Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poor Mariam

I had bought it for my brother from Waterstone store at Spui.

I have decided to start reading it on Saturday morning in the Dordrecht train to Schiphol. I went on reading in the airport, on the plane, and in the bus later.

And, managed to finish it on Sunday: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

I was happy to hear that I was not alone in the world. Olja had told me once during tea/cofee break that she could not stop reading when she started, and that's why she did not read anything at that time, fearing that she would focus on reading without doing anything for her thesis.

I am exactly the same. If I start reading, and if it is of a novel type which makes you curious on what will happen some pages later, I cannot stop reading. That's why I finished A Thousand Splendid Sun in two days.

I won't say that it was perfect, it was fabulous etc. It is not. However it has a quality noticeably above average.

What I liked in the book:
  • I very much liked the way the author presented poor Mariam in the beginning.
  • I also very much liked to learn about political history of Afghanistan from seventies till today. The effect of these changes on the life of normal people.. From kingdom to communism to after-soviet-war chaos to Taliban.
  • I learned that Taliban means students, and a single member of Taliban is referred to as Talib. This is because it was originated as a religious students' movement.
  • I also liked very much to see words also used in turkish throughout the novel like gul, tasbeh, zahmat, khayat, sofrah, khala, lotfan, thasakor, tabreek (the way they are spelled in the book).
  • One very interesting thing was the conversion of Kabul to a titanic city when the movie was released. It was immensely popular, and there were titanic toothpastes, titanic carpets, even titanic burkas sold on the markets.
Mariam and Laila's father were my favorite characters. But somehow I did not like Laila and Tariq that much, and the related love story.

Now is dictionary time!
Now, I would like to go on in the direction of my urge to start compiling common-word dictionaries; especially after coming across some other common words in this novel.

I want to do lists of:
- Turkish-Iranian common words (Sara-Vahid)
- Turkish-Serbian common words (Olja)
- Turkish-Hindi common words (Kaustubh)
- Turkish-Greek common words (Yorgos)

hope I will have time for this stuff.

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