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The Kite Runner | [Khaled Hosseini]

The Kite Runner

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.
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Publisher's Summary

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of its monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable and beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara - a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship and betrayal, and about the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of fathers over sons - their love, their sacrifices, and their lies. Written against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But through the devastation, Khaled Hosseini offers hope for redemption.

©2003 Khaled Hosseini; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All Rights Reserved. AUDIOWORKS. is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division. Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"...a beautiful novel...ranks among the best-written and most provocative stories of the year." (The Denver Post)
"...powerful first novel...tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (408 )
5 star
 (276)
4 star
 (83)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.6 (149 )
5 star
 (117)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.5 (147 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Laura bere regis, DORSET, United Kingdom 02/07/2005
    Laura bere regis, DORSET, United Kingdom 02/07/2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Touching and gripping."

    Excellent; a window on another world as well as a touching story of love, devotion and atonement. I highly recommend this book.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne ArgentonFrance 06/03/2007
    Lynne ArgentonFrance 06/03/2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Wonderfully Poignant"

    This a beautifully written poignant story of unconditional love during turbulent times in Afghanistan and of how an adolescent boy's jealousy has long and devastating repercussions. This book is a journey of emotions from the first page to the last.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah J Kent.UK 15/01/2011
    Sarah J Kent.UK 15/01/2011 Member Since 2015

    Sarah

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    67
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not as good as the hype."

    Before listening to this I had heard many rave reviews of the book and therefore began to listen with high expectations. However, I found the story very disappointing, mainly due to the lack of affection I felt for the main character. He seemed to be amoral and self-centred, which resulted in me not really caring what happened to him. Although the book is well written, I found that my lack of connection with the main character meant that I had to force myself to listen to the whole book. I ended up being relieved when it was over, and confused about what everyone else seems to love about this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul & Susy 17/05/2008
    Paul & Susy 17/05/2008 Member Since 2015

    We share the same taste thereabouts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    12
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    1
    2
    Overall
    "Painted and insightful picture of Afghanistan"

    It's a story of honour, regret and redemption; and two families divided by ethnic prejudice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine angus, United Kingdom 25/03/2008
    Catherine angus, United Kingdom 25/03/2008 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    50
    9
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    0
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    Overall
    "stunningly good"

    I don't usually read books about war and strife preferring to be entertained, but came across this book because of all the hype and thought I would give it a go. I was hooked from the beginning - it is a hauntingly good book and although it is set in troubling times it looks at the very real human problems that happen to individuals caught up in uneasy times. I listened all the way through in one day, and then went straight on to download his next book. Buy it - you certainly won't be disappointed

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    a little bit of a grumpy old so and so London,UK 03/02/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
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    "Simply a brilliant epic story"

    This is the harrowing tale of Amir from his early days in Afghanistan through to the U.S. and back to find the boyhood friend he betrayed. It's backdrop is a period of almost continuous war from the Russian invasion, through to the time of the brutal Taliban regime. It is harrowing in places, brilliantly written and performed and impossible to put down. In my top 10 any day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss Melanie Gedge 02/02/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
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    "outstanding"

    Absolutely fantastic! Hosseini's voice really transports you to the streets of Kabul. A moving story which will stay with you forever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    missmandii 26/01/2015
    missmandii 26/01/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "loved it!"

    Loved it, can't wait to read/listen to other books by this author! Bravo as the author said

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 10/01/2015
    Lisa 10/01/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
    1
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    "Breathtaking!"

    Could not leave the book if I wanted to. It became part of my thoughts. I had to keep listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corrado M. 22/10/2014
    Corrado M. 22/10/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    6
    5
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    "Magnificent"

    One of the best books I've come across. An incredible experience enriched by the narration of the Author himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • P. C..S.
    17/08/03
    Overall
    "A Worhty Read"

    It might seem a difficult task to stay with a book whose protagonist is so weak, bullying and completely self-absorbed while at the same time thoroughly understandable. Yet, I could not stop; I could not turn it off. Set in the context of recent Afghan history, it describes a relationship of two children contorted by social limitations and a frustrated father-son relationship thwarted in part by the same factors. It is however, beyond all else, a tale of wounds and scars, both self-inflicted and not. Very disturbing and thoght-provoking on many levels. Though authors often do not make the best readers of their work, this author's presence adds to the texture of the prose.

    131 of 134 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph
    MONTCLAIR, NJ, USA
    02/10/04
    Overall
    "A storyteller's story"

    I never thought, from the descrption of this book, that I would fall in love with it! The characters are so real and every page of the story is captivating! Written like a memoir, but definitely a novel ending in present day. The descriptions of the "old" Afghanistan made it come alive with the smells, sounds, tone, formality of life, family and what it means, and hierarchy of society. I really "rooted for" some of the characters yet there are moments you can hate them, with all their flaws. These, too, are easy to relate to. Now I feel like I understand a little bit more about Isalm and the people who worship this religion. I also have a deeper understanding of the Middle Eastern customs. The story, though.....The Story is what I would recommend this book for.

    92 of 94 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew Covington
    02/11/07
    Overall
    "My Goodness, What a Audiobook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    There are audiobooks and there are GREAT audiobooks. This is a GREAT audiobook!!! After hundereds of audiobooks, only Nelson Demille's "The Gold Coast" is in the same class. I resisted listening to The Kite Runner for a long time due to the fact I thought a setting based in Afganastan just wasn't my cup of tea. I could not have been more wrong. The plight of Amir and Hassan is a story I'll not soon forget. The book is very well written and the pronuciation by the author made the book feel even more alive. It was an emotional rollacoaster I loved and as the book ended I cried. All I can keep saying is "For You a Thousand Times Over".

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • G. Stone
    Bellevue, WA USA
    16/09/03
    Overall
    "worth staying with"

    The first half of this story could have been about any whiny, privileged child trying to gain our empathy for having grown up in the shadow (you say "shadow", I say "great example") of a father of great character. Not new, not insightful.

    BUT the second half takes off, as the narrator is thrust into a chance to redeem himself as a man, an Afghan, a muslim. The characters become much more intriguingly drawn and the world they traverse becomes palpable.

    The skill of a reader is essential to my enjoyment of an audio book - a bad reader will make me abandon a good story. The author of the Kite Runner is an excellent reader of this tale. He speaks in an English that is clear even to my very provincial northern US ear, but with Afghan pronunciations that add musicality to the story and draw the listener fully into the author's world.

    Well worth the reading.

    123 of 127 people found this review helpful
  • Bocaboy
    Boca Raton, FL USA
    10/04/05
    Overall
    "A compelling story"

    This was one of the top ten audio books I've listened to. A compelling story, read by the author, that is not predictable and will have you listening to every word. It gave me an extraordinary sense of what Kabul was like before the Soviet invasion and after the Taliban took over. An absolute must-hear recording.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
    30/09/05
    Overall
    "Unbelievably touching"

    I've listened to over 60 books in the past year and this is my favorite so far, by far!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Los Angeles, CA, United States
    21/02/05
    Overall
    "Dramatic window into another life."

    This book is worth a listen for the window it opens upon a life not lived by the majority of Americans going about our lives with our ipods and books-on-tape: a hard life, a basic one, yet filled with humanity and wisdom. The writing is good, and having the author read the tape-version helps keep the pronunciations accurate and the sentiment honest. The plotting has both predictable turns, and surprising ones where the author refuses to take the easy way out. This, more than anything, kept me reading because I was always certain there would be an element of the story I could not foresee. The last two hours of the book feel a little like a denoument that takes too long to resolve itself but upon further reflection I don't think there is any other way to tell the tale while being true to the characters. Amir's relationship with Hassan is heartbreaking and satisfying, alternately confusing and then brought into crystal clear focus by a plot turn. The brutality of the situation is Afghanistan is painted bluntly but not without artistry. Listen to this book if you like stories about foreign places and customs and tales of sons and their fathers. Overall, after listening to this book you will feel as if you have a friend from that part of the world. The author succeeds in putting the listener into the shoes of his characters. Finally, don't be surprised if you find yourself practicing the language of the characters while you're listening. There is something inherently fascinating about listening to the words spoken again and again.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Lisa
    Walnut Creek, CA, USA
    06/10/05
    Overall
    "The author is the reader, but it turns out great!"

    Normally when my book club buddy and I see, read my the author we shy away. This was very well done. The author has very good diction and it's great to hear the proper pronunciation of the Afgan words. I felt that he was speaking from the heart. The book has justifiably gotten some outstanding press. I highly recommend this book, especially in the audible version.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Diana - Audible
    NJ, United States
    16/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Standout Author Narration"

    We've learned the hard way that authors don't always make great narrators, but Khaled Hosseini is remarkably gifted in both roles. I have listened to the The Kite Runner again and again to be transported to Hosseini's Afghanistan and can appreciate it all the more because of his authentic pronunciations.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Julie A. Krasne
    Yarmouth, Me USA
    12/08/05
    Overall
    "Beautifully written and told"

    The Kite Runner is a compelling and moving story. An amazing debut novel that explores the depths of human loyalty and betrayal, sin and redemption. The audio book adds yet another dimension, as the author delivers his story with a strikingly beautiful reading, interspersed with names and phrases in his native Afghan tongue. Perhaps the best novel I've read!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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