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.
"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)
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)!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was interested in this for two reasons. 1) Like everyone else, I'm interested to learn about Afghani culture in the wake of recent events, and 2) it's a local interest story to me in Fremont.
I didn't know quite what to expect in terms of plot, and was ready to go along with the autobiographical nature of the book.
Then I learned that the author is a bit of a weasel. A spineless, spoiled coward, with no character. He disappoints at every turn, and then spends the latter parts of the book trying to make amends. He does some good deeds, but they still reek of selfishness.
Finally, the writing itself is of mediocre quality, so even if you wanted to taste the truth of his character, the bitter with the sweet, the book is just plain not enjoyable.
I loved this book from start to finish. Iv been telling anyone who would listen to get it. Aparently people already know. iv been out of the loop but so so happy im back in it. Cant wait to try his next book.
a fab book. beautifully read. listened to it again and again.
"Hated the main character"
Didn't enjoy the book at all, maybe it's just me but the main character was evil.
"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.
"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!
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.
This story is a bit too good. Be careful. If you do not cry you are not human.
"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.
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!
"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.
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