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The Kite Runner | [Khaled Hosseini]

The Kite Runner

Why we think it’s a great listen: Never before has an author’s narration of his fiction been so important to fully grasping the book’s impact and global implications. 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: 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. —Diana Dapito

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

  • Alex Award Winner, 2004

"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

4.4 (6445 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph MONTCLAIR, NJ, USA 10-02-04
    Joseph MONTCLAIR, NJ, USA 10-02-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    86 of 87 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. C. Stricker 08-17-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    229
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    "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.

    125 of 128 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Stone Bellevue, WA USA 09-16-03
    G. Stone Bellevue, WA USA 09-16-03 Member Since 2001
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    "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.

    119 of 123 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-02-07
    11-02-07 Member Since 2007
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    "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".

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Boca Raton, FL, United States 04-10-05
    Ron Boca Raton, FL, United States 04-10-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana - Audible Oradell, NJ, United States 04-16-12
    Diana - Audible Oradell, NJ, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2005

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Walnut Creek, CA, USA 10-06-05
    Lisa Walnut Creek, CA, USA 10-06-05
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    "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
  •  
    Paul Niagara Falls, ON, Canada 09-30-05
    Paul Niagara Falls, ON, Canada 09-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievably touching"

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

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-21-05
    Matthew Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-21-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    108
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    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rajesh Johannesburg, South Africa 01-08-05
    Rajesh Johannesburg, South Africa 01-08-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For you my friend, a thousand times over"

    This book is written and read in the precise way it should have been. No blemishes. It is superb.

    The book is not a lesson in Afghan history or Islam. If one is searching for a history lesson embedded in a good plot this is not the book. This is a story, a novel. A classic, gripping, engrossing story full of powerful characters. It will touch your soul and do not be surprised if you quietly wipe a tear or two during the listen as I did. Also, do not be surprised if you chuckle aloud while listening. The story is about a privileged weakling in Kabul and how he grows up with a moral burden, migrates to US and finally returns and to redeem himself. A folk hero like father, his servants son as a friend, a local bully and an immigrant Afghani General the characters are interesting and events around them thought provoking. All scenes in the book including the kite battles are well written. I could visualize everything and see it like a movie.

    This was a good listen even through it did not fall under the genera of books I usually listen to. It was also a surprise as after a long time a non-thriller was so compelling and absorbing.

    Go ahead. This book is for all taste buds. My favorite phrase form the book: For you my friend, a thousand times over.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 478 results PREVIOUS1248NEXT
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  • Laura
    bere regis, DORSET, United Kingdom
    7/2/05
    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Lynne
    ArgentonFrance
    3/6/07
    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah J
    Kent.UK
    1/15/11
    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul & Susy
    London United Kingdom
    5/17/08
    Overall
    "Painted and insightful picture of Afghanistan"

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Catherine
    angus, United Kingdom
    3/25/08
    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crafty jan
    5/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A life enhancing experience in Reading this bookI"
    What did you like most about The Kite Runner?

    I actually feel ashamed of the really stereo type opinion I had of Afganastan and it's people before reading this book . It really opened my eyes to the fact that away from all the horrors of the war and terrorism , the ordinary people are just like us and love their families .


    What did you like best about this story?

    The graphic descriptions of the feelings and emotions of the main character , and how one seemingly random incident can colour and affect the rest of your life .


    Which character – as performed by Khaled Hosseini – was your favourite?

    I felt in all honesty that all the main characters carried equal weight in the story , at different times in the life of the main character .


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book had a real emotional effect on me in that I finished the story wishing I could know what happened next . Clearly not just a happy ending , but an idea of how the horrors of the war would be affecting the next generation .


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent read and I would highly recommend it , but be prepared to have some of possibly preconceived ideas on the country and it's people overturned .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. R. J. King
    Cambridge, UK
    2/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book"

    This is a great book; a brilliant story. Sci-Fi is my first love, but The Kite Runner slots effortlessly into my top-five. I feel like I've been to Afghanistan , admired Baba and been terrified of Assef. I want to sit on top of the hill and eat pomegranates and run kites.
    This is, without doubt, one the best books I've ever read. There's nothing spare. Every word adds to the story, and I'm sorry I finished it today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sigrin
    Valdisere, France
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Kite Runner to be better than the print version?

    Yes as It was read by a Afghan who took me to his home and I felt I understood it better


    What other book might you compare The Kite Runner to, and why?

    Its a male version of a Thousand splendid suns


    Have you listened to any of Khaled Hosseini’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Khaled Hosseini is an amazing writer


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes I felt I knew the people in the book like my family so laughed and cried with them.


    Any additional comments?

    Please get his "and the mountains echoed" into Audiobooks in English please

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MRM
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Disturbing yet heart-warming tale"

    It was wonderful to have this amazing book read by the author himself. He writes and reads with such sensitivity. He brings to life an era of Afghan history which is now gone. The changing perspectives of the narrator as a child and an adult provide a very human dimension. I became completely absorbed in the character. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    The Kite Runner is the first book I have read by Khaled Hosseini and it is without doubt one of the most moving I have ever experienced. At times it had me close to tears (not quite as I am a man...) and on a few occasions laughing out loud. I also downloaded, A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author which was also decent but not on the same level. Not too long in duration. Highly recommended by myself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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