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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 (7457 )
5 star
 (4664)
4 star
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3 star
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4.5 (2717 )
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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 (2698 )
5 star
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4 star
 (687)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stewart Kennedy 02-29-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    9
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    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
    145
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
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    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
    56
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    18
    16
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    "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
  •  
    11-28-07
    11-28-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    0
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    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    10
    2
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    0
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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.

    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
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    13
    1
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    0
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    "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
    18
    ratings
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    23
    7
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    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
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    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 Lac Le Jeune, British Columbia, Canada 08-07-05
    Sylvia Lac Le Jeune, British Columbia, Canada 08-07-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    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:
  • beverley spencer
    6/16/10
    Overall
    "great"

    a fab book. beautifully read. listened to it again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ross
    Duns, berwickshire, United Kingdom
    6/1/10
    Overall
    "Hated the main character"

    Didn't enjoy the book at all, maybe it's just me but the main character was evil.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jessy
    Loughborough, Leics., United Kingdom
    9/17/09
    Overall
    "Good, but ...."

    I loved 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' and preferred it to this book. Perhaps it is because the central character is flawed. Perhaps it is because we are all flawed but somehow, in a way I am finding difficult to describe, this book ended unsatisfactorily for me. See what you think. It's well worth a listen, and maybe I'll understand the messages better @ my 2nd listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    6/5/09
    Overall
    "I've loved this book!"

    This is a fantastic story, read passionately by the author which somehow lends the narration an authentic feel. The main charciter, Amir, has a fatally flawed personality, but ultimately finds redeption for both his sins, and that of the previous generation. Without giving too much away, this book has moved me to tears in public, made me breathless with anticipation and fright - you must not miss it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    SALE, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    5/16/09
    Overall
    "The Kiterunner"

    I really enjoyed this book, that the author himself narrates this story makes you feel like you are almost accompanying him during this tale. I was spell bound at times and found myself totally absorbed it the atmosphere of Afghanistan. By the end of it I also felt I had a much greater understanding of what life was like in late 20th C Afghanistan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sam
    southamptonUnited Kingdom
    11/23/08
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    This story is a bit too good. Be careful. If you do not cry you are not human.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    7/21/08
    Overall
    "Fly the KIte with the longer tail"

    It would be a great shame to opt for the abridged version of this fascinating story - best to go for the unabridged reading. The narrator adds the authenticity of voice to this presentation. It's important to remember that this is a work of fiction, crafted, refined, edited and sequenced rather than a documentary or simple relay of historical facts. Interesting to pick out what is real from what is invented, however - and the start of another journey.
    Really enjoyed this one, the meaning comes from the events portrayal rather than in symbol - but a thrilling contemporary story, with lots of resonance in our contemporary world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    4/18/08
    Overall
    "Eye-opening!"

    Despite the harrowing nature of this story, i was captivated from the very beginning. I read other reviewers mention that the author's narration was not good, but i have to disagree. It really added to the authenticity of the story, being able to hear the farsi words actually pronounced correctly. Even though the story moved through time and countries, i really felt i got a better understanding of afghan life and culture. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    3/22/08
    Overall
    "fantastic story, poor narrator"

    Having read the printed version, I could not recommend this book enough, but was very disappointed in this audible version because of the narrator. He may be an excellent author, but as a reader he speaks far too quickly, sometimes garbled, and I had to really concentrate to follow him. This meant the audible version was not a relaxing experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    St Julien -en- GenevoisFrance
    2/13/08
    Overall
    "fantastic"

    This is the most wonderful book I have ever listened to. I would happily have sat and listened in one sitting. Beautifully read by the author this enhances the story. I cannot recommend this highly enough if you only purchase 2 books this year let them be this one and A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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