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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 (9237 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.6 (4310 )
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (4277 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05 Member Since 2005

    game_maker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    16
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    0
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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
  •  
    Shaddi Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 07-25-05
    Shaddi Laguna Niguel, CA, United States 07-25-05 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    425
    23
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A must read!"

    In these times, this story is a beautiful introduction to the afgani culture and people. You learn about the people you hear about on the news in the context of a beautifully written story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. David Mintz 07-13-05

    rdavidm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    327
    15
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    0
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    Overall
    "Amazing...beautiful...profound"

    This is the best Audible book I have ever enjoyed. Brilliantly written, read wonderfully by the author, absorbing from start to finish...I loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Tulare, CA, United States 06-01-05
    Douglas Tulare, CA, United States 06-01-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    80
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    547
    19
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Mixed Review"

    The first half of the book to me was rather boring. The second half picked up the pace and became more interesting, though still, I nearly gave up and started another book before finishing this one. In all fairness however, I would have to say that the book is very well written. The author fills his pages with rich descriptions of characters and places, which I assume are accurate and authentic in regards to life in Afghanistan. Also, as the narrator, he adds another dimension to the story that I think would be lacking if you read the book instead. In summary, I can't say that I'm sorry I used a book credit for this purchase, but on the other hand, I certainly wouldn't recommend it to fellow listeners unless one is very interested in the various elements of Afghan culture.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilke Chatham, NJ, USA 05-11-05
    Hilke Chatham, NJ, USA 05-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    26
    2
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    0
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    "Absolutely captivating"

    This is a very powerful and touching story of friendship. It is also about loyalty and betrayal. It's written beautifully and narrated just as well. Absolutely captivating--you will love this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol T. Carr Lake Monticello, VA 05-04-05
    Carol T. Carr Lake Monticello, VA 05-04-05 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    227
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    43
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    0
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    "High Praise"

    In this remarkable book, Hosseini has created faces we can recognize in the hundreds of images of the war in Afghanistan that we've all seen in our newspapers and on our televisions. His portrayal of characters whose lives have been thrown into total upheaval, who have had to face the challenges of adulthood while still children, who are thrown into situations for which they have no training or skill and who still manage to survive is incredibly well-done. The people he creates are truly alive; you cry and bleed with them. And you hope with them too.

    I agree with some critics that there are some rough edges arising from this being a first novel, and there may be some convenient coincidences to bring the book to its conclusion. But the book is at heart a comparison of life as the fantasies that we create and life as the harsh realities we cannot avoid and must learn to deal with. The author's strong use of first person present tense is a powerful tool he uses in creating the tension of this underlying theme of reality vs. unreality. All this is painted with a broad brush of the Afghan culture -- it's folk tales, poetry, religion, native symbolism, all peppered with a bit of Afghan "recklessness" and whimsy -- that leaves one very curious to learn more about these people. It is a notable book from that perspective alone.

    The author as reader was good; he brought authenticity and made it a personal experience. It is hard to keep clear in one's mind that this is fiction.

    I highly recommend this book as an adventure into a cultural experience that most of us will never know, and to meet people who are well worth knowing, if only to discover those bits of humanity that are common to us all no matter how diverse our lives may be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tierney USA 04-08-05
    Tierney USA 04-08-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A Literary Masterpiece"

    My friends and I read this book for our book group. While everyone else read the paper book, I was fortunate to be able to listen to the book, read by the author. It was incredible to listen to the author read the story and to hear the correct pronunciation of all the places and names. The story seems more real because a person with the appropriate accent read the story and it sounded like a first person narration of their life. The story itself is spectacular. Difficult at times to listen to the utter cruelity, class systems and destruction of a country and it's people. The journey is worthwhile and the book is deeply, deeply moving. Some scenes are so incredibly beautiful they took my breath away for a moment. It is comparable to a great work by John Steinbeck or Ernest Hemingway. It's actually a 6 star book. What a gift the author has given readers by writing this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Enid, OK, USA 01-30-05
    Robert Enid, OK, USA 01-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "What a great story!"

    If you only read or listen to one piece of fiction this year, it should be this book. You know that feeling you get when you read a powerful story? Well... I had that feeling when I listened to this book. The author does a wonderful job presenting his work. I will be telling all my literaturephile friends about this novel. This novel contains two of the most important elements of a novel. The authors has created compelling characters, and the protagonist/narrator embarks upon a life changing journey.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa 01-24-05
    Theresa 01-24-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
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    69
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "A good"

    I have found some stories difficult to follow without being able to see the written word. The Kiterunner, however,is a great story to hear. I'll confess though, being a visual learner, I had to pick up a copy and read the first chapter in a boookstore just to cement the names in my head. I will look forward to listening to more of Khaled Hosseini's great stories in the future. I highly recommend this as an audio book. A great listen!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matissa Hanover, NH, USA 12-22-04
    Matissa Hanover, NH, USA 12-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "I really enjoyed it"

    After reading the other reviews of this book, I was prepared to really hate the main character and squirm through the first part of the book (I'm the kind of person who changes the channel on TV when things become too awkward or annoying). Perhaps because I was prepared for it, I didn't didn't find the character nearly as intolerable as the other listeners. I found it to be an interesting portrayal of a child's self-centered world. His behavior is not admirable, but it's also not unrealistic. I found the last third of the book a little overly-dramatic, but certainly an interesting read. Overall, I greatly appreciated the view this book provided into life in Afghanistan in the 1970s (at least among the upper-class), Afghani culture, the impact of the many wars and the Taliban on the country, and the experience of Afghani immigrants in the US. The author's reading of the book provided an even richer context.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Julie
    Westcliff, Essex, United Kingdom
    12/25/10
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    If you want a real treat then this is well worth a credit
    Never heard a bad word against this as a novel and as an audiobook it works wonderfully.
    Thoroughly enjoyable. Very well written and read
    Highly recommended if you want something absorbing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rowan
    pembroke dock, United Kingdom
    11/22/10
    Overall
    "Simply brilliant"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • A User
    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
  • Yogita
    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

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