Posted by: chartroose | February 8, 2008

The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

Front Cover
Front Cover

Okay, I’m not proud (well, maybe a little).  I’ve been hesitant to admit that I’ve read these novels because they’re bestsellers and I’m supposed to be above bestsellers.  Wait, who am I trying to kid?  This blog’s reading level is elementary school, so I should be reading (and enjoying, heaven forbid) writers like Erica Jong and Nora Roberts.  No Martin Amis for me!  Beverly Cleary is about my speed. 

I put off reading The Kite Runner until the end of 2007 because of my snobbery about mainstream fiction.  Right before Thanksgiving, I was bitching to one of the baristas at my favorite coffee hangout about not having any good reading material and she handed The Kite Runner to me.  With a heavy sigh I sat down and began reading, and I read practically nonstop for the rest of the morning.

I loved it.  The problem is, I didn’t know why I loved it.  The structure is simplistic, the writing is plain and childish, the plot is predictable and it’s extremely melodramatic.  In spite of this, though, when I think about some parts of the story, I still get all misty.  It’ll be a book I’ll reread and cry over again several times.  It’ll be placed in the hallowed section of my favorite bookcase where all my “hall-of-fame” books are.  I won’t even hide it in my bedroom with my treasured Harry Potter and Wizard of Oz collections. 

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.  It didn’t appeal to me as much as The Kite Runner, but it was a worthwhile read. It was poignant and moving and melodramatic, and by the end I felt emotionally exhausted.  Those poor women!  This poor world!

I think Mr. Hosseini’s novels are so appealing because he’s an emotional alchemist.  He’s magical.  He knows how to tap into the deepest areas of our brain where we hide our “humanness” and bring all those hidden feelings bubbling to the surface.  There’s something about the way he writes that is primitive and visceral and seems very genuine.  He is a consummate storyteller, and I hope he continues to write similar unsophisticated yet significant novels for many years to come.

The Kite Runner ♥♥♥♥1/2

A Thousand Splendid Suns ♥♥♥



  1. The Kite Runner was probably my favorite book of 2007 and definitely in my top 10 of all time. I resisted reading it for at least a year. I thought I had no interest in the subject matter, ha! Silly me! Finally it was picked by my book club, so I had to read it, and like you I could not put it down. I’ve avoided A Thousand Splendid Suns for fear I won’t like it as much (how stupid is that) but I received it as a Christmas gift, so it’s time is coming..

  2. PS I added you to my blogroll.

    Your link doesn’t work, and if I remember right, the way to fix it is to go to your dashboard, then user, then your profile. Make sure under Website it has

    I think if it’s there correctly your link will work when you make comments on other people’s blogs, and on your own blog, too.

  3. Wonderful review. I haven’t yet picked up A Thousand Splended Suns, but remember exactly how I felt after I read The Kite Runner. It will definitely be a re-read one day for me! Oh, and I keep all my Harry Potter’s on my bedroom bookshelf too – gotta love HP!

  4. I’ve been on the fence about reading these two books. I think I have the opposite problem you do: I’ve absolutely no interest in reading either of these books, but everyone keeps talking about them so that I wonder what all the fuss is about. I keep trying to work up interest and it’s just never there. I’ve decided that when the time comes – if the time comes – for me to read either one of those books, I’ll know it. Thus, they stay on my holding list waiting to be summoned.

    Great review, by the way. 🙂

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  6. i’ve read both of these books and they are both amazing in their own way. Being from a different country myself i can relate to the characters of the kite runner. But i have to say and i’m suprised noone else did, A Thousand Splendid Suns was soooooooo amazing & yes i totally feel i like it much better then the kite runner. I can’t tell you how much i was crying when i read the part where leila was reading the letter from jalil, i lost it 😦 lol. I just didn’t feel the same emotions with the kite runner. idk, it just didn’t hit the same way. Well maybe the female perspective might have done it. I felt a deeper connection with the characters in a thousand splendid suns, it was his seccond novel, he improved his writting and made you feel like you were in these females lives, so much! i honestly felt the same emotions, lol, if that doesnt sound too strange. in a way i did. i finished the book, but the emotion stayed for a little bit. lool, extremly amazing novels. Great job to the writer!

  7. @J.S. Peyton: Don’t kid yourself. Go on. Indulge yourself and read the bloody books. They’re fantastic. Esp. The Kite Runner :))))

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