June 20, 2007

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" By Khaled Hosseini- # 1 on NY Times Bestseller list


A gripping story! It is near impossible to put the book down once you begin reading it. Khaled Hosseini's new novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns is bound to be a top pick this summer, and not without reason. Mr Hosseini is a natural storyteller. He may not have an intricate plot to lay out, or dynamic characters to manipulate, but he sure has a knack for weaving a web around the reader; a web that tightens and envelops as the story unfolds.

The title could be suggestive as the author admits, "I went into this with a bit more of a mission than the first novel." He may have gone the Shakespeare route and spun a pun on the unsuspecting reader in the title itself. Is the novel really about the many splendid 'suns' that rose and set over Afghanistan in the last some years as the title suggests, or is there perhaps a pun intended in the title 'splendid suns'; Mr Hosseini is in fact making a sarcastic dig at the 'splendid s"o"ns' of Afghanistan, who in the name of religion inflicted heinous inhuman crimes against their own. These 'splendid' sons, first the Mujahideens and then the Taliban, eventually became models of male despotism and transformed Afghanistan into a theocracy where its women were pitted into an inferno of servitude, shame, and illiteracy.

The novel spans across a 30 year panorama that lays out, evocatively, the history of a war torn Afghanistan. It is on this canvas that Mr. Hosseini paints the story of two quite ordinary women who struggle to survive in a battle zone, amid starvation, human depravation, and world apathy. The two meet, in unusually contrived circumstances; grow, despite and due to their challenging environment, and eventually become, 'splendid' daughters of Afghanistan to bring about a constructive change in their own lives, and in the social fabric of their beloved war ravaged country.

The novel is a work of fiction, but Khaled Hosseini's has definitely placed Afghanistan and its ordeal on the world map, and has perhaps proved himself a 'splendid sun' for Afghanistan.

14 comments:

crumbs said...

you have such a way for reviewing books and movies that always makes me feel that I'm missing out on someting if I don't go catch it :)

samrina said...

Nice review, i guess i must read this...

Thnx for sharing.

Takecare

pRicky said...

darn!!! havent read it...
wanna lend it to me?
:D
I loved the kite runner I guess sooner or later ill get to the pun title book two...

starry nights said...

van't wait to read this book.I have ordered it from Amazon.thanks for this awesome review.

Dr. Deb said...

Loved his last book. Can't wait to read this one!

Sanjay said...

Splendid review, almost everyone who talks about this book, only has good things to say about it.
Thanks.

pRicky said...

how is it that you tend to go into hiding after each post?
Word verification: nevrs

lash said...

But isnt there a pro-taliban story anywhere to be told..??

I do not support them, so far i dont have any reasons to do that, but I am curious to know if there is any reason why their despotism was tolerated for so long... how did they succeed in making men believe in that ideaology...

Khaled Hosseini has tremendous skill for sure, yet there is an 'Exotic Excitement' around Afghanistan/Iran/Middle east that anything churned in the background of these locations could amuse the reader - probably because they dont know much about it..

I was trying to find a review on this book by an Afghan reader who probably understand the country's political and social context better.. Not an Aghan-American who left the country when he was 11 and never really SAW anything.. Instead a "work of fiction" by an Afghan who has seen and heard the events live could give us a fairer and less melodramatic picture.. I am yet to find one...

This review is good Id. I might read the book too soon because I had enjoyed reading Kite Runner, yet how much this would help me understand Afghanistan is my concern, because the first one didnt.

Isha' said...

I feel bad that the libraries here are so underequipped!

Id it is said...

lash,
I would agree with you that Afghanistan and other countries in that region have become 'interesting' to readers outside the region. The significant difference in the culture and the lifestyle of these places and people such as is portrayed by Hosseini does indeed pique the curiosity of our sanitized and so called 'developed' world. But what's wrong with that; the fact remains that people are READING. For organizations such as American Place Theater that is a mission accomplished! getting American youngsters to read and increase awareness of a world that exists across the Pacific and the Atlantic.
Then for readers such as yourself: in all fairness to Hosseini, he is not making a claim to writing a history. Given that, the novel makes an excellent read and for that we must give credit to Mr Hosseini's story telling.

lash said...

well, thats what i said, as a tory teller he has tremendous talent, and maybe he doesnt claim to be writing a history - but ultimately it is that HISTORY that gives him the readership, the more real that HISTORY is the more genuine the readers reactions would be. I dont know, I am not trying to undermine his work, but then the dearth of reviews from the parent country somehow makes me sceptical.. but that wont stop me from reading this one anyway. Let's see.

Lotus Reads said...

Ooooh, what a great review! I am particularly excited because I get to meet Khaled Hosseini on July 11th at an event hosted by Penguin Canada. I have ordered the book and would love to come back here to talk more about it when I'm done!

Happy LOL Day said...

I will read this!
Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.
:)
TLLT

Farazdak said...

A thousand splendid suns ... is as gripping as the first one kite runner. The emotional conflicts, point of views of the two main characters and even rashid are beautifully portrayed. Its almost a different world, from what we live. The book is a must read and i cud only keep it away after i had finished reading it all !