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A Thousand Splendid Suns Hardcover – May 22 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Hardcover, May 22 2007
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1 edition (May 22 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670064912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670064915
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

It's difficult to imagine a harder first act to follow than The Kite Runner: a debut novel by an unknown writer about a country many readers knew little about that has gone on to have over four million copies in print worldwide. But when preview copies of Khaled Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, started circulating at Amazon, readers reacted with a unanimous enthusiasm that few of us could remember seeing before. As special as The Kite Runner was, those readers said, A Thousand Splendid Suns is more so, bringing Hosseini's compassionate storytelling and his sense of personal and national tragedy to a tale of two women that is weighted equally with despair and grave hope.

From Publishers Weekly

Atossa Leoni, who is German-born of Afghan ancestry, was clearly chosen because she can pronounce all the Afghan words—a big plus, but it's the only plus in this bad reading. Dropping her voice on the last word of every sentence, her phrasing is regularly rendered ungrammatical by breaks at the wrong points. Her narrow vocal range makes for a dull and often difficult listening experience. Despite the reader, the book holds the listener thanks to Hosseini's riveting story—an in-depth exploration of Afghan society in the three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban cruelty. He impels us to empathize with and admire those most victimized by Afghan history and culture—women. Mariam, a 15-year-old bastard whose mother commits suicide, is married off to 40-year-old Rasheed, who abuses her brutally, especially after she has several miscarriages. At 60, Rasheed takes in 14-year-old Laila, whose parents were blown up by stray bombs. He soon turns violent with her. Although Laila is united with her childhood beloved, the potential return of the Taliban always shadows their happiness.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS tells the wonderful, intensely moving story of how two modern Afghan women overcome the great challenges that have faced women in Afghanistan and rise above their victimization. Khaled Hosseini has succeeded in capturing many important historical and contemporary themes in a way that will make your heart ache again and again. Why will your reaction be so strong? It's because you'll identify closely with the suffering of almost all the characters, a reaction that's very rare to a modern novel.

In Part One, you meet Miriam at age five as she learns that she is a harami (an illegitimate child). Miriam's wealthy father, Jalil, had seduced a housekeeper, Miriam's mother, Nana, six years earlier and now provides for both of them in a remote shack where he can keep a low profile. Despite his concern about his reputation, Jalil adores the attention that Miriam devotes to him. All proceeds in an artificial and harsh way until one day Miriam decides to demand her father's attention. The consequences shape her world for the rest of her life.

In Part Two, the story moves to focus on Laila, who was born to Miriam's acquaintance, Fariba, at the end of Part One. Laila's rearing is almost totally the opposite of Miriam's. Laila is loved by both her parents with whom she lives and has many chances to develop her knowledge and skills. Laila lives in Kabul while Miriam grew up in the countryside outside of Herat. Laila is beautiful while Miriam is plainer. They also grow up in different times: Miriam is old enough to be Laila's mother. Miriam never had a male friend while growing up, while Laila is fascinated by the one-legged Tariq. All is going well for Laila until the war intrudes to send her life off into an unexpected direction.
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Format: Paperback
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS tells the wonderful, intensely moving story of how two modern Afghan women overcome the great challenges that have faced women in Afghanistan and rise above their victimization. Khaled Hosseini has succeeded in capturing many important historical and contemporary themes in a way that will make your heart ache again and again. Why will your reaction be so strong? It's because you'll identify closely with the suffering of almost all the characters, a reaction that's very rare to a modern novel.

In Part One, you meet Miriam at age five as she learns that she is a harami (an illegitimate child). Miriam's wealthy father, Jalil, had seduced a housekeeper, Miriam's mother, Nana, six years earlier and now provides for both of them in a remote shack where he can keep a low profile. Despite his concern about his reputation, Jalil adores the attention that Miriam devotes to him. All proceeds in an artificial and harsh way until one day Miriam decides to demand her father's attention. The consequences shape her world for the rest of her life.

In Part Two, the story moves to focus on Laila, who was born to Miriam's acquaintance Fariba at the end of Part One. Laila's rearing is almost totally the opposite of Miriam's. Laila is loved by both her parents with whom she lives and has many chances to develop her knowledge and skills. Laila lives in Kabul while Miriam grew up in the countryside outside of Herat. Laila is beautiful while Miriam is plainer. They also grow up in different times: Miriam is old enough to be Laila's mother. Miriam never had a male friend while growing up, while Laila is fascinated by the one-legged Tariq. All is going well for Laila until the war intrudes to send her life off into an unexpected direction.
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Format: Hardcover
I will admit going in to reading this book that I was biased. I thoroughly enjoyed The Kite Runner, and was expecting to enjoy this book just as much. And call me biased if you will, but A Thousand Splendid Suns did not disappoint.

The novel is set in Afghanistan and author Hosseini does a great job of portraying the life of the people living there from before the Soviet occupation right up to the ‘so called’ liberation by American forces. The sights, the sounds, the descriptions that Hosseini writes about make you feel as though you are actually part of the Afghani landscape and people.

For me, what was most moving was the way Hosseini writes about the daily lives of the women in Afghani society. The quiet struggles they endure in a very male dominated society sits in stark contrast to what I’m used to here in North America. With that as a backdrop, Hosseini weaves a tale of love, struggle, and what it is/was like to live in Afghanistan.

Knowing very little about the country, and only getting my understanding from what I hear and read in the news, reading this book was a refreshing change. In fact by the time I’d finished the novel, a part of me was left wanting to visit the country. Only to be reminded that Afghanistan is not the safest of areas at present.

Regardless of if you read The Kite Runner or not, do yourself a favour and pick up this book. You won’t regret it
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By Kona TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 7 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of two women who live in Afghanistan before, during, and after the Taliban regime. Mariam, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man, was scorned by society and forced to live in squalor. When she was fifteen, she did a rash and foolish thing that changed her life forever. Soon she was living far away in the city of Kabul, married to a brutish pig of a man, subjected to daily beatings and cruelty.

Laila grew up in Kabul, daughter of a compassionate father and withdrawn mother. Her best friend was her neighbor, Tariq; he was her confidant and later, her passion. When she was fourteen, life as she knew it was over in a moment, and she, too, became a wife, subject to the same injustices as Mariam.

Mariam and Laila are women who see life through the fine net grill of their powder blue burqas, who have no control over their lives or bodies, who do the only thing Mariam's mother said women can do - they endure. While gunfire and bombs rain all around them, they grow up and grow old. This story is heartbreaking, infuriating, and shocking. There is so much misery that some readers may be put off, but I had to keep reading to see what would happen to Mariam and Laila next. I loved Hosseini's first novel, "The Kite Runner," and I think "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is even better. Heartily recommended.
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