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The Kite Runner Audiobook

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 (8220 )
5 star
 (5198)
4 star
 (2116)
3 star
 (590)
2 star
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1 star
 (135)
Overall
4.5 (3414 )
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
 (53)
Story
4.5 (3382 )
5 star
 (2185)
4 star
 (842)
3 star
 (259)
2 star
 (53)
1 star
 (43)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stewart Kennedy 02-29-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
  •  
    rosie Australia 10-12-09
    rosie Australia 10-12-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    156
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Allen Larchmont, NY, USA 08-18-08
    Allen Larchmont, NY, USA 08-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Ear vs Eye"

    I have listened to this book and just now saw the movie. I have to vote for the spoken word in this case. Mr. Hosseini's accent is lyrical and adds a unique quality to this material that would be missing in the film or print. I hold this in the same high regard as Frank McCourt reading Angela's Ashes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-28-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Powerfully written"

    What an incredible story. It's inconceivable to me that this is fiction. If so, Hosseini's ability to develop characters with such depth and intensity is a true gift. The story is wrapped with such detail and emotion is was difficult to put down. Don't cut yourself short with the abridged version, you will want to hold onto every single word!

    2 of 2 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
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcy Raleigh, NC, USA 11-16-05
    Marcy Raleigh, NC, USA 11-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "You must read this book!!!"

    We've all done it, stood and watched when we should have interefered, lay silent when we should have spoken up, especially as children. Amir had the luxury of being born into the right family, which is about all the kid as going for him in the beginning. This story introduces an Afghanistan that many of us do not know. It is timely and relevent to what's going on in the world. As readers we are taken on a journey with Amir to reconcile his character deficiencies in a country he no longer recognizes. Through will and determination he did not posess as a child, he is able to atone for his sins and "make everything right". This is a beautiful, heart wrenching story that I know I will never forget. It has affected me deeply, for which I am thankful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    College Student 09-14-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Wow"

    Wow, this is a true gem. The story is vivid and compelling and translates into spoken word marvelously. Even more amazing (for some reason) the author has a real day job, he is a physician??

    As for listening, having the author narrate can be a risky proposition, but Khaled has a wonderful voice and brings a feeling and flavour to his work that adds another dimension to an already great tale.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. J. Hodges Sunnyvale, Ca USA 09-02-05
    R. J. Hodges Sunnyvale, Ca USA 09-02-05 Member Since 2008

    kendoka_ca

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Outstanding work"

    This book truly captivated me. I listen to Audible books often on my lengthy commute, but this time I spent considerable "driveway" time listening to this book. I would routinely arrive home but not be able to stop listening to the compelling story playing through my car sound system.

    The poignant story itself will be enough to hold most listeners interest, but the rich language that creates the vivid landscape in which the story unfolds is addicting. The primary character's childhood fears, selfishness and angst is the core of the story and is revealed in the first person in an intimate and provocative way. The symmetry of the the entire story, from beginning to end, evolves naturally and completely. It is impossible not to be touched by this story.

    This book is also unique in that the narration is done by the author himself. Like many of the reviewers whose reviews I have read and found helpful, I have come to make my Audible.com selections as much for the narrators as for the authors themselves. My favorite slections have been those when a great story was matched with wonderful narration. This was such a case. The author/narrator's subtle accent and fluent pronunciation of Afghan names and places reinforced the authenticity of the book. Beyond that, his voice and the production quality of the recording was outstanding.

    If I was going to guess what the author himself would most want to hear is that he has told a wonderful story in an authentic voice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia 08-07-05
    Sylvia 08-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Just excellent"

    I've listened to many audiobooks, but this was the best so far. The narrator is excellent and the story is incredible and easy to follow. The length of this book is justified -- just the right amount of detail. I will definitely listen to this one again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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
  • 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

    3 of 3 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
  • 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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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