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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 (10105 )
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4.6 (5084 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    R. David Mintz 07-13-05

    rdavidm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    102
    ratings
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    328
    15
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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
  •  
    Hilke Chatham, NJ, USA 05-11-05
    Hilke Chatham, NJ, USA 05-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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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
    230
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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
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    2
    1
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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
    7
    ratings
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    4
    4
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    1
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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
    96
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    69
    3
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    6
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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
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    2
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    Overall
    "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
    69
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    8
    7
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    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-20-11
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-20-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    728
    ratings
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    326
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What am I missing here?"

    I tried to finish this book - really - I don't give up on audio books easily especially considering that I only have one precious credit every month. Is there something in the last few chapters moving or earth shattering enough to warrant trudging through to the end? The narrator is fine - but the story is just so blah I found myself unable to connect to it. I have over 80 books in my library now (ok - so I've bought a lot of them above and beyond that one credit per month) so I'm not expecting to be over the moon every time - but at least give me something I want to come back to. Sorry to all those who think this book is brilliant - I just don't get it.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
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  • MRM
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Disturbing yet heart-warming tale"

    It was wonderful to have this amazing book read by the author himself. He writes and reads with such sensitivity. He brings to life an era of Afghan history which is now gone. The changing perspectives of the narrator as a child and an adult provide a very human dimension. I became completely absorbed in the character. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    The Kite Runner is the first book I have read by Khaled Hosseini and it is without doubt one of the most moving I have ever experienced. At times it had me close to tears (not quite as I am a man...) and on a few occasions laughing out loud. I also downloaded, A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author which was also decent but not on the same level. Not too long in duration. Highly recommended by myself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Loved it!"

    This was one of the very first audiobooks that I purchased and from then on I was hooked. The story was beautiful, humbling, frightening and inspiring. An excellent book of modern day Afghanistan providing vivid context of the life and trials of it people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raj
    COVENTRY, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Loved this"

    Once I started this, I couldn't stop listening. It's really well written and read. Recommend it to anyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE
    Hayling Island, UK
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Great story - tissues needed for lots of tears!"

    A great story which takes the reader through a myriad of emotions - be prepared for tears!



    I loved the twists and turns of the story - most of which I could never have predicted.



    Without wanting to, I always had great sympathy for the central character - his misdemeanours were obviously key to the plot and had such devastating effects and yet, I felt so sorry for him.



    The descriptions of the characters and scenery was powerful and deep so it made them very believable, and I thought that the story may have been autobiographical until I checked!



    Well written and powerful.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Abergavenny, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant novel"

    A wonderful novel, compelling characters against a complex, tragic but all-too-real background. Excellent narration. Couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    8/19/12
    Overall
    "Good but strangely boring at times."

    This is a difficult review to write. The story IS interesting, and the writing IS good, and afterwards I felt GOOD about having read the book, but I still can't help but be a bit bored by the idea of this book. Maybe it is just so far removed from my world, but... I like fantasy books too, and I certainly am no hobbit...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ricard
    ashford, United Kingdom
    7/18/12
    Overall
    "An emotional journey"

    A stunning journey full of the highs and lows of life in a country will only see as troubled. The author has made a classic and after listening with a smile and a tear I have purchased his other book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Liam
    mirfield, United Kingdom
    5/29/11
    Overall
    "Simply wonderful"

    A beautiful story that gives an excellent and fresh approach to the life of Afghan people and helped me dispel many of my misconceptions about Afghanistan.

    The writer reads the story well (an important feature of all good audiobooks) and givestrue heart and soul to the writing.

    A fantastic purchase!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Arron
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    1/14/11
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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