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.
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
"The best book ever"
I read or listen to a book everyday, this one is by far the best, and I know that it will always be. This is an extremely emotionally powerful one, that now I finished for over a week, still living in the touching strength of such an amazing childhood friendship. Overall it's a simple book, with a simple story, but the guilt, love, trust and sacrifice, are played so well by the author. He allowed each emotion develop naturally, inside you, then a twist to push it to the next level with an event that's surprising but totally reasonable and believable.
I found that the author's own reading could have been better, but for a perfect story and well-written lines like this, it doesn't matter at all. He's definitely my favourite writer now.
All in all, get this book, and give it to your children, and grandchildren, and their children.
Oh yeh, this is made into a film too, in case you didn't know. Same name. Fantastic.
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
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.
a fab book. beautifully read. listened to it again and again.
"Hated the main character"
Didn't enjoy the book at all, maybe it's just me but the main character was evil.
"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.
"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!
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.
This story is a bit too good. Be careful. If you do not cry you are not human.
"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.
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