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Only just got round to "A Thousand Splendid Suns"....

(17 Posts)
highlandcoo Sat 17-Nov-12 23:37:52

A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman, set in Sri Lanka, is similar in theme and tone to ATSS, but much better. Deserves to be more widely read.

The author was a campaigning journalist and activist for women's rights originally, but decided to use fiction to reach a wider audience with her concerns. This doesn't read like a overtly political book, however it does make you think about how poverty and lack of independence affects women's lives in the society described ; it's an absorbing story.

Anyone who liked ATSS should give it a try.

I really liked, 'The Kiterunner' but I thought 'Suns' was appalling. Badly written with cartoon-esque characters and horribly contrived - composed with a trowel rather than a pen.

Clawdy Sat 17-Nov-12 22:23:36

CoteDAzur your last sentence summed it up concisely I think.

CoteDAzur Sat 17-Nov-12 20:14:15

"Why would she mention it if her mother told her she named her after the flower."

Err because she mentions on a number of occasions that she is studying the Quran.

She also doesn't seem to know that azan (call to prayer) is not once a day, counting the days during her captivity with each azan she hears.

The whole book is a badly written sob story.

CoteDAzur Sat 17-Nov-12 20:07:20

We will just have to disagree on the definition of a "fantastic read".

Mine excludes books that show complete ignorance about the country they take place in, that capitalise on prejudices and bank on the ignorance of its readers.

Why do characters keep talking about Moby Dick and Titanic? Shouldn't they be more influenced by Afghan authors & literary works? Why aren't readers told about any Afghan landmarks other than the Buddha statues that Taliban blew up - which happen to be the only Afghan landmarks that Westerners have heard about?

The author has left Afghanistan as a child and has never been back. He is American for all intents and purposes, and has written this book in English, to capitalise on the interest in Afghanistan following 9/11. He writes about how women are mistreated, because that is all everyone knows about Afghanistan. As authentic as a Saudi who writes a book in Arabic about how all Americans are fat and ignorant. Gah.

bruffin Sat 17-Nov-12 20:06:45

But she says she was named for the flower, because that is also what the name means
Why do you assume she (or at least the author) doesn't know the connection to the Quran as well.
Why would she mention it if her mother told her she named her after the flower.


LouMacca Sat 17-Nov-12 19:48:02

I loved it. Don't know how anyone could say it was badly written?? I too enjoyed The Kite Runner more, but 1000SS is still a fantastic read......

CoteDAzur Sat 17-Nov-12 19:30:17

Yes, I know Mariam means tube rose in Persian, but it is still incredible that a girl studying the Quran wouldn't know that her own name features so prominently there and means Mary (mother of Jesus).

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 16:57:54

i felt it was inaccurate but i cried all the way through it, especially at the end when that letter from Maryam's father was read. i wept so much. the kite runner also made me cry

bruffin Fri 16-Nov-12 12:57:00

Mariam does mean rose in Persian. Mariam came from Herat where they speak form of persian called Dari.

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 16-Nov-12 12:37:21

oooh, good, I'm in your minority too. Thought it was absolute rubbish from start to finish.

I thought it was a wonderful book...I couldnt put it down smile

CoteDAzur Thu 15-Nov-12 23:11:28

It's quite pathetically inaccurate. My personal favourite is Maryam, who says she is studying the Quran, and yet says her name means "tube rose". Clearly unaware that "Maryam" is the Arabic equivalent of "Mary" and there is an entire chapter in the Quran dedicated to Maryam, Mother of Christ.

Clawdy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:06:28

I did wonder if it was accurate,but realised how little I know about Afghanistan.

ashesgirl Thu 15-Nov-12 20:45:33

Thought it was pretty badly written too. Interesting subject but yes something just not quite right.

CoteDAzur Thu 15-Nov-12 20:43:57

We are a vocal minority grin If you search MN, you will see me ranting about 1000 SS on a number of occasions.

Not for literary reasons, like you, though. It was badly written for sure, but what riled me up was that it was just completely false, with often with wrong details, written in English by someone who knows very little about Afghanistan. Gah. Don't get me started.

Clawdy Thu 15-Nov-12 16:42:53

...and didn't enjoy it as much as "The Kite Runner". I know I'm in the minority here,but i was disappointed.Too much horror,Tariq too saintly, and Rasheed too evil,then an unfeasibly happy ending. Anyone else not too keen?

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