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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 (6571 )
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4.5 (1911 )
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4.5 (1890 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Julie A. Krasne Yarmouth, Me USA 08-12-05
    Julie A. Krasne Yarmouth, Me USA 08-12-05 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
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    "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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05 Member Since 2004

    game_maker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    16
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    1
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    Overall
    "What a whiner"

    I was interested in this for two reasons. 1) Like everyone else, I'm interested to learn about Afghani culture in the wake of recent events, and 2) it's a local interest story to me in Fremont.

    I didn't know quite what to expect in terms of plot, and was ready to go along with the autobiographical nature of the book.

    Then I learned that the author is a bit of a weasel. A spineless, spoiled coward, with no character. He disappoints at every turn, and then spends the latter parts of the book trying to make amends. He does some good deeds, but they still reek of selfishness.

    Finally, the writing itself is of mediocre quality, so even if you wanted to taste the truth of his character, the bitter with the sweet, the book is just plain not enjoyable.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patty Carmel, IN, USA 04-10-05
    Patty Carmel, IN, USA 04-10-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    I have listened to this book twice now and I absolutely love it. I hope that the author writes a sequel because I just cannot get enough. The author reads the story in the accent of the characters which brings the story to life. Well done Dr.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 12-11-04
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 12-11-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    316
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    1
    Overall
    "wonderful story"

    Just when I was tiring of my monthly selections at Audible.com, the good fortune directed me to this book. It was a little embarrassing walking around listening to this and getting teary-eyed (often) or bursting out laughing (not so often), but it was by far one of the best stories I listened to in a while, and the author's narration of the story had just the right amount of sentiment. I am already ready to go back for a second listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Houston, TX, USA 12-17-03
    Kelly Houston, TX, USA 12-17-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "What a surprise!"

    I took a chance on this book, not expecting much. What a great surprise! This was an excellent book. I loved the characters and the story. I will recommend this book to all my friends. This is my favorite book of the year.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 04-07-13
    David United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "A beautiful story but narration ruined it for me"
    Would you try another book from Khaled Hosseini and/or Khaled Hosseini?

    no


    Would you be willing to try another book from Khaled Hosseini? Why or why not?

    no. Khaled is a wonderful author. He is not a narrator. The performance ruined the book for me.


    What didn’t you like about Khaled Hosseini’s performance?

    The reading was bland, sterile, boring. Having listed to many books read by serious actors, I was stunned at the abysmal performance presented by Khaled Hosseini. I found it totally uninteresting and without passion - I could barely finish listening.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is a beautiful story. I wish now I had read it instead of listening to the Audible version.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sindi 01-19-08
    Sindi 01-19-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    4
    Overall
    "Don't wait!"

    I kept passing on this book because of the war setting. It sounded too heavy and depressing. I'm so happy that I finally took a chance. This is a book that draws you in and keeps you thinking for long after it is over. It is one of those few books that I dreaded getting too close to the ending. I wanted more of the vivid writing and the deep storytelling. Happily, A Thousand Splended Suns was available and just as perfect! This will be a top 5 of mine for years to come. Don't think, just download and open yourself up to the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon East Rockaway, NY, USA 11-04-07
    Gordon East Rockaway, NY, USA 11-04-07 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    0
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    "Touching and Heartfelt"

    I was prodded by a friend to read this book, and instead I bought it from Audible. I am so happy to have heard the narrative from the author because I believe that only in his voice would you feel the magnitude of his emotions. I can't imagine the same experience with my own voice as the narrator. The story is wonderful. Both painful and joyous...so real. If you open your heart, there's a real chance you will cry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Plano, TX, USA 08-15-05
    Thomas Plano, TX, USA 08-15-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    117
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    12
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    1
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    "Should be Award Winning"

    If their was an award for books written and read by the author, this book should win. Truly a classic. I believe it will live on beyond the current year. It reveals so much of people and how they all have similar hopes and dreams. It makes a case for what the US is doing in the middle east and at the same time reveals the issues as internal to the countries there. I never would have guessed I would like this book. I was asked to read it by a friend. The audio version is a true delight. The author gives us the correct pronunciations which I could never have gotten from reading the book. The author gives us the true passion that existed in the charaters of his mind. Be prepared to feel strong emotion with this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison New Hope, PA, USA 08-11-05
    Alison New Hope, PA, USA 08-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    173
    ratings
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    20
    19
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    Overall
    "Riveting and well-read"

    This is a riveting novel, with wonderful characters who really come to life as the story unfolds. It also deals with the troubles and horrors of Afghan history since the 1960s. The reading is done by the author himself, a real advantage here because his passion for the material is clear and he gives authentic pronunciations to the Afghan words in the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 479 results PREVIOUS12348NEXT
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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
  • Karen
    HAYLING ISLAND, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Great story - tissues needed for lots of tears!"

    A great story which takes the reader through a myriad of emotions - be prepared for tears!



    I loved the twists and turns of the story - most of which I could never have predicted.



    Without wanting to, I always had great sympathy for the central character - his misdemeanours were obviously key to the plot and had such devastating effects and yet, I felt so sorry for him.



    The descriptions of the characters and scenery was powerful and deep so it made them very believable, and I thought that the story may have been autobiographical until I checked!



    Well written and powerful.

    1 of 1 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
  • Lesley
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
    8/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow, what a story!"

    I loved this book it gave a new insight into the troubles of Afghanistan, brutal in parts, made me flinch but for all that a great tale of love, betrayal & consequence. Didn't want it to end & the author Khaled Hosseini was a brilliant narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    uk
    8/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning"
    Where does The Kite Runner rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the best audio book I have ever heard, and is easily in the top 10 books I've come across in my 47 years


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The lead character is beautifully flawed. The characters are real, you can feel them, you can smell them and you can relate to their humanity.


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

    This is the first book I've heard the author perform but I will listen to anything he does in the future and read everything he writes.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to the whole book in a day and a half! I wanted to eek it out but I could. I will actually read it at some point in the future, it is that good.


    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful and immense in it's humanity.

    0 of 0 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
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