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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

4.5 (7643 )
5 star
 (4788)
4 star
 (2004)
3 star
 (553)
2 star
 (169)
1 star
 (129)
Overall
4.5 (2889 )
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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Story
4.5 (2869 )
5 star
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4 star
 (737)
3 star
 (218)
2 star
 (43)
1 star
 (43)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Charles Battlement Mesa, Colorado, United States 05-05-05
    Charles Battlement Mesa, Colorado, United States 05-05-05 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    8
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    "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
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    3
    1
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    0
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    "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
  •  
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 01-08-05
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 01-08-05 Member Since 2015

    Listening since 2004. Mystery, thrillers and anything that can blend with a walk, jog, exercise, long drive or a wait at the airport.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    250
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    70
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    6
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    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.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    loix 12-11-04
    loix 12-11-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    382
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    45
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    FOLLOWING
    16
    1
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    "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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    "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
    592
    ratings
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    292
    114
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    105
    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
    75
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    228
    22
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    7
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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 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
    2
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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
    119
    ratings
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    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
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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.

    9 of 9 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.

    8 of 8 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.

    3 of 3 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.

    2 of 2 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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • a little bit of a grumpy old so and so
    London,UK
    2/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply a brilliant epic story"

    This is the harrowing tale of Amir from his early days in Afghanistan through to the U.S. and back to find the boyhood friend he betrayed. It's backdrop is a period of almost continuous war from the Russian invasion, through to the time of the brutal Taliban regime. It is harrowing in places, brilliantly written and performed and impossible to put down. In my top 10 any day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Melanie Gedge
    2/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "outstanding"

    Absolutely fantastic! Hosseini's voice really transports you to the streets of Kabul. A moving story which will stay with you forever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • missmandii
    1/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it!"

    Loved it, can't wait to read/listen to other books by this author! Bravo as the author said

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lisa
    1/10/15
    Overall
    "Breathtaking!"

    Could not leave the book if I wanted to. It became part of my thoughts. I had to keep listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Corrado M.
    10/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent"

    One of the best books I've come across. An incredible experience enriched by the narration of the Author himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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