Monday, June 4, 2007

Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I don't believe it. The man is a genius. I have a hard time believing that there is any book out there that could possibly be better than The Kite Runner, but I think he's done it!!

I read this book in about two days. Slept terrible last night, wondering what on earth would become of Mariam and Laila (both names I LOVE, by the way!) This is a book that could be consumed in one sitting, except for the enormously heavy emotional toll it takes. I, not given to crying over books, cried three times in the course of this book. Last night, lying in bed, I just couldn't believe that in the 1990's, when I was driving around in my convertible with loud music, dating guys and making a lot of money -- women, somewhere in the world, were being treated like this. I'm ashamed of my lighthearted levity concerning my privileges. That's what this book does to you.

Yeah, it's fiction. But don't kid yourself. There's probably a thousand women who could tell Mariam or Laila's exact story, only it's the truth. Khaled Hosseini makes you hold your breath, gasp, cry ... he makes you want to quit your job and go work for the Red Cross or something.

One of the things I loved about the Kite Runner, and can also be said for this book -- it's like getting an education without reading a textbook. Hosseini is great at weaving details about the Afghan region into the narrative in ways that are not cumbersome or preachy.

I know this review is all over the place. It's because I'm stunned. This is truly a masterpiece. And I wouldn't be surprised if Hosseini has more in him. I can hardly wait to find out.

14 comments:

jay are said...

Wow...cannot wait to read it. Amazing.

Literary Feline said...

Ooo! I cannot wait to get to this one either. Why do I have all these challenge books standing in my way?? Darn them!

SuziQoregon said...

The more reviews I read, the harder it becomes to think I can wait till it comes out in paperback!

Marg said...

I can't wait to read this one either! Hopefully I will get it from the library in the next couple of weeks.

Lisa said...

Ok, now you've got me interested in it too.

This is my first visit to your blog, nice place you've got here!

Matt said...

My wife and I have talked about picking this up as we both enjoyed The Kite Runner. We may have to go ahead and buy it!

Stephanie said...

This sounds fantastic. I was trying to wait for paperback....the wait at the library is a little long! I haven't read The Kite Runner though. It's not necessary for this story, is it??

MyUtopia said...

I am hoping to read Kite Runner soon.

Nyssaneala said...

I succumbed and bought it this weekend. So much for waiting for the papberback version. I can't wait till I have the time to pick it up. Great review (although I skimmed some of it, since I haven't read the book yet)

Tim said...

I think I was moved more by TKR, but this may be a boy/girl thing. But an excellent book indeed.

Dewey said...

It sounds good, but I only felt sort of neutral about The Kite Runner. Do you think I'd still like this one anyway?

Camille said...

Oh wow, I had no idea. I've been thinking of reading The Kite Runner soon but haven't yet. Guess I'll give a try sooner than later.

Lotus Reads said...

My book arrived too, but I am saving it for July when I will actually get to meet Hosseini at a function organized by Penguin, Canada. His book has had some glowing reviews and I keep asking myself does he have another story of this caliber in him, I can hardly wait to find out!

Trish said...

I am going to have to break down and read this book TODAY. Thanks for the great review.

You write, "There's probably a thousand women who could tell Mariam or Laila's exact story, only it's the truth."

While I don't know what their stories are (yet!), I might recommend "The Storyteller's Daughter" by Saira Shah. She is a British journalist of Afghani descent and she makes her way through Afghanistan (pre 9/11)...and she tells of the country, the history, the people. Its a beautiful memoir.