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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 (9238 )
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Performance
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  •  
    C. J. Richardson Mississippi, USA 07-21-06
    C. J. Richardson Mississippi, USA 07-21-06 Member Since 2001
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    "Fantastic Novel!"

    The novel is a bit slow to start, but shortly thereafter is entirely gripping. I was skeptical of an author-narrated audio book, but Husseini does a fantastic job and his accent immerses the listener even further into his beautifully created landscapes of Afghani locations and culture.

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Norwood Fresno, CA 07-14-06
    Paul Norwood Fresno, CA 07-14-06 Member Since 2011

    Paul Norwood

    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    32
    16
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    "Great Choice"

    This is one of the three books which is required reading for the incoming class of Stanford University, next year (Fall 2006). I thought I would listen to it, though I wouldn't have generally chosen it. I like history and shy away from fiction. This book does not read like fiction and I wonder if many of the events did take place though there are some coincidences that can only be ficticious. I will find out from my daughter when she meets the author at Stanford. My daughter had a hard time reading the book because the author failed his best friend as well as himself. I encouraged my daughter to push on because our hero redeems himself. Every American should read this to feel the humanity of this Muslim author, the common ideas and philosophies we have in common and to experience the life in Afghanistan at its best and worst. The reader is excellent with just the right amount of accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Horn 06-21-06
    L. Horn 06-21-06 Listener Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    309
    13
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    "A must-read"

    This is an incredible story that pulls you in from the beginning and never lets go. Narrated in the 1st person, and against a historical background of Afghanistan, you have to keep reminding yourself it's a novel, not an amazing and touching autobiography. Excellent story, well-narrated...one of those books you hate for it to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice Timonium, MD, USA 06-11-06
    Alice Timonium, MD, USA 06-11-06
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    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    "excellent"

    A friend recommended this book and I was a bit skeptical because she described it as "depressing and compelling but a good book" I was caught after the first page. A great writing and a great book to learn about the country of Afganastan, its culture and history. You must read this one, it is excellent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Fayetteville, AR, USA 06-05-06
    Betty Fayetteville, AR, USA 06-05-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    12
    4
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    "Riveting"

    I cried, I laughed, I shared with my husband and son. I recommend this book highly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 06-02-06
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 06-02-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    12
    3
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    "A classic"

    This is one of the best books I've ever read. The author reading the book makes the experience even better. This is a heartbreaking story of love, loss, and redemption. It also provides a great history of Afghanistan and what it was like before the wars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jarrett queen creek, AZ, USA 05-31-06
    Jarrett queen creek, AZ, USA 05-31-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
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    "Amazing"

    I LOVED IT!!!
    It took some consentration to follow along in the begining, All the names and places sounded alike to me at first but a few chapters into it I was HOOKED!
    It took me into a whole new world. It really gives you a reality check that there are other places that exist in this world than America with a Wal-mart and Mc Donalds on every corner. It made me want to go vist Kabul and it gave me a reality check that the imigrants that we have living and working in our country may have been really humbled in order to come here. They may have been big wigs in their country and now are forced to work at a seven eleven. I guess it gave me a sense of compassion for those that I interact with that aren't born and raised american.
    I also really liked (unike a reviewer below) that the main character was selfish. So many of us are. He did what he did and and I think it was a great portrayal of reality. Not everyone gets that enlightened moment...the I should do this for someone else not for me (feel good)moment that we like to see in movies and books.
    Over all This was by far the most interesting book I have ever read (listened to)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Apokis 05-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    9
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    "Must read!"

    This book is a "must read" for all the reasons other reviewers have mentioned. Just know that in the 4 years I have been a subscriber of Audible this is the first time I have made an effort to write a review. This book is compelling, engaging, original, well written and well read by the author. It has drama, humour, tragedy, hope and suspense. Do not wait for the movie - download it now and enjoy one of the most original works of fiction you will "read". A true masterpiece!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernadette Tacoma, WA, USA 04-28-06
    Bernadette Tacoma, WA, USA 04-28-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    2
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    "A well told must read."

    This story read by the author makes it personal and real. The reader gets an authentic experience of the time period and the culture. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DeClawed 04-27-06
    DeClawed 04-27-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    183
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    Overall
    "Good Book but Disliked the Main Character"

    Many of the reviews I read before talked about how wonderful this book was as a tale of friendship, betrayal and redemption. Frankly, I think it's well written, well plotted, and as other reviewers have noted, tremendously interesting in its portrayal of the Afghanistan that was before the Taliban.

    But I found myself repeatedly and increasingly angry with the main character, Amir. I rarely have found a less sympathetic character. Even as he gets older and supposedly enters the "redemption phase" of his tale, he continues to be a self-centered, selfish individual. The selfless act he performs as redemption is motivated by his own shame, not ever the well-being of the individuals involved. He continues to be obtuse and inconsiderate of others throughout the book. I can't say that was enjoyable, particularly as his moments of supposed self awareness still taught him so little about the events in his life and his *real* culpability, his *real* sins.

    The story of the people around him and the land and history during which the story took place are well-crafted and very interesting. Still worth a listen, but not remotely as uplifting as I had hoped or expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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