Tag Archives: Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: An incredibly depressing story about two Afghan women living through the numerous regime changes in that country. I will say that this is beautifully written, with compelling characters and rich detail. And I certainly learned a lot about Afghan history and culture. It’s just that the story was a big downer, filled with cruelty and regret. Women are horribly mistreated; people are thoughtlessly mean to each other and then never get a chance to apologize for it; and the “happy” ending feels really contrived. So if you’re looking for a brutally honest look at the lives of women in Afghanistan, this is probably a pretty good start, but don’t go looking for a feel-good story to pass a rainy afternoon. Some of the images will stick with me for a long time.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This came to me highly recommended. That is, the “OMG THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD” sort of highly recommended. But you know, I wasn’t all that impressed with it. The bits and pieces of Afghan culture that shone through now and then were interesting, but really it was just your standard tale of betrayal, guilt, and redemption. Pretty predictable, all in all. I’m not saying it wasn’t well-written, just that it didn’t really grab me. Part of this problem may be due to listening to it on audiobook, which was read by the author. Some people believe that authors are the ideal choice for narrators, but I disagree. Sure, the author may know best how the characters are supposed to sound, but that doesn’t mean s/he can reproduce them. Not everyone is a good voice actor, and Hosseini, for all his talent as a writer, most certainly is not. I’d say I’d consider reading the printed version at some point to give it a second chance, but I’m sure I’d still only be able to hear his monotone voice in my head. A shame, because with the right narrator I’m sure this could have been a very moving tale.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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