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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 (7657 )
5 star
 (4795)
4 star
 (2009)
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 (554)
2 star
 (170)
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 (129)
Overall
4.5 (2902 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (2881 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kevin Boynton Beach, FL, USA 09-03-05
    Kevin Boynton Beach, FL, USA 09-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Absorbing and emotional"

    This is an outstanding story. I loved it almost as much for the history lesson as the story itself. The characters are real. Many have commmented about the arrogance of and how self-absorbed the main character is. Very true in many ways and yet he is still a sympathetic character. I agree that you never know what you're going to get when the author reads their own work (listen to the sample first chapter of 'Eldest' read by Christopher Paolini if you doubt that!). I think the author's narration here is great. His accent draws you into this world and makes it real. I don't know how he'd be reading other's work, but he was great reading this one. Definitely one of my favorite books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse Portland, OR, USA 08-30-05
    Jesse Portland, OR, USA 08-30-05 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Absolutly Fantastic!"

    I?ve listened to a lot of books from audible. Never have I so thoroughly enjoyed a book as I did this one! I have never rated a book either. For this one, I was simply compelled. Do yourself a favor? listen to this riveting story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Bothell, WA, United States 08-30-05
    Sherry Bothell, WA, United States 08-30-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    18
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Authors shouldn't read their own books"

    This may be an excellent book but the reading of it is slow and boring. If read by a pro, it would have kept my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Huntsville, TX, United States 08-28-05
    Cathy Huntsville, TX, United States 08-28-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    205
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Wonderful!!"

    I loved this book. It is hard to understand different cultures, especially from the part of the world that is so painful to us. The characters are so well developed. The protagonist had more bad qualities than good and struggled to become good. The author-narrator read the book beautifully. I have a rule to only listen to my audible book when I was exercising but broke that rule. I could not turn my player off.
    At first, I didn't want to be sympathetic or caring about someone from "over there". I didn't think I would like this book. I watched the ratings of other listeners for a long time and thought I would give it a try. I'm glad I did.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Rice, VA, United States 08-28-05
    Joan Rice, VA, United States 08-28-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
    22
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    0
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    Overall
    "Touching beyond description"

    This book is one I'll remember for a long time to come. The narration is excellent and adds to the authenticity of the story. The story, as I listened, stayed with me after turning off my Muvo. The book offers a beautifully told description of events in Afghanastan from the 60's to the 90's. It's a story about acceptance and forgiveness and family secrets. Words fail me - this book is simply awesome.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ManchesterSteve Clinton, NJ United States 08-26-05
    ManchesterSteve Clinton, NJ United States 08-26-05 Listener Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    2
    Overall
    "A satisfying story, with a nice touch of irony"

    Well rounded and crafted narrative with a sublime sense of irony in the telling. Well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M newark, NJ, USA 08-26-05
    M newark, NJ, USA 08-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Beautiful"

    This is a great book to read and even more beautiful story to hear read to you by the author. He's a great story teller. This was a moving story, i'm so glad i downloaded the audible version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doreen Peterson Asheville, North Carolina United States 08-25-05
    Doreen Peterson Asheville, North Carolina United States 08-25-05 Member Since 2001
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    Overall
    "Spellbinding!"

    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I hope when the movie is made - and someone will definitely do this if they are not already in the process - the book should not be changed in any way. This is absolutely spellbinding, touching, poignant and horrifying, and Khaled Hosseini narrates so well that he immediately draws you into the book and you feel that you are living his life along with him. I was so sorry when the book ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Marrero Austin, TX 08-24-05
    L. Marrero Austin, TX 08-24-05 Listener Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Fantastic, gripping read"

    I have never written an Audible review before, but was compelled to write this one. I was hesitant to commit to a very lengthy unabridged book, but... wow. I couldn't put it down. I think it's good to warn people, however, that the content is disturbing-- children get brutally hurt, I'll just say that. The themes of loyalty and redemption are what make it so worthwhile. The author is the perfect person to read this work-- his pronunciations and obvious passion for the story really come through. The character development was excellent-- I felt I knew these people. I loved getting a sense of Afghanistan and learning more about the history and traditions. This is a GREAT read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold 08-24-05
    Arnold 08-24-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    262
    30
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    1
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    Overall
    "Terrific"

    This is one of my favorite audio books of all time. A very compelling story in its own right, and also informative as to life in Afghanistan and the changes wrought there over the years. The author's reading of the book is outstanding and his accent makes the story all the more convincing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • Paul & Susy
    London United Kingdom
    5/17/08
    Overall
    "Painted and insightful picture of Afghanistan"

    It's a story of honour, regret and redemption; and two families divided by ethnic prejudice.

    2 of 2 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

    2 of 2 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

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