A Thousand Splendid Suns…
December 22, 2008
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Here’s a strange thing.
A year or so ago I read Khalid Hosseini’s Kite Runners, one of the best books I had read in years. Even mentioned it on my blog. I think it was Chancy responded by suggesting his more recent book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Being the obedient fellow that I am, I ordered and read it too. This turned out to be quite an experience.
It was the most painful read I’ve had in years. Not that the book was not good. It was superb. But the violence, the cruelty and the sheer tragedy of the story of two women trying to survive in the world of the Taliban in Afghanistan was so horrible that I had to work at turning the pages.
Keep in mind that the Taliban’s activities in Afghanistan were pretty much covered up by the government in those days. The emphasis was upon “the surge” in Iraq. But as Afghanistan has crept gradually into the forefront of the news again, I found myself deeply drawn to what was happening in that strange, dark country. The Taliban is slowly retaking the land and the people. And now I know to some small degree what that means. I can no longer view it dispassionately.
Thanks to a book.
Now the book is released in paperback and it opened at number two on the Times best-seller list. I heartily recommend you read it, if you dare. It won’t be a fun read, but it will make your hair stand on end as you suddenly begin to realize what the Taliban actually means for this world of ours. And perhaps even get the feel for our stake in that part of the world.