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A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)

by Khaled Hosseini

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
26,35583084 (4.27)754
Two women born a generation apart witness the destruction of their home and family in war-torn Kabul, losses incurred over the course of thirty years that test the limits of their strength and courage.
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» See also 754 mentions

English (728)  Dutch (29)  Spanish (21)  Swedish (8)  Danish (7)  Italian (7)  French (7)  Catalan (5)  German (5)  Finnish (5)  Norwegian (4)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (828)
Showing 1-5 of 728 (next | show all)
A heartrending look into womanhood in modern Afghanistan. The plot sets off at a quick, steady pace; by the end of Part One the reader understands not to get too complacent with the characters’ fleeting moments of happiness. Oppression permeates through everything, subjecting women to physical/emotional violence and robbing them of self-efficacy. And yet, they endure. The optimism about GW Bush toward the end was befuddling, and Hosseini’s love of neat endings takes you a bit out of the book. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
Wow, a really emotional rollercoaster. Intriguing, horrifying, upsetting, tragic, it shows the tenacity of life and how even in its horrors there can be love and compassion.

This is a story about two very different women, Mariam and Laila, who learn to trust, love and care for each other. It portrays the power struggles seen in Kabul and Afghanistan during one woman’s lifetime. The resilience and bravery shown by these two women in the face of the changes and the cruelty and injustices they suffer is amazing and humbling. I was aware of the Taliban’s strict enforcement of Sharia law but hadn’t really appreciated what the effect on normal Afghans might be, so was quite horrified at the strict rules and the punishments meted out. It seems so inhuman, to obliterate the freedoms of any part of a society as the Taliban did with women, and I cannot imagine how people managed to survive under such a regime.

The characters were beautifully portrayed, they felt real so I became immersed in their world, thinking about them during the day as though they were people I knew. I found Mariam’s life extremely sad but I liked and marvelled at the person she became. Her’s is an amazing portrayal of a ‘regrettable accident’ who has never been wanted, but who finds her place, where she can be of use. It is really heartrending, the ultimate sacrifice she makes, the love she shows despite all she has suffered. Laila, brought up in a loving family, has her world tragically ripped apart, but her determination, hope and strength feel formidable and you know she will fulfil her destiny, just as her father predicted. The end of the book feels like emerging from a long dark tunnel, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

My feelings about this book are reminiscent of those I experienced when I read Apeirigon by Colum McCann. Delving into other worlds, completely different from my own, is shocking and leaves me feeling ashamed at not only my own ignorance, but also what humans are capable of doing to fellow humans because they are deemed different in some way. This is not a comfortable or easy read, but like Colom McCann, Khaled Hosseini’s writing is informative and thought provoking and stays with you long after the book has been read. ( )
  Matacabras | Apr 10, 2021 |
I didn't realize until I reached the end that I listened to the abridged version of this audiobook. Despite that, I thought it was a terrific story, and I'm sure that the main plot points were covered.

The woman who read the book was fantastic. Her accent is lovely. I also appreciated getting her pronunciation of people and place names. "Miriam" and "Laila" sound like music with her accent. And the way she said "Afghanistan" was very interesting.

Now, to the story itself. Heart-wrenching and hopeful at the same time. It was such a stark examination of life for women in Afghanistan. The differences between their lives and my own, and those of women I know in the Western world, was startling. Where we'd say "Leave the bastard" or "Just say no to your father," such things were impossible for Miriam and Laila. That's the heart-wrenching part. The hopeful was that they kept going. These women made lives for themselves, in spite of the way they were treated.

( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
After just finishing this book, I can tell that this will be one of those books that sticks with me for a very long time. I've read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and loved that one as well, but I felt so much more connected with the characters in this novel compared to the first. Perhaps it is because the characters followed are predominantly women and I'm a woman myself. I'm always intrigued to hear about other parts of the world and love to hear about the history side of events that have happened in the world as well and this has such a nice blend of all these things.

I loved following the life of both Mariam and Laila and growing up with them (so to speak) but I did struggle quite a bit with how to pronounce certain words and so felt like I glossed over certain words which were native to those parts of the world. I tried my best, but after a while glossed over them. :-/ These women were so strong in their own ways. This book was so good in the way that the events are heartbreaking time after time, but that it is incredibly endearing and uplifting to see people be so resilient and strong to continue getting back up and literally being beaten down again and again. My heartstrings were tugged multiple times hearing the way that other human beings treated each other and to know that the same things continue to happen on the other side of the world at one point made me feel sick to my stomach. Mariam and Laila are so incredibly strong and stand up for each other in ways that I would hope no one would after have to do based on the circumstances. These women both grow throughout the novel(each in their own way) and have you silently rooting for them along the way.

Hosseini's has a unique way of writing in which he slowly draws you in through description then picks up with the plot. This can at times start to feel a little heavy at times though and made me want to skip ahead roughly half and page or a paragraph or so to check what was going to happen next... and then I would feel like I was spoiling myself. While this was a slight irritation with the writing style, it was so minor that I still feel like I can give this book the solid 5 stars which I think it deserves. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
This is one of those very, very fast reads. It's an interesting story, but not gorgeous literature. Most importantly, I liked this book for the light it shed on the mess of Afghanistan, the nightmare of the Taliban. While I'm horribly opposed to U.S. forces being involved, I'm greatly concerned about the return of the Taliban.

I'm not sure what the best path is.

Anyway, this was a touching, disturbing, and beautiful story. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 728 (next | show all)
Hosseini doesn’t seem entirely comfortable writing about the inner lives of women and often resorts to stock phrases. Yet Hosseini succeeds in carrying readers along because he understands the power of emotion as few other popular writers do.
 
Anyone whose heart strings were pulled by Khaled Hosseini's first, hugely successful novel, The Kite Runner, should be more than satisfied with this follow-up. Hosseini is skilled at telling a certain kind of story, in which events that may seem unbearable - violence, misery and abuse - are made readable.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Natasha Walter (May 19, 2007)
 
Vi følger to afghanske kvinners liv gjennom tre tiår med krig og Talibans tyranni. Mariam er en harami ­– uekte datter av en rik forretningsmann. Laila en oppvakt og moderne jente fra Kabul.

Gjennom skjebnens luner forenes deres veier, og de blir allierte i kamp mot en brutal ektemann og et krigersk, kvinneundertrykkende samfunn.

Hosseini gir en brutal, men nyansert beskrivelse av den patriarkalske despotismen som gjør kvinner avhengige av fedre, ektemenn og sønner. Men tross all sorg og urettferdighet, vold og fattigdom, mord og henrettelser, løfter Hosseini og hans kvinnelige hovedpersoner leseren med seg videre og nekter oss å gi opp håpet.

"Nok en kunstnerisk triumf og garantert bestselger fra denne fryktløse forfatteren."
Kirkus Review

"I tilfelle du skulle lure på om Khaled Hosseinis Tusen strålende soler er like god som Drageløperen er svaret: Nei. Den er bedre."
Washington Post

"En uimotståelig beretning."
NRK Kulturnytt
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hosseini, Khaledprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bourgeois, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caspersen, Alis FriisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Divjak, DarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elazar, ZilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, WTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jęczmyk, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kāẓimī, BītāTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kokkinou, VasilikēTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovačić, MarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Li, JingyiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lizarazu, Josune ZuzuarreguiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Madureira, ManuelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mēnōn, RamāTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moral Bartolomé, GemaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nguyễn, Thị Hương ThảoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nugrahani, BerlianiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Özgören, PürenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pajvančić, NikolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pradhāna, MadhukarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Purić, MirzahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouanet, Maria HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salīm, QaiṣarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savikurki, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Šenkyřík, LadislavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sokolova, Sergei︠a︡Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tsuchiya, MasaoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaj, IsabellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vuelta, María PardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wang, Ŭn-ch'ŏlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windgassen, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
This book is dedicated to Haris and Farah, both the noor of my eyes, and to the women of Afghanistan.
First words
Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.
[Afterword] For almost three decades now, the Afghan refugee crisis has been one of the most severe around the globe.
Quotations
Nobody could count the moons that shined on her roofs,
or the thousand splendid suns that hid behind her walls
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Two women born a generation apart witness the destruction of their home and family in war-torn Kabul, losses incurred over the course of thirty years that test the limits of their strength and courage.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
A moving story
of Mariam and Laila,
of love and heartache.
(passion4reading)

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