The novel is a bit slow to start, but shortly thereafter is entirely gripping. I was skeptical of an author-narrated audio book, but Husseini does a fantastic job and his accent immerses the listener even further into his beautifully created landscapes of Afghani locations and culture.
This is one of the three books which is required reading for the incoming class of Stanford University, next year (Fall 2006). I thought I would listen to it, though I wouldn't have generally chosen it. I like history and shy away from fiction. This book does not read like fiction and I wonder if many of the events did take place though there are some coincidences that can only be ficticious. I will find out from my daughter when she meets the author at Stanford. My daughter had a hard time reading the book because the author failed his best friend as well as himself. I encouraged my daughter to push on because our hero redeems himself. Every American should read this to feel the humanity of this Muslim author, the common ideas and philosophies we have in common and to experience the life in Afghanistan at its best and worst. The reader is excellent with just the right amount of accent.
This is an incredible story that pulls you in from the beginning and never lets go. Narrated in the 1st person, and against a historical background of Afghanistan, you have to keep reminding yourself it's a novel, not an amazing and touching autobiography. Excellent story, well-narrated...one of those books you hate for it to end!
A friend recommended this book and I was a bit skeptical because she described it as "depressing and compelling but a good book" I was caught after the first page. A great writing and a great book to learn about the country of Afganastan, its culture and history. You must read this one, it is excellent
This is one of the best books I've ever read. The author reading the book makes the experience even better. This is a heartbreaking story of love, loss, and redemption. It also provides a great history of Afghanistan and what it was like before the wars.
I LOVED IT!!!
It took some consentration to follow along in the begining, All the names and places sounded alike to me at first but a few chapters into it I was HOOKED!
It took me into a whole new world. It really gives you a reality check that there are other places that exist in this world than America with a Wal-mart and Mc Donalds on every corner. It made me want to go vist Kabul and it gave me a reality check that the imigrants that we have living and working in our country may have been really humbled in order to come here. They may have been big wigs in their country and now are forced to work at a seven eleven. I guess it gave me a sense of compassion for those that I interact with that aren't born and raised american.
I also really liked (unike a reviewer below) that the main character was selfish. So many of us are. He did what he did and and I think it was a great portrayal of reality. Not everyone gets that enlightened moment...the I should do this for someone else not for me (feel good)moment that we like to see in movies and books.
Over all This was by far the most interesting book I have ever read (listened to)
This book is a "must read" for all the reasons other reviewers have mentioned. Just know that in the 4 years I have been a subscriber of Audible this is the first time I have made an effort to write a review. This book is compelling, engaging, original, well written and well read by the author. It has drama, humour, tragedy, hope and suspense. Do not wait for the movie - download it now and enjoy one of the most original works of fiction you will "read". A true masterpiece!
This story read by the author makes it personal and real. The reader gets an authentic experience of the time period and the culture. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it highly.
Many of the reviews I read before talked about how wonderful this book was as a tale of friendship, betrayal and redemption. Frankly, I think it's well written, well plotted, and as other reviewers have noted, tremendously interesting in its portrayal of the Afghanistan that was before the Taliban.
But I found myself repeatedly and increasingly angry with the main character, Amir. I rarely have found a less sympathetic character. Even as he gets older and supposedly enters the "redemption phase" of his tale, he continues to be a self-centered, selfish individual. The selfless act he performs as redemption is motivated by his own shame, not ever the well-being of the individuals involved. He continues to be obtuse and inconsiderate of others throughout the book. I can't say that was enjoyable, particularly as his moments of supposed self awareness still taught him so little about the events in his life and his *real* culpability, his *real* sins.
The story of the people around him and the land and history during which the story took place are well-crafted and very interesting. Still worth a listen, but not remotely as uplifting as I had hoped or expected.