Written By: Khaled Hosseini

Narrated By: Atossa Leoni

Date: May 2007

Duration: 12 hours 0 minutes


After more than two years on the bestseller lists, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.


  • Frank P.

    This was a beautiful depiction of the ever difficult way of life in Afghanistan for all people, but this book especially focused on the women of the region. Well written and kept me intrigued the entire time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Both the book and the narration were superb. The book made me happy that I was not born in in Kabul! That being said, I felt great empathy for the two main characters in the book. What a celebration of the spirit to survive and thrive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Another great book by this author...wonderfully written and read! I look forward to listening and/or reading more books by this author. The book is very sad at times, but it only makes the book more engaging and "real."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Great story and narration Made me tear in the beginning

  • Matthew L.

    great book, wonderfully read

  • Jamie Z.

    A book and characters I will never forget, incredibly well written and read. I was engrossed every minute, on every level of my being, and feel that Maryam and Laila Jo and Tarik will be inside of me always, the book was that powerful. At this terrible time of the total Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, I have gained an even more chilling understanding of the male-led violence and brutality that have been plaguing the people and country for so long, under many regimes and occupiers. I FEEL connected to people and events and the women and children there at such another level thanks to this epic story. Please take the time to listen to or read this important book.

  • Anonymous

    Such a wonderful book. My second time reading it was even better than the first! Beautiful storytelling.

  • Anonymous

    Loved this book.

  • Huibrecht P.

    I highly recommend this book.

  • Kadance A.

    This novel is absolutely breathtaking. Throughout the entire book the author keeps you interested in the characters and what will happen to them. Excitement never falters, and this story does a fantastic job at recalling the events in Afghanistan at this point in time. The narrator was incredible in that she portrayed each character well, showing the various emotions and ways of speaking. The perfect combination of talented writing, and narration, resulted in me never wanting to hit pause. I finished the entire thing in one day. I highly recommend listening to this brilliant book filled with plot twists and beautiful story telling. I personally was absolutely devastated when the book was finished because it meant that I couldn’t continue enjoying this amazing piece of literature.

  • Cathy B

    Well written and well read. An amazing story of the lives of 2 women and the entertwining of their lives. It made me realise that no matter how ordinary a life may seem at times, every life has an effect on others and is important. I loved this book but am very pleased, as a woman, that I don't live in that part of the world. Can only recommend this work - thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Sharon H

    I have mixed emotions about this book. Although it was superbly written and narrated I felt so sad throughout the book. I even shed a tear at the end. It is definitely a haunting story. I do recommend reading it or listening to it, it is definitely a book I will never forget

  • Chelsea A

    While the book did not rival Hosseini's Kite Runner, their novel still burrowed into my heart the vast burden that women in Afghanistan often carry. The cultural differences, religious practices, and relationship dynamics were powerfully described in a way that was hauntingly authentic. The narrator transitioned smoothly from English to Arabic words and added to the listening experience. If you want to see the Afghani lifestyle through the eyes of fierce, loyal, sacrificial women, in the turmoil of coups, the Taliban, and 9/11, Hosseini's piece will leave you with an impression you cannot soon forget.

  • Vanessa Yenson

    I loved the book. The narration really made me appreciate the culture and language. Simply wonderful.

  • Tabitha Hewitt

    I've read this book many times, it is one of my favorites of all time. It really speaks of a life that so many of us don't know, but it connects us through heartache, abuse, perseverance, and love. Mariam is a strong character and the author shows that continuously throughout the book. I thought the narration was just okay. I didn't love the voice of the narrator, it was high pitched and seemed happy even through some very dark scenes in the book. She tried to change her voice for the different characters but it just didn't work out very well. My husband even commented on the voice when he heard me listening to the book. Someone with a lower and broader range for the book would have fit much better I think.

  • Christine Caridi

    This riveting story brings you behind the closed doors of modest living in Afghanistan. This author is contributing greatly to the world with his books.

  • Julia Baldridge

    OUTSTANDING! My favorite audio book so far. Be prepared for much anguish and a great ending.

  • Nelly Navarro-Britt

    Excellent story line! friendship of two women in Afghanistan. same author as the kite runner, also great.

  • elliem

    Wonderful Book. kept me engaged. Wonderfully written. Nice to get an insight to that part of the world. A week after I finished it and I still think about it. Worth the time

  • Laura Bryan

    Wow! Brutal story, beautifully told. Hosseini has a gifted voice, full of poetic narrative that exposes yet softens the blow of unbelievable hardship and, well, brutality. Well worth the read... er... listen.

  • Anonymous

    A heart wrenching story of the life of two women in Afghanistan. Sometimes I found this book hard to listen to, because the story of the mistreatment and disrespect that many men in that country force upon women is difficult to hear. Nevertheless it is quite interesting, very educational, and does provide a few tidbits of hope - not all men there treat women with such disrespect.

  • lorin

    I enjoyed this book even more than The Kite Runner. This story will break your heart yet leave you with just a tiny bit of hope.

  • Cory

    I had a really hard time following this book. It may be a better read, then to listen to. I couldn't finish it because I had a hard time understanding the narrarator. I am going to try reading this one.

  • hapkidodoc

    Incredible book. This book and Kite Runner present a picture of the real people of Afghanistan that we Americans need to consider. Most of the time I feel that we should pull out of there and leave them to their own devices then I realize from these books the pain and lost opportunity for life that extremists like the Taliban steal from people.

  • Sherri

    This book was a quick read, only five CD's for the abridged version. It is a disturbing but very good story and one that women should share with their friends and daughters.

  • Bruce Curson

    Not in the same class as 'The Kite Runner', which was simply excellent, especially since it was narrated by the author. With that said, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' was a very powerful story that exposed the difficulty of life as a woman in the Middle East. The narration was not read by the author this time; however, it was very good and was easy to follow. Even though this was the abridged version, there were not any apparent gaps in the story line. A worthy listening experience.

  • Anonymous

    A deeply moving accoung of the lives of women in Afganistan by the same skilled author of Kite Runner. Not a book for the faint of heart. It is almost unimaginable here in the U.S. that women anywhere in the world in our times must face such degradation at the hands of their men and culture. Yet they remain optimistic and stoic during the turmoil. An unpleasant insight into Islam as well.

  • Susan in NJ

    This author created a beautiful story out of a very sad and tragic piece of Middle Eastern history. As a Westerner, I can only but imagine the strength, energy and resolve the Afghani women need to manage a day, one day at a time. I enjoyed how the other swapped the focus of each character from one chapter to the next.

  • Elizabeth Manuge

    I found it hard to listen to some of this book. The life she describes is so cruel, inhumane for women. How those girls could carry on and even face death with such acceptance is hard to believe. Its very far from the life we h ave here on this continent. The book is beautifully written and somehow there is hope in everything that happens.

  • Anonymous

    I highly recommend this book. I read his previous book The Kite Runner and that one was okay. This book is totally different as it deals with women in Afganistan. It is very enlightening from a historical stand point, but the story stands on its own. It is very moving.

  • Fred Schwien

    Great character development and a great story. I think Hosseini could make anyone's life seem fascinating!

  • Anonymous

    I loved this book. Very humbling, very emotional. Great ending!

  • Diane Needleman

    A beautiful story. It makes me grateful to live in the west. Well written and read. Thanks for such a memorable story Diane Needleman

  • Anonymous

    It is very sad that we take all of our liberties for granted living in America and this book really opens your eyes to that. As a woman, I got angry at how the women are treated in Afghanistan, made to cover their bodies while out in public and walk behind their man, beaten, raped, sold to men by their fathers for brides to keep the family name intact or just for a little, very little, money. And we wonder why we're at war with an area of the country like this - Start with the KITE RUNNER and then read this - it explains a lot.

  • Mary Richards

    I enjoyed this story immensely. I also read The Kite Runner. I really felt the pain of the characters. I look forward to Hosseini's next work.

  • Cindy Hecklau

    This was a wonderfully written story of 2 women and their troubled lives in Afghanistan. The story is further enhanced by the reader, who did a superb job of making you feel as if you were actually there. This book as well as the Kite Runner, do much to make the reader more aware of the strife in Afghanistan-through the eyes of its women and children. I highly recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns to anyone. This was a very enjoyable listening experience.

  • Sharon Somers

    Hosseini is a very gifted writer and he does a great job of writing about the sadness and hardships that women have endured in Afghanistan. Although this book is interesting, if you are looking for something as gripping as Kite Runner, this is not it.

  • Anna Eidson

    Ever have a *down* day? Ever find yourself feeling depressed? Ever think others have it better than you do? Then you MUST listen to Hosseini's two tales of life on the other side of the world. Each of these books were wonderfully crafted, the stories and characters compelling and believable -- and both books made me so grateful to have been born an American that I could kiss the ground. While the stories were incredibly moving, the real lessons, for me, came in contrasting the rich and amazing life we live here to the wretched lives of so much of the rest of the world. Hosseini brought these characters to life and made me care about a people I hadn't given a thought to previously. Bravo for two incredible books.

  • Anonymous

    A little slow and not as enjoyable as the Kite Runner.

  • Vivian

    What a very wonderful, albeit painful, story. I thoroughly enjoyed the KiteRunner by the same author, and this story was just as great, and feeling and riveting as his first novel. I found myself crying with the emotional tug of the ending.

  • Carolyn in Marrero

    This is book was a very sad book but also told how men in this country treated women. The ending was good and the reader was great. I would recommend for everyone to listen to this one and be thankful our country is a great one.

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by Khaled Hosseini

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Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel, Khaled Hosseini
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