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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 (7655 )
5 star
 (4794)
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 (2008)
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4.5 (2879 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alison New Hope, PA, USA 08-11-05
    Alison New Hope, PA, USA 08-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    180
    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
  •  
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 05-10-05
    Alan M. Gellatly Winnipeg, Canada 05-10-05

    Ace Chucker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    113
    4
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    "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
  •  
    Jan 03-29-05
    Jan 03-29-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    "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
    22
    ratings
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    137
    4
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    "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 10-27-04
    Jane 10-27-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    177
    4
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    0
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    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
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    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
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 04-04-14
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1844
    ratings
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    508
    209
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    Story
    "A Timeless Story of Guilt and Redemption and Hope"

    I had been told that this book was wonderful. I have to admit that after the first 1.5 hours of listening I was bored out of my skull. If I hadn't committed to read it for the book circle I'm in, I would have stopped. Then like a sudden gust, they story took shape and I was hooked. This is a story about guilt and coming of age in a country of turmoil. It is about friendship,jealously, fear, betrayal, redemption and anguish. But is also a story of hope and determination.

    The story is read by the author and though his pace his slow, I think he makes the book come alive. There are plenty of allusions that after you complete the novel that you will ponder. If you are a romance, sci-fi or thriller lover you will find this book tiring. Yet, if you like thrillers and near-to-true-life stories, it is a must. I give it a solid thumbs up.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 05-25-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 05-25-13 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    174
    ratings
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    381
    226
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    "Thousand times over better than expected"

    This book pulled me in like no other in recent memory with its tale of betrayal, heart break, bravery, rendition, forgiveness, and full on unconditional love. I have seen the movie which was beautifully done but the book was so much more layered and engrossing. Best book I have read in along time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-03-13
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 03-03-13 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    898
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    "Afghanistan, Islam, and Two Little Boys . . . WOW!"

    Having two sons who have served in the Middle East during the Gulf War, I wanted to glimpse inside the window of how we got to where we are today . . . WOW . . . this is a wonderful STORY, first of all, of the friendship between two young boys, from two different "classes" . . . something that kids pay no attention to . . . and the journey they undertake . . . the historical perspective will give you a lesson you won't soon forget . . . into a people and a country that has been under seize for centuries . . . the human faces of the boys will grab your heart . . . and tear it out . . .

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Kennedy 02-29-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    58
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    0
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    "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
Sort by:
  • 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
  • Andy
    Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Loved it!"

    This was one of the very first audiobooks that I purchased and from then on I was hooked. The story was beautiful, humbling, frightening and inspiring. An excellent book of modern day Afghanistan providing vivid context of the life and trials of it people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raj
    COVENTRY, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Loved this"

    Once I started this, I couldn't stop listening. It's really well written and read. Recommend it to anyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE
    Hayling Island, UK
    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 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Abergavenny, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant novel"

    A wonderful novel, compelling characters against a complex, tragic but all-too-real background. Excellent narration. Couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    8/19/12
    Overall
    "Good but strangely boring at times."

    This is a difficult review to write. The story IS interesting, and the writing IS good, and afterwards I felt GOOD about having read the book, but I still can't help but be a bit bored by the idea of this book. Maybe it is just so far removed from my world, but... I like fantasy books too, and I certainly am no hobbit...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ricard
    ashford, United Kingdom
    7/18/12
    Overall
    "An emotional journey"

    A stunning journey full of the highs and lows of life in a country will only see as troubled. The author has made a classic and after listening with a smile and a tear I have purchased his other book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Liam
    mirfield, United Kingdom
    5/29/11
    Overall
    "Simply wonderful"

    A beautiful story that gives an excellent and fresh approach to the life of Afghan people and helped me dispel many of my misconceptions about Afghanistan.

    The writer reads the story well (an important feature of all good audiobooks) and givestrue heart and soul to the writing.

    A fantastic purchase!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arron
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    1/14/11
    Overall
    "The best book ever"

    I read or listen to a book everyday, this one is by far the best, and I know that it will always be. This is an extremely emotionally powerful one, that now I finished for over a week, still living in the touching strength of such an amazing childhood friendship. Overall it's a simple book, with a simple story, but the guilt, love, trust and sacrifice, are played so well by the author. He allowed each emotion develop naturally, inside you, then a twist to push it to the next level with an event that's surprising but totally reasonable and believable.

    I found that the author's own reading could have been better, but for a perfect story and well-written lines like this, it doesn't matter at all. He's definitely my favourite writer now.

    All in all, get this book, and give it to your children, and grandchildren, and their children.

    Oh yeh, this is made into a film too, in case you didn't know. Same name. Fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Westcliff, Essex, United Kingdom
    12/25/10
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    If you want a real treat then this is well worth a credit
    Never heard a bad word against this as a novel and as an audiobook it works wonderfully.
    Thoroughly enjoyable. Very well written and read
    Highly recommended if you want something absorbing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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