Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns?

A real friend is one who
takes the hand of his friend
in time of distress and helplessness
Afghanistan Proveb

Having read both Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns I wanted to share what I thought about the two books. While the similarities are there, both set in Afghanistan, the takeover of Afghanistan by the Soviets and the Taliban reign of terror and the changes that took place during these events the main difference is with the characters.

The Kite Runner, as previously posted, shares the growing up of two boys and the turns their lives took. A Thousand Splendid Suns takes a look into the lives of the women of Afghanistan and how they had to live. I felt a connection to the characters in Kite Runner, I wanted to pick up the book whenever I had a spare minute and find out what was going on in their lives. The description of the kite running made me feel like I was there watching it.

With A Thousand Splendid Suns I felt like shouting at the main characters for things that happened to them. This is where the realization hits-that we have a choice and control over what can happen to us can get taken for granted. These women have to accept the abuse in their lives because they are looked upon as second-class, if that. I also wanted to shout-ENOUGH!!! I had to put the book down to take a break from the relentless description of the two women's lives.

So.....I loved the Kite Runner. I went "wow" when I put it down. We did this for a book discussion and it was one of the best discussions we have had. I did not feel the same about A Thousand Suns. Did I like the book? No. Would I recommend it, yes. Some people who read both books have come back and told me they liked/loved/didn't like one better then the other. Why would I recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns since I didn't like it? The history of Afghanistan, the description of the country and the people is worth the read alone.

I recommend both books and you judge for yourself. I would love to hear what you think.

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