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The Kite Runner Audiobook

The Kite Runner

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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 (9698 )
5 star
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4.6 (4727 )
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Story
4.5 (4697 )
5 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
    35
    ratings
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    97
    10
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    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
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    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 E Saller Brea, CA United States 06-01-09
    Tiffany E Saller Brea, CA United States 06-01-09 Member Since 2007

    tsaller

    HELPFUL VOTES
    162
    ratings
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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
  •  
    Allen Larchmont, NY, USA 08-18-08
    Allen Larchmont, NY, USA 08-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
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    18
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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
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-28-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
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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
  •  
    Marcy Raleigh, NC, USA 11-16-05
    Marcy Raleigh, NC, USA 11-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    13
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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
    25
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    25
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    "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 08-07-05
    Sylvia 08-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
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    "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
  •  
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05 Member Since 2005

    game_maker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
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    32
    16
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    1
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    Overall
    "What a whiner"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Carrie
    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
  • MRM
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Disturbing yet heart-warming tale"

    It was wonderful to have this amazing book read by the author himself. He writes and reads with such sensitivity. He brings to life an era of Afghan history which is now gone. The changing perspectives of the narrator as a child and an adult provide a very human dimension. I became completely absorbed in the character. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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

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