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)
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 first half of this book was excellent. About the point where the main character, Amir, returns to Afghanistan, however, it starts to fall apart. The remarkable character development which so powerfully moved the first half of the book disappears in favour of blatant manipulation of characters. A close family friend, for example, is reduced to nothing more than a plot device, who conveniently disappears when he is no longer needed.
This could almost be pardoned, amid the excitement in that part of the book (it's really quite thrilling), except that, after climax & denouement, Hosseini starts in on another plot line, which manages to feel forced, even though it is realistic. Then, as though, realizing that it's just not working, there is a deus ex machina fix, before a rather slow, melancholy "there is no such thing as a fairy-tale ending" wraps things up.
It *is* his first effort though, and, assuming his editors wake up a bit, I have high hopes for "A Thousand Splendid Suns."
A good plot, detailed description but lacking in enthusiasm, suspense and humor. Some readers found the book to drag on for the first couple hours. I found it to drag on for about 7 hours. I almost gave up at the end of part one but decided to finish it. Part two did improve and the writer’s skill did come out and he somewhat redeemed himself and the book. I found benefit in the books giving me some cultural education which helps me understand the Afghan people better. I need a book like this to provide me with some comic relief, something funny to break up the discouragement. I don’t understand why so many people loved this book; I did not.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"Painted and insightful picture of Afghanistan"
It's a story of honour, regret and redemption; and two families divided by ethnic prejudice.
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
"Wow, what a story!"
I loved this book it gave a new insight into the troubles of Afghanistan, brutal in parts, made me flinch but for all that a great tale of love, betrayal & consequence. Didn't want it to end & the author Khaled Hosseini was a brilliant narrator!
This is the best audio book I have ever heard, and is easily in the top 10 books I've come across in my 47 years
The lead character is beautifully flawed. The characters are real, you can feel them, you can smell them and you can relate to their humanity.
This is the first book I've heard the author perform but I will listen to anything he does in the future and read everything he writes.
I listened to the whole book in a day and a half! I wanted to eek it out but I could. I will actually read it at some point in the future, it is that good.
Beautiful and immense in it's humanity.
"A life enhancing experience in Reading this bookI"
I actually feel ashamed of the really stereo type opinion I had of Afganastan and it's people before reading this book . It really opened my eyes to the fact that away from all the horrors of the war and terrorism , the ordinary people are just like us and love their families .
The graphic descriptions of the feelings and emotions of the main character , and how one seemingly random incident can colour and affect the rest of your life .
I felt in all honesty that all the main characters carried equal weight in the story , at different times in the life of the main character .
The book had a real emotional effect on me in that I finished the story wishing I could know what happened next . Clearly not just a happy ending , but an idea of how the horrors of the war would be affecting the next generation .
An excellent read and I would highly recommend it , but be prepared to have some of possibly preconceived ideas on the country and it's people overturned .
"A great book"
This is a great book; a brilliant story. Sci-Fi is my first love, but The Kite Runner slots effortlessly into my top-five. I feel like I've been to Afghanistan , admired Baba and been terrified of Assef. I want to sit on top of the hill and eat pomegranates and run kites.
This is, without doubt, one the best books I've ever read. There's nothing spare. Every word adds to the story, and I'm sorry I finished it today.
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