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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Average Rating 4.5
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(68)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This book is equally as good, and as haunting, as Kite Runner. This time the story is about two Afghani women. Life in Afghanistan is wretched enough, but to be a Muslim woman in Afghanistan can be lethal, especially after the Taliban come to power. This book is beautif...
This book is equally as good, and as haunting, as Kite Runner. This time the story is about two Afghani women. Life in Afghanistan is wretched enough, but to be a Muslim woman in Afghanistan can be lethal, especially after the Taliban come to power. This book is beautifully written and at times difficult to read, but it's also difficult to put down. Mariam and Laila are wonderfully-drawn characters that will stay with me forever. They made me know just how lucky I am to be an American woman, and how unfortunate life can be for Muslim women in Muslim countries. This book will break your heart, but it will also put it back together again. Highly recommended.

posted by 1Katherine1 on September 5, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

boring

I am 200 pages through and am finally putting this one down. I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns received great reviews on this site; so, I kept plowing through it expecting it to get better and it never did. I have never written a book review before ...
I am 200 pages through and am finally putting this one down. I loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns received great reviews on this site; so, I kept plowing through it expecting it to get better and it never did. I have never written a book review before even though I have been a reader for 15+ years. I feel like the book has been stalled for some time in the same little house with the same three characters going over the same issues. I definitely prefer character development over plot; so, this should have been a good one for me. It was a let down and the first book in years that I do not feel any urge to finish.

posted by 962674 on February 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Great writing but not a great story

    This book was beautifully written. The authors words transported me to Afghanistan and I felt as though I walked beside Mariam amd Laila as they endured the hardships, sorrows and triumphs of their lives. As wonderfully descriptive and heartfelt as this story was written, I just didn't care for it. The last 200 pages of the book redeemed itself but, in my opinion it was much too late in coming. I found myself trying very hard to continue the story. I hate to not finish a book and it was difficult to keep with this one. Halfway through the book I found myself wondering if I should cut my losses. Thankfully it ended well.

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    A Thousand Splendid Suns is the powerful novel that depicts the

    A Thousand Splendid Suns is the powerful novel that depicts the lives of two afghan women living their relentless lives. This breathtaking story is set against the last thirty years of Afghanistan’s violent past. It puts the war, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate human terms. It’s the tale of two different generations brought together by war and crime. Personal lives are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
    This strong story allows the reader to feel what the characters go through, but not only the characters. Actual real life women living in these times went through. This fiction novel brings these realistic nonfiction events into one book allowing the reader to visualize how life was in Afghanistan. The women were not treated with the respect and honor they are in most of the world. It’s like a different world in the reader’s own backyard.
    A Thousand Splendid Suns has the great theme of never giving up hope and the grass IS greener on the other side. Everyone deserves a second chance to live their life the way they would like to. Pain and suffering should not be normal in a life like it is in this novel.
    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. That keeps the reader wanting to read more and understand true sorrow through the eyes of women and how horrible the world can be.
    “One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Agha khaled

    Not as riveting as the first novel. But pensive and groping enough to make you want to read the next novel. Very well written. ;) Congrats agha khaled.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Not too exciting yet captivating

    After reading Kite Runner I was eager to read this as well. There is no compatison between the two except for the setting. This book was not very interesting and I almist put it down several times, yet I was interested in knowing what fate had in store for our leading ladies. Sometimes it was very hard to read because of the domestic violence. The first half took the longest to read, but then I was quickly finished. I recommend it, but just be aware that this is not a light-hearted or easy to read story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Depressing

    I was not expecting a political story. I enjoyed The Kite Runner more. Depressing and heavy. I understand the need for awareness of this country's travesty but was not what I expected. Well written but will not purchase another one of his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Interesting

    The book started slow but turned out to be enlightening. I had to get used to the language and you see into a different culture. Its hesrtbreaking to see how the women are treated. I recommend this book.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Paperback vs nook book

    I would like to read this book, and I like the kite runner, but I don't know why the ebook is more expensive than the paperback? I kind of feel like I'm getting ripped off when the regular book is more expensive than the ebook, especially since no one has to do anything for me to get it.

    Guess I'll just have to rent it from the library :(

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A following masterpiece to the 'Kite Runner'? Not in my opinion.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

    Avid readers of Khalid Hosseini's The Kite Runner, most likely heard about his more recent novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns. For such a paramount novel such as the Kite Runner, even the most illustrious and powerful novelists struggle to match the expectations. I expected highly of his latest novel, as one should; I delved into it expecting and adventure, only to be met with a very different foreground than Kite Runner. Expecting a novel somewhat similar to Kite Runner, a novel about redemption and honor, I was a bit fazed when I came to realize that this novel was not quite the read I had expected.
    Though there existed striking similarities between A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner, this novel focused on a very different perspective. Surprisingly the role of the Afghani Hazaras had no major mention, other than as a speck in the background of chaos that Hosseini ensued. As a supporting character, Mariam showed an alternate role to Hassan, but not as a brother, but as a motherly figure to our heroine, Laila. Hassan was a brotherly figure to the Kite Runner's protagonist, Amir. We see Hosseini cast web of love, deceit, and companionship in the desolate city of Kabul.
    Unfortunately A Thousand Splendid Suns lacks the literary heart moving emotions related to The Kite Runner. More particular readers will be sorely disappointed in Hosseini's latest work, compared to his former. The plot builds too slowly, and the readers feels urged to race on to get to the more emotional and meaningful segments. As for those scattered bits of the more powerful segments. They are heart wrenching, intense, sharp and potent. Readers will submerge themselves in these occasional segments, but for the rest of Hosseini's novel, the flow is disjointed from the transitions to each section of the novel I personally would have enjoyed this novel more if Hosseini had strictly kept the plot about Mariam. Hosseini's novel is satisfactory, but it fails to overcome my expectation and falls to the pit. Readers will enjoy this novel, but alas no; it is not another Kite Runner. A fine novel Hosseini has written, but a masterpiece? Arguable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Overall I'm sadly disappointed.

    (Preface, I loved the Kite Runner, but typically do not read this type of book). After reading the Kite Runner, I was excited to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Unfortunately it took me through Part 2 to start enjoying the book. There were a lot of reading highs and low and I do agree I couldn't put the book down - just because I wanted to get to the end. It was dark, gross, sick and twisted not that I'm naive to the fact of other countries and their social systems, women's rights, etc. but it was quite disturbing. Yes, it is very well written and highlights the struggles of these two women. All and all, I'm glad I read it; however, maybe I shouldn't have expected and anticipated it to reach the high standards after reading Kite Runner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    Middle East Fiction

    A Thousand Splendid Suns wasn't that much different from The Kite Runner in that it read like the same book only the names, setting, and sex of the characters were changed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    Hosseinin's books feel contrived and formulaic. This villains are caricaturesque. The plot predictable. The ending hollywoodesque. A Thousand Splendid Suns is just a book for the masses, and as such, it is mildly satisfying. The story is peppered with cultural and gastronomic references, the protagonists are sympathetic and there's redemption. Nothing else.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    Afghanistan Culture

    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini*** Mariam, five years old when the story begins in Afghanistan, is an illegitimate child of a past servant of Jalil, abused verbally and emotionally by her mother, Nana. She looked forward to her father, Jalil¿s visits. He was a rich man with three wives and other children, who furnished Nana and Mariam meager commodities in a hideout. At fifteen, betrayed by her father, and losing her mother to suicide, she was given in marriage to an older man, Rasheed, who mistreated her. When one of the neighbor girls, Laila, was the sole survivor of an act of war, Rasheed took her as a second wife, not knowing she was pregnant. At first Mariam and Laila were antagonistic toward each other, but the baby loved Mariam and drew them into a strong bond. Rife with tragedy, domestic violence, war milieu, and political undertones, I am amazed at the good reviews given this writer for the books also 'The Kite Runner', one would find more acceptable if one of the Afghanistan citizens wrote a true account. Either the story is grossly exaggerated or Afhanistan culture is low life and barbaric. Surely all the people of Afghanistan do not live like this. Apparently the American general population is accustomed to this type of negative drama. One will need an uplifting chaser after reading this book. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2007

    Well written but too oppressive

    I would put 'The Kite Runner' as one of my favorite books of all time so I was excited to read 'A Thousand Spendid Suns.' I have to say that I was disappointed because of the way women were treated in the book. I understand that is how it is/was in Afghanistan, however, a book like that only brings to the forefront man's 'power' over women, both abroad and here in the U.S. It's a man's world out there and this book slams this point home, unfortunately.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2007

    Tough read

    This book is very timely and makes the Muslim world very real. However it is a very painful and violent book to read. I am not fond of books that depict violence against women and children and there is so much violence against the two main characters. No doubt it was well written and the pain and suffering of these two characters is very vivid and even when I finished reading a passage it was difficult to erase the memory.

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    Posted February 15, 2009

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