Let me confess at the outset: I have not read The Kite Runner. I therefore began reading this, Khaled Hosseini’s second book on wrecked and ravaged Afghanistan, unburdened by the weight of expectations. While many adjectives hover in my mind, the one that best describes the experience of reading A Thousand Splendid Suns is quite simply: ‘Moving’. In fact, a blurb at the back quotes The Independent proclaiming that the book is ‘guaranteed to move even the hardest heart’. Indeed, it moves one virtually to tears. Hosseini paints with broad brush-strokes across a canvas that is vast and varied, richly textured and vividly coloured. His concern is with telling an epic tale, painting the big picture, giving a bird’s eye view of the horror and devastation visited upon his poor benighted country.
October 2007, volume 31, No 10