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The Kite Runner Audiobook

The Kite Runner

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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

4.5 (9107 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (4194 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (4158 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 01-08-05
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 01-08-05 Member Since 2016

    Legal Thrillers, crime, fiction. humor and a bit of management sprinkled with some self improvement. All through Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    266
    ratings
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    320
    71
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    1
    Overall
    "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.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Battlement Mesa, Colorado, United States 05-05-05
    Charles Battlement Mesa, Colorado, United States 05-05-05 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    8
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    1
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    Overall
    "A novel better heard than read"

    Rather than reading this well-written and touching story, I am glad I listened to it. The reading by the author, an unpolished narrator with slightly accented English, seemed to make this first person exploration of a man's agonized discovery of himself exquisitely real.

    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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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    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 12-11-04
    loix 12-11-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    430
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    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
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    2
    2
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    0
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    "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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    49
    6
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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
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-20-11
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-20-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    687
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    308
    115
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    107
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What am I missing here?"

    I tried to finish this book - really - I don't give up on audio books easily especially considering that I only have one precious credit every month. Is there something in the last few chapters moving or earth shattering enough to warrant trudging through to the end? The narrator is fine - but the story is just so blah I found myself unable to connect to it. I have over 80 books in my library now (ok - so I've bought a lot of them above and beyond that one credit per month) so I'm not expecting to be over the moon every time - but at least give me something I want to come back to. Sorry to all those who think this book is brilliant - I just don't get it.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sindi 01-19-08
    Sindi 01-19-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
    ratings
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    239
    22
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    9
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    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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
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    Overall
    "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
  •  
    MadMadeleine Los Angeles 05-24-07
    MadMadeleine Los Angeles 05-24-07 Member Since 2008

    Arrr! I be readin' arrrdiobooks on me aye-pod!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    11
    3
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    1
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    Overall
    "A Dissenting Voice"

    To me the book was interesting because of the setting. The descriptions and details created a vivid portrait of a foreign culture. But the book is not well written. The irony is that the main character is learning to be an author. He comments on the use of cliches, but uses them anyway. One of the chapters ends with a foreshadowing that is a groaner. The plot crosses the line into the preposterous. The evil character is a cross between a Taliban and a nazi, maybe because being in the Taliban just wasn't bad enough. Part of the story is entertaining, even informative, but in the end the events became more and more unbelievable. The violence seems like a Hollywood movie rather than authentic and frightening. The reading by the author was harsh and awkward, and strangely unemotional. And why doesn't the author use the English pronunciation for "Afghanistan" and other Afhgan words? That was confusing at first, and then annoying.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nadia
    8/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing, heart breaking"

    This book is truly amazing and heart breaking. I l was adicted to this book. I loved the metaphors and the beautiful style of writing. I laughed, cried and cried some more! It's a five star book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jean Catherine Weiss
    8/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful!"

    An incredibly moving story. Listened to it when driving or cooking and often had tears in my eyes. Once I was used to the reader's accent I enjoyed the fact that I was listening to the correct pronunciation of the names and places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • marie
    6/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely brilliant!!!!"

    One of the best books i have ever read, gripping from start to finish
    Wow well worth it , narrator great too !!
    An insite into the truth

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nameesh jain
    5/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great narration and story"

    it is beautifully narrated and story was full of emotions and ups and downs. liked it very much !!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Botterill
    4/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the read!"

    Great performance and compelling story. Not an easy book to stomach by any means though!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    3/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story well told"

    I really enjoyed this book. Sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Happy , sad , joy, shock, laughter, sorrow. Great story from the mouth of the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    3/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Beautifully constructed story with huge depth of character. An emotive journey that is travelled as much as read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Claire Paccalin
    2/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book I've read/listen to in a long time!"

    I loved this book. Would recommend it to anyone. Cried and laughed out loud. Definitely a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    uk
    1/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Better at x1.25 speed"

    I really wanted to like this book but it's taken me about a month to listen to the first 6 hours. However I recently read someone's review of the Audible app where they praised the ability to increase the play speed. I decided to give that a try (in all honesty in a desperate bid to get the book finished so I could move on) and found myself riveted for the last 6 hours of the book, finishing it in two days!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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