Hi everyone! In the next few days I’ll post a few really short quotes and reviews of books from last year’s Sitzbook book-a-week project. I originally started about a half-dozen posts with a few notes from some of the books I was reading, but I ran out of time and never actually wrote the full posts. So these will be like lightning reviews.
First up is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I liked the book, much as I liked The Kite Runner a few years ago, also by Hosseini. The story was a bit bleak for a lot of it, but it did end with a slightly hopeful note.
The one thing that stood out to me is that the author did that annoying thing where he constantly included foreign words, only to translate them in the next sentence. Here’s a brief example from page 129/130:
“You’re staying for lunch?” Tariq said.
“You have to,” said his mother. “I’m making shorwa.”
“I don’t want to be a mozahem.”
“Imposing?” Tariq’s mother said. “We leave for a couple of weeks and you turn polite on us?”
I’m sure Pashto is a nice language, but I don’t really need to learn another language, especially not a smattering of random words, and the technique of defining the words actually becomes a bit distracting at times. Sure, if it’s something like shorwa, I can get it from the context that it’s food, and if I’m really curious I can look it up. But there doesn’t seem to be any use to putting the word for “imposing” in Pashto.
Anyhow, just a minor annoyance in a generally good book.
Stay tuned for more quick reviews!