Advance reader reviews of Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie.

Burnt Shadows

A Novel

By Kamila Shamsie

Burnt Shadows
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009,
    384 pages.

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There are currently 18 member reviews
for Burnt Shadows
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  • Jayne D. (Canton, MA)


    Burnt Shadows
    It did not take me long to read this book. It was very easy to get lost in the wonderful writing and depth of the story. Reading about this turbulent time in history really got me thinking about how things in history affect people. I would recommend this book to my friends and will suggest it as a book club selection.
  • Mary O. (Boston, MA)


    Riveting! DON'T MISS IT!
    In light of our global world and its problems today many hinging on war and its consequences, ALL SHOULD READ THIS! I thought the book was phenomenal - beautifully written, fast paced and most of the time a real page turner. I couldn't put it down and it has haunted me since I finished it. From Nagasaki to Delhi, Pakistan, NYC and Afghanistan it tracks cultural differences so often misunderstood as well as the effect of circumstances of history. It truly shows what brings people together and what also separates us and the unintentional results of our actions. I LOVED this book!
  • Kathy W. Book Discussio Leader (Appleton, WI)


    Burnt Shadows Review
    This is an incredible book. It is beautifully written and complex. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the characters. My only complaint is that it may be too complex or ambitious for one book. When the scene shifted to New York, I felt like I was reading a different book and got lost at times.To the book's credit, everything did come together in the end. Those willing to finish the book will be well rewarded. (This book is better than good, but I did not give it five stars because in my opinion five star books are "must reads", and this book is for a more selective and dedicated audience.)
  • Erica M. (Skokie, IL)


    Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
    Shamsie effectively kept a story line going through the book bringing the horror of the bombing of Nagasaki into juxtaposition with the modern day terrorist attacks. It was a unique perspective - and a unique book. The characters were well-developed, the story lines fully developed, so that no matter where in the world the story moved, it was logical and clear and did not seem to be mere device or manipulation. It was the kind of book that had so much going on, that it would easily bear re-reading - both for content and the quality of the writing.
  • Rhonda M. (Concord, OH)


    A book for our world
    Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows was like no book I have ever read. It put the tensions of the world and the people inhabiting it into a totally different light. It made you think about our world as a global world trying to coexist. The only problem I had with this book which kept me from saying it was great was I think the author tried so hard to get her points across and involved so many characters that I don't think they were totally developed at times. I would still recommend it as a great book that book clubs will find wonderful discussions to come from. I will be thinking about this book for several days.
  • Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)


    A Great Book Club Read
    I will recommend this book to my book club which read The Kite Runner last year. This is a sad, moving, intense, sweeping novel, with themes of connection and loss, trust and treason. The author's vivid descriptions carried me to Nagasaki, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and I can see this as a wonderful film. My history background is sadly lacking, so I am going to follow up with some of the author's suggestions for further reading. I strongly recommend this book.
  • Linda A. (Palo Alto, CA)


    Burnt Shadows
    Kamila Shamsie has written a book of immense scope, following the intertwined lives of two families from 1945 to post-9/11; from Nagasaki through Delhi, Pakistan, New York and Afghanistan. I found the earlier days in Nagaski and Delhi more believable even though the horror is palpable. The story is compelling and definitely worth reading. The characters are complicated as are the relationships between and among the families in their various representations. This is a thought-provoking story of inter-cultural involvement on many levels. At times I had to suspend my disbelief.
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