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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 (7352 )
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Performance
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  •  
    R. David Mintz 07-13-05

    rdavidm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
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    "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
    76
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    "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
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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
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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
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    "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
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    "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
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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
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    "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
  •  
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 12-06-04
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 12-06-04
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    "Amazing"

    I've been listening to books at Audible since August 2004 This is, without a doubt, one of the very BEST books I've heard. I couldn't put it down and I highly recommend it to everyone. I'm looking forward to his next book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ira 04-28-04
    Ira 04-28-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Makes you angry but riveting"

    Although it is long, includes an uncountable number of scenes and settings, and is based on a character who can be so self-absorbed that it makes your blood boil at times in anger and frustration, it all fits together quite well. I am recommending this to my book club.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Elizabeth Davies
    1/14/08
    Overall
    "Heartbreaking"

    I could only listen to the first two hours - it was hearbreaking. I have deleted it. I am not criticising the author or reader, it was just too sad.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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