Gana's Reviews > A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
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Oct 11, 07

Read in January, 2007

I was disappointed with the quality of this novel after reading his first brilliant novel "Kite Runner". For sure, the story is tragic, painful and unusual for many people, but I don't see the beauty of a novel here; Khaled Hosseini does not sufficiently open internal worlds of his characters; there are not enough descriptions of senses, feelings, thoughts, perceptions and judgments of characters. Events move forcefully and fast: Mariam marries to older man ...she was scared and shuddering first night of sexual intercourse with her husband ... then "somehow" she liked him and later her husband "somehow" becomes colder to her (no any other explanation, except Mariam being not able to produce a child). How their interpersonal chemistry worked throughout marriage, I have no idea. In case of Laila, it is even worse. There is almost zero description about interaction between Mariam and Rasheed; whether her husband was awful for her or she liked being as a little flower for him, I don't know. Only thing I understand is Laila was liked by her husband. In general I feel like Khaled Hosseini retells the afghan women gossip in better way. Believe me, if you just go to Afghanistan and talk to people (if you can communicate), you would easily hear such story.

But I liked some parts of novel, specifically the part how interaction between Mariam and Laila is developing. Interesting part is enemies (Mariam and Laila) come together for survival; to stand against their common enemy - violent husband Rasheed. For Mariam, discovering the gorgeousness of a small girl Aziza was like finding a beautiful flower in the middle of a mud. Khaled Hosseini tells to his readers how far people (even intelligent and gentle women) can go to survive: being forced to commit actions like cheating, lying and even killing. I hope readers did not get impression that every afghan man is cruel and marry to a girl; gets pleasure out of it and women have to survive this. We see in the book at least one person (Mariam's father) feels guilty because of his sin committed in younger age and another person Tariq, marrying to his beloved woman, despite she was married to another man before.
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message 1: by Gana (last edited Jan 02, 2008 06:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gana Hi Pashtana,

Thanks for comment. I agree with you. As a afghan man, Khaled Hosseini should put special efford to give to foreign readers clear understanding about afghan society with both positives and negatives. He tells some positive sides of his some male heroes, but I think it is insufficient. And negatives always have causes, that should be explained properly. I'm pretty sure that westerners got very biased understanding about Afghan society after reading this book.


Donald I didn't get the impression that Rasheed represented all Afghan men. That's why Tariq was in the story—to show a counter balance. Also Zaman, who ran the orphanage, and Mullah Faizullah were good men. Rasheed was needed for this story because the book was basically a soap opera, and needed a specific bad guy.


Gana I'm glad that you did not get such impression. I'm sick of people making or understanding one particle of society as a whole picture.


message 4: by Marnida (new)

Marnida Tampubolon A soap opera....ha.. ha.. isn't this life is all about that..
Well, even in a modern society, it's kinda difficult to find a man who will wake up to calm baby in the middle of the night just like Tariq did. So the books doesn't give any bad impression about afhgan man


message 5: by Marnida (new)

Marnida Tampubolon A soap opera....ha.. ha.. isn't this life is all about that..
Well, even in a modern society, it's kinda difficult to find a man who will wake up to calm baby in the middle of the night just like Tariq did. So the books doesn't give any bad impression about afhgan man


message 6: by Marnida (new)

Marnida Tampubolon A soap opera....ha.. ha.. isn't this life is all about that..
Well, even in a modern society, it's kinda difficult to find a man who will wake up to calm baby in the middle of the night just like Tariq did. So the books doesn't give any bad impression about afhgan man


Meaghan I never thought Rasheed was meant to portray all of Afghan manhood -- or that he was evil, for that matter. For all his brutality I saw him as being as much a tragic victim of society as Mariam and Layla.


Ally Yeah I agree with you Meaghan. Khaled actually made me sympathize with everyone. No matter how lacking in moral value a character seemed to be, he gave possible reasons for why they were like that. I thought Nana treated Mariam horribly, but in the end i found that her life was even more tragic than her daughter's. The book just really makes my heart ache for people in Afghanistan- people just in general actually. :(


Vicar Sayeedi I think you may also enjoy my new novel, "Legacy of The Peacock Throne". It's a beautiful story about Shah Jahan and his Queen, Mumtaz. I'm a Goodreads Author, as well, so please stop by and drop me a note. Thank you.

Vicar Sayeedi

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


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