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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 (6578 )
5 star
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4.5 (1918 )
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4.5 (1897 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 05-10-05
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 05-10-05

    Ace Chucker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    113
    4
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    Overall
    "Inspiring and disturbing"

    It was hard to want to continue listening to a young man so weak and self-absorbed, but I kept listening. Maybe it is because I thought he would mature, but more likely simply because the characters are just so real (I had to keep reminding myself that this is fiction).

    This book works on many levels. It does a terrific job telling the stories of people who live through internal turmoil and/or external tragedy, and grow from it. It also puts human faces and human emotions to individuals who live through tragedy in ethnic or religious conflict. It shows the challenges of immigration to the West, both in getting here and establishing a life, and it shows the sacrifices that parents make for their children. It is disturbing and inspiring at the same time.

    It is easily the best book that I have ?listened? to since I joined Audible, and I would highly recommend it to any other listener.

    3 of 3 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 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
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    30
    8
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    0
    1
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Mandurah, Australia 03-29-05
    Jan Mandurah, Australia 03-29-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Listen - don't read!"

    A friend recommended I read The Kite Runner - but finding it on Audible I chose to download and listen. I thoroughly recommend this option. The author's voice (and accent), reading his own story, gives it added drama and charisma. One of the very best books I have "read" through the magic of audible - it gave me hours of walking pleasure - in fact I extended my daily walk from 3 to 5 kilometers, so I could hear more!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Laguna Beach, CA, USA 11-23-04
    Leslie Laguna Beach, CA, USA 11-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    137
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Kite Runner"

    This year I have listened to 24 audio books and this is my favorite. Just an amazing book that manages to convey--in the author's own voice--the global universe that we are all becoming a part of, in its horror and its promise.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Vancouver, WA, USA 10-27-04
    Jane Vancouver, WA, USA 10-27-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    164
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "A good book"

    The Kite Runner is not an upbeat book. It is more like a classic Greek tragedy. Events and human frailty inevitable lead to pain and suffering. The book was sometimes disturbing, but there are bright moments. The writing style was excellent, the story engrossing, and the reading a listening pleasure. Add to that insights into Afghan culture and you have great book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry Grossman Bethesda, MD USA 08-31-04
    Garry Grossman Bethesda, MD USA 08-31-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    1
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    1
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    "The Kite Runner--MAGNFICENT"

    This could be the best book you read this year. And the reading performance by the author is nothing short of inspired. My sole disappointment was that I wanted the book to be nonfiction!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Kennedy 02-29-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    58
    11
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    0
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    Story
    "Really.?!?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different book entirely.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Brother Fish


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    This book is a weak attempt. Are you 5 star people fans of Jerry Springer and Judge Judy? This is the only demographic that can think this is a worthy read. Please warn people that this is a book of outlandish stereotypes, pedophiles and wussy's.


    2 of 2 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
    513
    ratings
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    262
    109
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    100
    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rosie Australia 10-12-09
    rosie Australia 10-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    81
    8
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    "Haunting"

    A well told story of a man's journey through life and the deeds of the past that haunt him. Thoroughly engaging.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany Corona, CA, United States 06-01-09
    Tiffany Corona, CA, United States 06-01-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
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    60
    37
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    9
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    "Loved It!"

    This starts out slow. In fact, I was complaining to a friend that it was so boring I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. But once you get past the important set up, this has to be one of my favorite books. It's all about how seemingly simple decisions can alter the course of your life. I loved the glimpse into another culture and the getting the narrator's (the author in this case) perfect pronunciation.

    My only issue is that it starts out saying it is an Audible kids book, which it absolutely should not be. This is defintely adult material. Not only that, the themes of coming to terms with growing up and one's past would be beyond most kids. Other than that, I highly recommend this book. It's a wonderful read (listen)!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 479 results PREVIOUS123448NEXT
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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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