistan have had to endure over the past few generations. This book only confirms my good fortune of being Canadian … I can only hope that our soldiers being in Afghanistan are helping to make life a little easier and more open for the woman living there for they have suffered more than their fair share.
Date published: 2009-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart Wrenching. It is very rare for an author to go 2 for 2, especially after a novel like Kite Runner. Not only does Khaled Hosseini do just that, he sets an entirely new bar. A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the same time frame in Afghanistan as Kite Runner did, however this story revolves around two women: Mariam and Lalia. There have never been two female characters that I felt more compassion, more raw emotion for, than these two that Hosseini has crafted in this work. The tale he weaves for these women can be summarized as no less than an emotional roller coaster. Hosseini sugar coats nothing, and just when you think things could not get any worse or more bleak for either of these two characters, he proves it most certainly can. I was taught two very important things from this novel. The first is how hard it was to be a woman in Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban. I like to consider myself a knowledgeable person, but I had no idea of the hardships that women on a daily basis faced, and how little room they had to breathe in this chauvinistic society. But out of that, I also learned about determination. That no matter how bad things can get, no matter how hopeless the world really is, a silver lining does in fact exist. Lalia and Mariam depict these truths in the most explicit way possible. I was entrenched in this book from the very first page, and still continue to think about it after reading it. It is haunting, but it is necessary. A reminder that a world outside of our own exists. That the day to day things we take so greatly for granted contain great trials for others. I implore you to read another masterpiece by this incredibly gifted author, and experience an awakening that will surely change your perspective on things.
Date published: 2009-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hosseini does it again! This book was fantastic - Hosseini is a master storyteller who weaves his characters into the real life horrors of Afghanistan. A book that shows that no matter what happens in your life, the will to live is strongest.
Date published: 2009-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EXCELLENT After reading the Kite Runner I rushed out to buy Hosseini's second novel. Hosseini has captured 30 yrs of history and woven it with marvelous characters. Some you will despise and some you will love and feel long after you put this book down. When you do put this down though, you will have a greater understanding of Afghanistan and the turmoil that existed and still does. I highly recommend this book!!
Date published: 2009-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best I've read Having adored the Kite Runner last year, I bought A Thousand Splendid Suns, however, I didn't pick it up until last week. I was really torn with this, as I was the Kite Runner, because while I wanted to read through it, I didn't want it to end. This author is brilliant at keeping the reader's interest. Although the story is somewhat depressing, it is a fact that life in Afghanistan can be pretty difficult, particularly if you are from the Western world. Both books by this authors are a must for every booklover.
Date published: 2009-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book! Picked up this book by fluke off the library's "Recommended Reading" shelf. I'm sure glad I did. This book was fantastic. I couldn't put it down. It takes you through a range of emotions. When I finished reading it, I had to stop and just absorb it all. I loved it.
Date published: 2009-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful What can possibly be said about this book that hasn't been said before?? I devoured it from beginning to end in just over day, unable to put it down, unable to forget what was happening even when i had to take a break, i was after all visiting my parents and couldn't put my nose in a book every minute. An aching, heartbreaking story...and one of survival because you have no other choices left to you.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Provocative Tale Hosseini gave us in his second novel a heartbreaking story of two girls who grew close, women bonding in the chaos of war. The rich and violent history of Afghanistan provides a backdrop that informs and saturates the story for a span of over 40 years. This is one unforgettable and provocative epic tale, one novel everyone should read. Right from the start you are pulled into a world of cruelty and despair with Hosseini’s rich narrative capturing the intimate details of the lives of his two heroines: Mariam and Laila. Both born into different families and during a period suffer under the same circumstances. Mariam, an illegitimate child born in 1959 is forced into marriage by her father at the age of 15 to an abusive and cruel man. Laila was born into a loving family before the Russian invasion, she was educated and had dreamed of travel. The emergence of the Taliban changed everything; a bomb killed Laila’s family, Mariam’s husband took her in and she soon became his favourite….this is their story…….. All the praise this novel received is well deserved; the story is straightforward and beautifully written. Hosseini eloquently depicts the years of Afghanistan’s unimaginable tragedy from1964-2003.
Date published: 2009-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great ~ but very sad. I read this book with great enthusiasm ~ well written and an easy read. This author keeps the story moving well... I liked it almost as much as The Kite Runner. But I found it depressing and sad... the violence described herein made me angry ~ not at the author, but at the atrocities that are perpetrated against women in this part of the world. Believable? Yes... Disturbing? Yes... This book's ending made me feel good again ~ but it was overshadowed by the reality of what is still happening to women in this part of the world. A good book to slit your wrists by...
Date published: 2009-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating This is a tale of two Afghan women struggling to survive in a notoriously Islamic-ruled Afghanistan amidst warfare, oppression and misery. Hosseini relates what it was like to live in a world where women were unappreciated, undervalued and regularly abused. A world that, despite of the neverending violence that many Afghan women experience, lies the power of love, loyalty and friendship. "One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls." This, in my opinion, is Khaled Hosseini's greatest work yet. It's hauntingly beautiful, deeply moving and remarkably written. Hands down, one of the best books I have ever read. It's absolutely amazing. I strongly recommend it.
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from unforgettable! im in love with two afghans now. first, my bf. and now, khaled hosseini! this book will stay with me for a long long time. just love it!
Date published: 2009-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great! I read this book right after reading The Kite Runner. I wasn't expecting it to be nearly as good. Nothing could have been further than the truth. By the close of one particular chapter, I was in tears. The story, as close to fact as a book of fiction could be, was an interesting perspective of the ongoing Afghanistan "conflict" as well as from the perspective of two women whose lives ultimately intertwine. Needless to say, this book was nothing short of amazing. If you're touched by the human-factor, you'll love this book!
Date published: 2009-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The splendor lives on I was eagerly anticipating the softcover for months, and when I finally got my hands on a copy, I lost some of the keenness I had before. But my my, delving into the novel got me captivated in Hosseini's gift in story-telling once more. What a difference this book is to "The Kite Runner", and what a pair they are together! Using two central female characters this time round with the same backdrop of the Afghan civil war, Hosseini provides a completely separate understanding of the same issues Afghans faced, especially female suppression under the regime. Unlike the first novel, Mariam and Laila are introduced individually till they fatefully arrive at the same bottlenecked path. This is nicely structured in the book. The ladies are of different generations and opposite family backgrounds, yet have a commonness in their world. Hosseini leads you there so that you see it from their eyes, think it in their thoughts and feel it with their emotions. As "The Kite Runner" is to regret and repentance, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is to sustenance and sacrifice.
Date published: 2008-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another gem by Hosseini Khaled Hosseini again shares with us his masterful storytelling flair with exceptional imagery, in a story that is as shocking as it is tragic. Hosseini has a deep understanding of people; emotionally, psychologically and innately. Consequently, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a visceral tale of isolation, sacrifice, and survival, whereby the reader is educated on the religious and political nightmare that has been Afghanistan for decades. Moreover, this is a story celebrating the resilience and strength of women, as well as the power of love. "A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her." www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Gem Terrific, moving, touching, memorable, simply a great novel. Similar to the Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book that will stay with you a long time once you finish. The characters are hauntingly real and memorable. It was a novel that I simply could not put down. A fantistic read.
Date published: 2008-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I adored this book and could not put it down! It is so well written and the characters are so life-like that you get attatched to them! Another great book by this author! Highly recommended!!!
Date published: 2008-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from eye opener I would recomend this book to anyone over the age of twelve or thirteen. it is a spectacular read and opens the eyes of its readers. It's like leaving your home, your home town, your country and travelling to a place that will capture your mind. From beggining to end you fall in love with the characters, wonder about them in your own mind and you might even start to bring them up in everyday life! It teaches you to open your heart and apprecaite all that you have and its a great example for a book that's quite hard to put down.
Date published: 2008-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The greatest book I have ever read I don't have all day to type and tell you exactly how much I loved this book. I read the kite runner, that was fanatastic so when I picked up this one right after i thought, it couldn't be any better....well I was wrong, the characters came alive right away, to feel the pain, the passion, the power of these womens lives as they became like mother and daughter to one another touched me. I cried when the outcome of one of their lives became tragic, I cried when one of their lives found freedom. This book was so beautifully written I lent it to my aunt who finished it in a weekend. At work this book is all that we talk about in the hallways. It is a book that I recommend everyone to read. I can not wait for his next book.
Date published: 2008-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Thousand Splendid Suns I have read this book and heard it on Audio. It has all the elements of keeping you engrossed to the end. You get involved with the characters, whether they are good or bad. You can taste the sand, feel the heat of the sun, the pain and the anger. What is more amazing is that the author tells a very realistic story from a woman's angle. Remarkable and a must read. if nothing else, we get to know Afghanistan and the plight of the people . We get to know the plight of women whose cultures are not as enlightened as ours, and we get to see how people sometimes have no choice but to suffer through the lives they have and make what they can of it. His books make us appreciate the wonderful country and world we live in. Cannot wait to read Khaled Hosseini's future books
Date published: 2008-06-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thoughtful Read This was both a beautiful and challenging book. The characters are worlds away yet feel close enough to touch.
Date published: 2008-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic novel This novel has the benefit of being emotionally compelling as well as interesting factually. I learned more about life in Afghanistan than I ever have from the news. Hosseini is an excellent author.
Date published: 2008-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tremendous! This was an incredible novel. I think I might actually be a better person for reading it. It’s finished and I still can’t put the book down. It was utterly fantastic. It almost made me cry and most books don’t do that. The touching way that Khaled Hosseini described the plight of the characters was captivating. It made me feel so angry and sad that people could be treated that way. Not just the women, the two main characters, Laila and Mariam. I was upset at the way men are raised and recruited in to these “jihad” forces. Not only is the book a look at the personal lives of these characters, but it is also an interesting look at the history of Afghanistan told by an Afghan. I could go on about the characters, what happens to them, the invasions, the bombs. I could talk about how each government changes, in the most basic ways, the way women are treated. I could even talk about the outrage at having men Laila considers warlords, become ministers in government. I won’t though. It’ll give away too much about this story and this story you need to read for yourselves. If there is one book that I put on my “must read” list, it’s this one. Everyone should experience A Thousand Splendid Suns. *On a side note, after The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s first novel, he was appointed a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Check out his website for more information on him and the UN site for the current situation in Afghanistan and refugees around the world. http://www.khaledhosseini.com/ http://www.unhcr.org/
Date published: 2008-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It was so beautiful and so moving. It makes me realize how lucky I am to be a woman living in Canada. You must read this book - it will leave a lasting impact.
Date published: 2008-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FanTAStic!! That's right ... I went so far as to capitalize the "tas" in fantastic. This book is just so good in every sense - the plot is driving and interesting and sad and beautiful all at once, the characters are sympathetic and realistic and strong, the writing is absolutely flawless and I just LOVED every aspect of it. It's honest, compelling, heart-wrenching and extremely interesting. A definite must-read for everyone!!
Date published: 2008-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Splendid Author I have hailed The Kiterunner as my favourite book since I turned its pages. I was dubious as to whether or not Hosseini would be able to accomplish the same level of storytelling in A Thousand Splendid Suns as he had acheived in his 1st novel. Happily, my doubts were unfounded. I was drawn in by his literary expressions, by the depth of his characters and by the manner in which he attaches historical fact to fiction. Housseini is easily one of the most talented storytellers of our time.
Date published: 2008-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC! FANTASTIC BOOK!
Date published: 2008-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Khaled has done it again!!!! What an amazing book! It really makes you realize how lucky we are living in the type of society that we live in. It's hard to believe that Aghanistan women are treated the way that they are. I couldn't put the book down, that is how good it was!!!!!
Date published: 2008-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read! This book was absolutely fabulous! Definitely in my "Top 10 Books Ever Read"!
Date published: 2008-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A masterpiece The proof that Khaled is truly a hero. Brilliant!!!
Date published: 2008-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful, Emotionally Charged! I loved this book. It is literally the first book that has actually brought me to tears. I was drawn into the stories of the two women and could not put the book down. I wanted to know more, to know what was going to happen. To see such strength in people and to know that people like this actually exist...and survive the unimaginable. It made me truly appreciate all that I have and not take it for granted.
Date published: 2008-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OUTSTANDING The author has a unique gift: A ficitonal writing style that is straightforward, yet vivid ... stories told with the social eye of an expressionist artist ... told with honesty and clarity; leaving an indelible NON-FICTION imprint on the reader ... refreshing!
Date published: 2008-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting... This book makes you appreciate the life you have and opens your eyes to the harsh relaities women in Afganistan face. I read this book in a few days because I could not put it down. This story stayed with me and even after I finished, I was unable to pick up another book for a few weeks. I have never been so entralled in a book that I talked to everyone I knew about it. An amazing read that will have you up at night reading for hours on end.
Date published: 2008-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful Even though we read and hear about how women are treated in many countries, this book really brought it home. However, the story, although sad in places and brutal, made the book one that was difficult to put down. It made me "think" and appreciate what we have in Canada. I would recommend it to anyone to read.
Date published: 2008-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just as Good as The Kite Runner! I had high expectations for this book, after having read The Kite Runner, and A Thousand Splendid Suns certainly lived up to those expectations! The story focuses around two women: Mariam and Laila. Hosseini gives the story of each of these women first, which leaves you wondering how they are going to be brought together. Mariam is a "b#$tard" child, whose father is ashamed of her, but tries to lessen his guilt by visiting her once a week. Laila comes from a very liberal family, where here mother wears makeup and only a scarf over her hair. When Mariam is married to Rasheed, her life takes a turn for the worse. Rasheed is verbally and physically abusive. This story follows the Afghan history, from Soviet invasion up to 9/11 and the dissolution of Taliban power. Mariam and Laila live through war and are brought together by it. Though their individual stories are sad and depressing, together they give each other hope and love. It is always interesting to read about histories of places I am not too familiar with. The Kite Runner gave me a general idea of what has happened in Afghanistan, and this book seems to go into greater detail. The characters are written extremely well. Hosseini takes you inside Afghan family life during war, and gives you an idea of how horrible the family dynamics can get. This book lived up to my expectations and was just as good a read as The Kite Runner.
Date published: 2008-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Deeply moving This book was even better than Kiterunner. If you had any doubts as to why Canada has troops in Afghanistan, read this book. While it is a work of fiction, it clearly shows what a life of turmoil it is to live in this once beautiful country. The two women who are the main characters will stay with me forever; their struggle to survive the cruelty that women are treated with in that country is incredibly frustrating for me who has so much freedom. A beautiful book.
Date published: 2008-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting A beatifully written, inspirational book. I didn't want it to end. It was both heart-wrenching and hopeful. An insight into a country wracked with war for so long (and not by choice) that few have ever gotten the opportunity to get to know it. I can't wait to read the Kite Runner.
Date published: 2008-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Khaled Hosseini is truly gifted Another amazing book from Khaled Hosseini, this time taking on the task to feature the pain and hardship of women and children in a country at war. I am so touched and inspired by the strength and resilience of the human spirit. I feel the call to contribute and make the world a better place by starting to help the underprivileged and those hurt by war. Khaled Hosseini is truly gifted.
Date published: 2008-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Deep and moving book Following Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner, this wonderful second novel looks at similiar issues in Afghanistan, as a country of great civil unrest and many regimes. However, the point of view of two different women, in different social positions, allows the reader to discover more of the difficulties and tragedy of the Afghani regimes, especially under the Taliban. A deeply moving story, which was sad but also a page turner.
Date published: 2008-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read!! One of the best books i've read in a long time. Khaeld Hosseini is a talented author and really knows how to capture his readers. If you haven't already read it, i recommend you do.
Date published: 2008-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! This book is amazing! A must read for everyone. I am amazed at the insight into the women's lives in this book.
Date published: 2008-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It captured me! This was the first pick for the new season of the bookclub I am a part of. After loving the Kite Runner I was unsure if this novel would also capture me in the same way. I coud not put it down! The writing was beautiful and the characters were amazing. Our entire book club adored the book and was incredibly moved by its story. We had rich and diverse discussion. It was one of those books that I did not want to end. A great read!
Date published: 2008-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Hosseini managed to draw me in from the very beginning. Through his writing, I experienced a country that I've never actually seen. A Thousand Splendid Suns elicited reactions in me that a book hasn't been able to do for a long time. As a woman & as a mother I wanted to reach out to these characters & protect them. I felt their pain & shed their tears. Although I know it's a fictional novel, I also know that the occurances in the book are very real for many women. A painful but wonderful read!
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW I couldn't put it down. It had been a long time since a book made me gasp, smile, and cry. Anyone wondering what/why Canada is doing in Afghanistan or just wants to read more than a mindless "quick read" NEEDS to read this book. You want to know how it ends but you don't want it to end. The characters consume your thoughts, fill your heart. The story and all the events ring a truth that scares you to your very soul.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Vivid portrayal of Afghan women Amazing story into the lives of women in Afganistan. Could not put this book down. Depressing tale that's bound to set your emotions on fire.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better than "Kite Runner"! This book has contemporary, extremely heart-wrenching themes, depicted by female characters for whom you are cheering all the way through.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing writing I enjoyed the Kite Runner but found the writing about these amazing women so fluid. They seemed real and he made their lives seem so vivid. I don't normally see men writing about the lives of women so well and with such care. I enjoyed it so much more than the Kite Runner, even though the subject matter was unpleasant and difficult to take in at time. Loved it.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enlightening A gripping and often emotional tale covering two generations of female relationships; and thirty years of turbulent history in Afghanistan. It draws the reader into its plot of tolerance, love, family and, indeed, survival. Based in Kabul, the story relays the difficult lives of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women whose lives become intertwined because of a controlling, violent man. Through the day to day lives of its characters, the novel gives the reader a descriptive insight into the complicated politics of Afghanistan and the difficulties faced by women in that country. Mr. Hosseini seems to cover the last part of the story at a quickened pace. Nevertheless, it is riveting and heart wrenching from beginning to end.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Probably the best book I have ever read!!! I read the Kiterunner and absolutely loved the book. I would say that A Thousand Splendid Suns is 100 times better. I loved the female perspective that Hosseini uses in the book. It is insightful and lyrical. It is a story about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity about what makes a family and about sacrifice. I love how the author shows us how the status and treatment of women changed in Afghanistan throughout it's turbulent history. I love the optimism of the book despite the turmoil of its characters. You can relate to the characters in the book because they deal with the same situations that we all deal with.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than the Kite Runner I loved this book, it was well written and compelling. I sat down and read it in a day. It provided an excellent opportunity to view the loves of women in Afghanistan without becoming preachy and judgmental. It was a great read.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book has solidified Khaled Hosseini as one of my favourite authors! After reading The Kite Runner, I knew I wanted to read another book by Khaled Hosseini. I was a bit worried that A Thousand Splendid Suns may not live up to my expectations, but I could not have been more mistaken. A Thousand Spledid suns was both fascinating and heart wrenching and had me entralled from beginning to end. It introduces you to characters, some of whom you will grow to love deeply, and those you will grow to hate with a passion, but all of whom will string you along on a most enjoyable (albeit, at times, tragic) literary journery.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling One of the best books I have ever read. I was touched and challenged in a profound way. I would absolutely recommend this book. I also loved the Kite Runner and was uncertain the second would measure up. I was not disappointed. Fantasic
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent! I read this book because I read Hosseini's first book "The Kite Runner" and was blown away. But after reading this book, The Kite Runner fell behind. A Thousand Splendid Suns, made me laugh, cry and throw the book across the room in anger. A definate read for everyone. I can't wait for his next book!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title is very fitting for this book. It didn't take me long to get engrossed in this book. I had a hard time to put it down. It certainly gave me a very vivid picture of what life has been like in Afghanistan these past years under different rulers. I am so glad to have read it. It makes me appreciate our country, Canada. I fear for our troops there now but I proud they are helping the people there. I have just started "The Kite Runner", another book by this author which I hear is worth every penny as well. I have told so many people to read it. What a heartbreaking story of the lives of two Afghan women Simply excellent writing!!!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Hosseini's skill in drawing the reader into and weaving together the lives of these 3 fascinating women is wonderful.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from TOTAL PAGE TURNER! This book was amazing and I could literally not put it down. It's the story of two women struggling with loss, love, and the changing world around them. Khaled Hosseini has written another bestseller!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal I would place this in a list of the best books I've ever read. It's so powerful. It is an amazing story of bravery and courage in the face of incredible oppression and the women it follows are wonderful characters. Read it!!!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely wonderful! I absolutely loved A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was beautifully written. The story made me angry and sad but it educated me on how women live in Afghanistan. I couldn't put it down and was disappointed when I finished it. I had read his first novel, A Kite Runner, equally good so I knew I was in for a good story and I was not disappointed. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2008-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rich I couldn't put this book down, I was captured in the story. It take you through the lives of these two women living through unimaginable circumstances. Truly a wonderful book.
Date published: 2008-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful book After reading and loving the Kite Runner I was afraid that I would be a little disappointed because I had some doubts that the author could pull me in the same way to the story line, but he most certainly did. This story of unlikely friendship set against the violent and turbulent background was moving. He has the ability to make his characters become real, so that they can be imagined beyond the page. As other reviewers have noted, this is a book that I will read again and again.
Date published: 2008-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, Honest and Beautiful A Thousand Splendid Suns is a novel that details the lives of two women who are trying to find their individuality while living in a society that restricts them not just as women, but also as mothers, friends and wives. I finished this novel in one sitting and thought about it for days after. This book was both a great read and an insightful and relevant look into the modern history of Afghanistan. This book is a MUST... I know that I will read this book again in the near future.
Date published: 2008-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly great It is hard to believe that Khaled Hosseini latest book can eaual the success and splendor of The Kite Runner, but he has done so is spades. I have not finished the book yet but It is best described as being a true page turner and thinking where were we before 9/11. I will recommend this book to anyone.
Date published: 2008-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! After “The Kite Runner,” it was hard to imagine that Hosseini could pull off yet another remarkable book; however, after finishing "A Thousand Splendid Suns" within a span of 2 days, I could whole-heartedly say that this book is one of my favourites of all time. Filled with the same raw emotion and unrelenting honesty as "The Kite Runner", Hosseini's second novel is sure to make everyone's book club list.
Date published: 2008-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartbreakingly beautiful This is the kind of book that lingers in the mind not allowing you to finish it and pick up another. It is a book that is deliciously savoured and that you will miss when it is finished. Khadled Hosseini's characters are heartbreakingly real and his stories pull you in. This is a book you will not forget.
Date published: 2008-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from =) I believe that Khalid Hoseeini has by all means outdone him self ! I finished reading the book in a day which came to me as a surprise as well , since i take my time while reading ... but it just goes show that I could'nt put the book down for a single second ! A heart wrenching story about life , regrets , strength and courage ! Hosseini is an amazing story teller , with an almost lyrical feel to his style of writing ! Aboslutely loved the book ! cheers =)
Date published: 2008-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I have been called the iron heart because I rarely cry at movies or anything but this book brought me close to tears. A Thousand Splended Suns is a story about two Afghan women, Mariam and Laili, brought together by war to live under the roof of one man. The story takes you from their childhood since the Soviet invasion to the rein of the Taliban and finally to post-Taliban rebuilding. Three decades of their struggle to find love, hope and friendship. The part that moved me the most is when a child unconditionally loves a woman that is not her mother who has never been loved in her life, a woman rejected by her father, married at a very young age, abused by her husband and who was unable to conceive a child. The moment the little girl goes to her, yearns for her company broke my heart, it was so moving to see her finally being loved it sent shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes. The author is so talented that I felt I was there. I felt the love of a father to his daughter. I felt the feeling of helplessness and resentment and anger when you lose someone because of war. I felt the feeling of disgust when you have sex with a man you are forced to be with because of circumstances. I felt the feeling of budding love between two people. I felt the injustice towards women and it hurt me to know that women in Afghanistan are treated worse than you would treat an animal. I am tempted to tell you the whole story in this review but I won’t because you need to read the book for yourselves. A Thousand Splended Suns is a story about war and friendship and hate and kindness and ugliness and resilience and helplessness and sacrifice and love. Completely different from the Kite runner, you can’t compare them, but another masterpiece by Khalid Hosseini. It was voted the best book in 2007 on Amazon.
Date published: 2007-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review This is definitely one of the best books I've ever read. It is an improvement on The Kite Runner, which felt rushed and improbable (last 2/3 of the book). The characters and events within this tale, on the other hand, were skillfully crafted by Hosseini. The story developed beautifully ... the twists and turns resembled those of real life. As I was taken into Afghanistan, I fell in love with many of the characters ... I yearned to reach out and save them from all of the pain and suffering they were forced to endure. It was a sad story, but one that needed to be told. The characters are fictional, and yet, they exist ... somewhere out there, there is a Mariam ... a Laila ... struggling to survive.
Date published: 2007-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining fluff This book, while very entertaining, is really just a soap opera in book form. There's no depth, and Hosseini's plot twists can make you cringe. However, it's very entertaining and it is much better then The Kite Runner. A guilty pleasure, for me.
Date published: 2007-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from intense and a must read An emotional well written story of two women during and at the end of the Soviet era in Afghanistan. The journey that the two take and the intertwining of their lives finally under the Taliban is a riveting and compelling read. The reader is lead through a full range of emotions and at the end is left wrung dry.
Date published: 2007-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant An absolutely beautiful story. Well written, precise details. Well done Mr. Hosseini, well done.
Date published: 2007-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving One of the most memorable and moving novels I have yet to read. Before this book knowledge of Afghan people, and after this book I seem to know more and more about them, and have a greater interest in the way they live, and have lived in the past, most of all women. As a young adult in Canada, I had never dreamed of living under such terms as these people, mainly women, have. I may have thought that suchliving conditions existed back in the day, but not so near to the present. Still these people don't have the same living arrangements as other people, like Canadians have. It's a very movie novel and one that will stay with you as your day moves on, it changed me for the better.
Date published: 2007-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Memorable... A beautiful book about absolution, hidden strength, love and survival. This is a wonderful read and provides a lot of information about Afganistan's struggles with respects to the Soviet Union and the series of leaders after it. This is very much a woman's novel of hope in the face of adversity. Ultimate sacrifices are made by the unforgettable characters. Although this book isn't as strong as Hosseini's previous "the Kite Runner" it is still a memorable read.
Date published: 2007-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartwrenchingly Beautiful I was surprised to find this book just as compelling as The Kite Runner. Before these two incredible stories, Afghanistan and it's people were too foreign to me. Mr. Hossini has opened my eyes and heart. His characters are vivid and colourful and evoke a strong emotional response. Even though I read it over a month ago, I can't say how often I've thought of the two women in this story and wondered how many woman are currently living in a similar hell. My son recently called from university and asked me to send him my copy. I'm looking forward to discussing it with him.
Date published: 2007-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I started crying on the plane! The magic lies in the story telling. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2007-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully written Reading a narrative story such as this, with wars that have plagued Afghanistan for decades running alongside these characters lives, really gives you a glimpse at the hardships these people have endured. Beautiful and insightful.
Date published: 2007-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Under the skin of Afghanistan The rose tinted glasses come off with this book, Khaled's second about Afghanistan, and the characters suffer but emerge victorious. Never depressing but often brutal the story focuses mainly on one woman's struggle to survive in a world of male domination before and with the Taliban.
Date published: 2007-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Women and Country It took me a while to decide to read this for fear of the emotional impact I would experience. While this is not the most uplifting story, I found that it wasn't quite as crushingly devastating as The Kite Runner. In the first book, I cried through most of it. In this one, I cried mostly at that end. As in Kite Runner, these characters represent the range of classes and acceptance in Afghani culture: the rich, well respected business man, the mistress and her illegitimate daughter, the extremists and yes, loving families. Hosseini still has a knack for the caricature of good and evil although it is not quite as pronounced this time around. Hosseini illustrates the brutality of the conditions and circumstances affected Afghani women as a result of the culture, tradition and religious environments that they live in with a stark but lovely honesty and respect for these women. He is surprisingly adept at depicting the utter beauty and complexity of relationships between women: mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and rivals. The truly amazing thing about Hosseini's story is his representation of the deep love of country. Despite the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years: the Soviet invasion, the reign of the Taliban and post-Taliban rebuilding; the bombs, the death, the unspeakable acts of human against human, the people of Hosseini's Afghanistan love their country. They want to be in their country and look for any way to either recreate it where they live now or somehow get back there to resume the lives they miss so much. It left me with a sense of amazement and, frankly, while I love being Canadian and living here, that kind of passion was awe inspiring.
Date published: 2007-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great If you liked "The Kite Runner"...you will love this new book...a story about the relationship between two women in Afghan...definitely a woman's read...and hard to put down...one of the most memorable books i have read in a long time
Date published: 2007-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking Must Read A wonderfully well-written story. I haven't been able to pick up another book yet - the story of those two women still haunts me.
Date published: 2007-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! Heartbreaking story. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2007-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ASTOUNDING FOLLOW UP TO KITE RUNNER While Kite Runner was chosen for me as part of a book club, it is one of the best written novels I have read in a while. 'Splendid Suns' is indeed a worthy successor to this inaugural work by an author who obviously writes what he knows. Explicit glimpses of the inner workings of Afghanistan life and politics helps an outsider better understand the fight that is still being fought today. Wonderful, enigmatic read for a summer afternoon.
Date published: 2007-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down This book was an emotional rollercoaster ride. I read the book in 2 days. The characters are so real you feel as if you know them. There is love, betrayl, lies, decit, accomplishments all through the eyes of two brave women enduring life during the war in the Afganistan regions. If you thought the Kite Runner was fabulous, this book is even more powerful than Khaled's first. A DEFINATE MUST READ FOR 2007!
Date published: 2007-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing!!! i enjoyed the kite runner but the ending made it fall short of a great book. this book is just simply amazing. Its incredibly hard to read as a woman but a MUST read!!!!! just amazing!!
Date published: 2007-08-20