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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." --Lemony Snicket
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.
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!