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A Thousand Splendid Suns [Paperback]

Khaled Hosseini
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,083 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

22 May 2007
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam's unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter.
With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women's endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end it is love that triumphs over death and destruction.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns + The Kite Runner: Tenth anniversary edition + And the Mountains Echoed
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; Export Ed edition (22 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747582971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747582977
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.9 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,083 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved novelists in the world, with over thirty eight million copies of his books sold in more than seventy countries. The Kite Runner was a major film and was a Book of the Decade, chosen by The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian. A Thousand Splendid Suns was the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year in 2008. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California.

Product Description


‘A beautifully crafted and disturbing story of two women victims of the wrath of men. As unforgettable as The Kite Runner, this novel places us in Afghanistan with an open heart' (Isabel Allende )

‘I loved this book - I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. It is incredibly moving and a real insight into the madness and suffering of Afghanistan - in particular its women' (Fiona Bruce )

‘Hosseini proves his credentials as a superstar storyteller. This follow up to The Kite Runner will have fans rampaging into bookshops desperate for their copy. Yet again he weaves a masterful story around the lives of two extraordinary and compelling characters brought together in adversity' (Mariella Frostrup )

‘From further east comes, at long last, Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns in which the universally adored author of The Kite Runner returns with a study of love and self-sacrifice in a modern Afghan family' (Sunday Telegraph )

Book Description

The highly anticipated and breathtaking new novel by the author of the internationally best-selling novel The Kite Runner

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
210 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Crafted Novel 16 July 2007
This book moved me to tears, it is truly a remarkable and beautifully crafted novel. At times Hosseini paints harrowing and brutal scenes but always retains, through the characters of Mariam and Laila, humanity, spirit and above all love. There were chapters in this novel through which I literally held my breath, wishing with all my heart that what was unfolding would not, could not happen. It is very easy for those of us lucky enough to live in safety to visualise Afghanistan as a brutal, forsaken place, but this novel shows us something more. It forces the reader to acknowledge and recognise not only the suffering of people in our war torn world but something else, the human capacity for survival, forgiveness and love. Truly a wonderful book and one I would urge others to read. The best novel I have read in a long time and one that will stay with me for a long time to come.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing will read again 1 July 2007
I think this book is one of best books i have ever read! I read the kite runner last year and couldn't put it down (virtually reading it in one sitting) but this book is really just as good, and yet again read it in just over a day.

The portrail of each character is amazing and i found it easy to slip into each of their hard lives and personalities.

The twists (which i won't spoil by revealing) are very cleverly pathed throughout the story.

I think the book is so well written and the author's ability to tell a story at the same time as being informative about the country and its history is fantastic!!

I will read again for sure and recommend this to everyone even if the setting and sitution surrounding the story doesn't appeal Hosseini will reel you in hook, line and sinker.
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful
Format:Unknown Binding
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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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 5 Oct 2008
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The story of two women brought together in the most awful, despicable circumstances which are totally out of their control. The husband Rasheed is probably one of the most hateful, violent characters I have ever come across and Hosseini's writing is so powerful that you believe these people really exist and I hated Rasheed with a passsion. This book had my heart thumping at a failed escape and crying at one of the most poignant chapters set in the Ghaza Stadium. Like the Kite Runner this book does end with a sense of hope but again, getting to that end still fills you with sadness. This is one book I will remember for along time.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thousand shards of glass 6 Aug 2007
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.

A story of two women, Mariam and Laila who are brought together through tragedy in each of their lives, and must face the torment of Rasheed who marries them both.

Set in Afghanistan, the tale is threaded into the history of the country from the Russian occupation to the fall of the Taliban.

I love this book. An emotive force drives the narrative that is grim and gritty but yet manages to hold hope always within the story, even though the despair should crush it to dust in the fist Khaled wields.

The story arc is better than The Kite Runner, Khaled's first book. (Although that book is brilliant) Probably due to The Kite Runner being semi autobiographical with a plot twist at the end bolted on for fear of the story not standing in its own merit.

My only slight criticisms are Khaled's use of adverbs where his writing is strong enough to hold up without their support, and I did loose connection with Mariam as a character for a while in the early bit of Part 3. He also succumbs to leaving the odd cliffhanger at the end of a chapter (chapter 16 for example) that might suit Dan Brown but seem out of place here.

Khaled's strengths lie in his ability to make you care about his characters and his ability to immerse you in events with deft touches of his pen, rather than over doing the prose.
For example:

It hurts. It hurts to breathe. It hurts everywhere.
A glass of water. A pink pill.
Back to the darkness.

He also takes you, like in The Kite Runner, into a world normally only viewed through news broadcasts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Heart Moving Story
Excellent story about the life Afghan women have had to live, very sad and moving story. I would recommend it.
Published 1 day ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Very touching, it had me in tears many times, it is not fair that any body should experience this kind of treatment, my heart goes out to the innocent ones.
Published 1 day ago by M. D. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Arrived on time good quality package and good reading up to now what more can you say about a book that I haven't finished reading
Published 1 day ago by pc
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Read...
I loved the twists and turns, ups and downs! I learned so much about the troubles in Afghanistan and a new empathy has been developed. A fine read, thoroughly enjoyed.
Published 3 days ago by Miss Lucy Trump
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic writing
I loved The Kite Runner so was pleased when Khaled Hosseini brought out this book. The subjects are hard to read at times, but I couldn't stop reading.
Published 5 days ago by Janet Dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
This book was exceptional. It is well written, contains fascinating observations on both culture and people's different personalities and attitudes. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must.
Don't be put off by any misconceptions or racial/religious negatives. This is a beautiful love story set in harsh conditions. Very moving.
Published 7 days ago by Francesca M
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read!
Beautiful story. Elegantly written and characters delicately portrayed. I would thoroughly recommend this novel. I actually preferred it to the kite runner.
Published 9 days ago by Katie Fuge
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
An amazing book, had me gripped from start to finish, I couldn't put it down. I definitely recommend it to anyone.
Published 9 days ago by li
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I love this book, really good read. I don't want to spoil the storey line for you but I will say it will make you happy, sad and mad.
Published 10 days ago by nad
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