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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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    7,333
  • 4 Stars
    2,627
  • 3 Stars
    686
  • 2 Stars
    220
  • 1 Stars
    154

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,094
  • 4 Stars
    1,296
  • 3 Stars
    366
  • 2 Stars
    85
  • 1 Stars
    70

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,300
  • 4 Stars
    1,155
  • 3 Stars
    323
  • 2 Stars
    90
  • 1 Stars
    75
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Rajesh
  • Ahmedabad Gujarat India
  • 01-08-05

For you my friend, a thousand times over

This book is written and read in the precise way it should have been. No blemishes. It is superb.

The book is not a lesson in Afghan history or Islam. If one is searching for a history lesson embedded in a good plot this is not the book. This is a story, a novel. A classic, gripping, engrossing story full of powerful characters. It will touch your soul and do not be surprised if you quietly wipe a tear or two during the listen as I did. Also, do not be surprised if you chuckle aloud while listening. The story is about a privileged weakling in Kabul and how he grows up with a moral burden, migrates to US and finally returns and to redeem himself. A folk hero like father, his servants son as a friend, a local bully and an immigrant Afghani General the characters are interesting and events around them thought provoking. All scenes in the book including the kite battles are well written. I could visualize everything and see it like a movie.

This was a good listen even through it did not fall under the genera of books I usually listen to. It was also a surprise as after a long time a non-thriller was so compelling and absorbing.

Go ahead. This book is for all taste buds. My favorite phrase form the book: For you my friend, a thousand times over.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Don't wait!

I kept passing on this book because of the war setting. It sounded too heavy and depressing. I'm so happy that I finally took a chance. This is a book that draws you in and keeps you thinking for long after it is over. It is one of those few books that I dreaded getting too close to the ending. I wanted more of the vivid writing and the deep storytelling. Happily, A Thousand Splended Suns was available and just as perfect! This will be a top 5 of mine for years to come. Don't think, just download and open yourself up to the story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charles
  • Battlement Mesa, Colorado, United States
  • 05-05-05

A novel better heard than read

Rather than reading this well-written and touching story, I am glad I listened to it. The reading by the author, an unpolished narrator with slightly accented English, seemed to make this first person exploration of a man's agonized discovery of himself exquisitely real.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patty
  • Carmel, IN, USA
  • 04-10-05

Wonderful

I have listened to this book twice now and I absolutely love it. I hope that the author writes a sequel because I just cannot get enough. The author reads the story in the accent of the characters which brings the story to life. Well done Dr.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

wonderful story

Just when I was tiring of my monthly selections at Audible.com, the good fortune directed me to this book. It was a little embarrassing walking around listening to this and getting teary-eyed (often) or bursting out laughing (not so often), but it was by far one of the best stories I listened to in a while, and the author's narration of the story had just the right amount of sentiment. I am already ready to go back for a second listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 12-17-03

What a surprise!

I took a chance on this book, not expecting much. What a great surprise! This was an excellent book. I loved the characters and the story. I will recommend this book to all my friends. This is my favorite book of the year.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • United States
  • 04-07-13

A beautiful story but narration ruined it for me

Would you try another book from Khaled Hosseini and/or Khaled Hosseini?

no

Would you be willing to try another book from Khaled Hosseini? Why or why not?

no. Khaled is a wonderful author. He is not a narrator. The performance ruined the book for me.

What didn’t you like about Khaled Hosseini’s performance?

The reading was bland, sterile, boring. Having listed to many books read by serious actors, I was stunned at the abysmal performance presented by Khaled Hosseini. I found it totally uninteresting and without passion - I could barely finish listening.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It is a beautiful story. I wish now I had read it instead of listening to the Audible version.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gordon
  • East Rockaway, NY, USA
  • 11-04-07

Touching and Heartfelt

I was prodded by a friend to read this book, and instead I bought it from Audible. I am so happy to have heard the narrative from the author because I believe that only in his voice would you feel the magnitude of his emotions. I can't imagine the same experience with my own voice as the narrator. The story is wonderful. Both painful and joyous...so real. If you open your heart, there's a real chance you will cry.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • Plano, TX, USA
  • 08-15-05

Should be Award Winning

If their was an award for books written and read by the author, this book should win. Truly a classic. I believe it will live on beyond the current year. It reveals so much of people and how they all have similar hopes and dreams. It makes a case for what the US is doing in the middle east and at the same time reveals the issues as internal to the countries there. I never would have guessed I would like this book. I was asked to read it by a friend. The audio version is a true delight. The author gives us the correct pronunciations which I could never have gotten from reading the book. The author gives us the true passion that existed in the charaters of his mind. Be prepared to feel strong emotion with this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alison
  • New Hope, PA, USA
  • 08-11-05

Riveting and well-read

This is a riveting novel, with wonderful characters who really come to life as the story unfolds. It also deals with the troubles and horrors of Afghan history since the 1960s. The reading is done by the author himself, a real advantage here because his passion for the material is clear and he gives authentic pronunciations to the Afghan words in the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Paul & Susy
  • 05-17-08

Painted and insightful picture of Afghanistan

It's a story of honour, regret and redemption; and two families divided by ethnic prejudice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Story
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-17

Amazing

this is an amazing book. I enjoy a lot listing to it. Best book till now which I have heard

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sarah Miles
  • 10-23-17

Beautiful evocative and moving

Compelling, gripping and deeply moving. Quality storytelling at its best. I thoroughly enjoyed this for the story and its glimpse into Afghan culture.

  • Overall
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-17

Gripping

A beautiful story, well told.
Feels like I walked those roads and shared their experiences.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Adam Preston
  • 06-27-17

Beautiful story beautifully read

Full of emotion and resonance on so many levels. Childhood. Islam. Afghanistan. The world we live in today and our childhood memories.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jacs
  • 05-26-17

Very real

Allows you to step into another world, rest in the turmoil. Leave without regretting the privilege of entering.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs B.
  • 04-30-17

What an experience....

I have avoided reading this book for years for fear it would be extremely upsetting. It was. But wow, what a beautifully written and crafted story. I am truly blown away. I am horrified by the atrocities inflicted on the innocent in the east. Everyone should read this. Highly, highly recommended.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nancy Smith
  • 04-27-17

Great story

I loved the subtle humour. Really didn't want the book to end. Definitely recommend it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • aziz
  • 04-19-17

so beautiful.

The book from start to finish is smooth and easy to listen. the story compelling and insightful .Preaches to you about pride honor courage family and dedication in the most beautiful of ways. Quite a few vivid scenes that ill probably remember for the rest of my life.
" For you, a thousand times over "

  • Overall
  • Vikash
  • 04-07-17

Excellent

Loved it
Nice to hear the story with an authentic accent
Gd reading pace
Emotional as the first time I read it

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Chirag
  • 11-27-15

Deeply moving

I was moved to tears many times. Its a fantastic story set in the background of real life events. thoroughly enjoyed myself. I felt like i was being brought on a journey with many ups and downs as well as moments of reflection.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tammy
  • 02-28-15

Breathtaking

The experience of having the author read his own words is fantastic. All those words I would have stumbled over in the written form made music in my ears. A fantastic story, and a fantastic platform to enjoy it with

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rebecca
  • 07-14-14

Beautifully painful storey

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it was so heartbreaking and beautiful

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hassan, he is sweet and forgiving beyond what is expected. He shows true humanity.

What about Khaled Hosseini’s performance did you like?

I liked how real it was , how much he put into telling the storey. I loved hearing him pronounce the different Farsi words.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's too long for one setting and you need to take the time to take it in