Thursday, May 24, 2007

I picked up A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini's anticipated second novel with that little feeling of concern--it's hard to follow up a blockbuster winner like The Kite Runner (which it took me a good long year after its debut to read anyway).

I thought it began in a lovely way. It hooked me enough. It was good, fine, good

Then somewhere along the way--I really can't tell you when, I got gripped by it. Stayed up too late last night wishing I could finish it.

I finished it today.

Socked in the solar plexus. No, deeper. In the soul.

He has indeed done it again.


At 5:47 AM, Blogger gerry rosser said...

I read The Kite Runner, and it kind of left me, what, let down? Not entertained? I don't know. I didn't hate it. Maybe what I'm saying is that there was nothing particular about the experience which would tempt me to take on another of this writer's books to read.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Gerry: I have this funny little rebellious streak where I often refuse to read a new "hot" book because, well it's the 6th grader in me who resented the popular kid, I think. So it took me ages to read Kite Runner after everyone was buzzing about it. I enjoyed it: the peek into Afghan culture; the darkness, the richness of Hosseini's writing.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is about women. Though the characters are fictional, these are real stories of real women's lives in Afghanistan in present day. And it opens up another vista of experience to me. It does what literature does best: reveals horror and pain in a way that makes you care and believe in hope.

But I don't think you should read it.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger gerry rosser said...

Upon reflection, I think what sort of put me off about Kite Runner was the violence. Of course there is violence in the world, of course it is a legitimate subject for fiction, it's just me.
Maybe I've entered a gentle phase of my life--it is almost as though I refuse ("refuse" would be in italic if I knew how) to be entertained by violence. In a similar vein in my recent years, I've "refused" to be entertained by jokes involving denigrating anyone or any group, "caca" humour, stupid sexual innuendo, and many other things. Has this closed off anything for me? It seems not. I like life a lot better now.

So, I parbly won't read the book, but it doesn't mean I don't think the author can write, or that I'm a nut job, or a Philistine, or anything like that.

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I hear you gerry. I understand the desire to moderate the impressions you take in. I think I reacted to you saying that you didn't find anything that would tempt you to tak on another of his books...why I felt the need to defend him, I don't know.

Your points make sense

At 4:58 AM, Blogger gerry rosser said...

Well, I didn't think you were attacking me. So no worries.


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