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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
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    7,340
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    687
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    90
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    75
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  • Overall
  • Ace46
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • 05-10-05

Inspiring and disturbing

It was hard to want to continue listening to a young man so weak and self-absorbed, but I kept listening. Maybe it is because I thought he would mature, but more likely simply because the characters are just so real (I had to keep reminding myself that this is fiction).

This book works on many levels. It does a terrific job telling the stories of people who live through internal turmoil and/or external tragedy, and grow from it. It also puts human faces and human emotions to individuals who live through tragedy in ethnic or religious conflict. It shows the challenges of immigration to the West, both in getting here and establishing a life, and it shows the sacrifices that parents make for their children. It is disturbing and inspiring at the same time.

It is easily the best book that I have ?listened? to since I joined Audible, and I would highly recommend it to any other listener.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Listen - don't read!

A friend recommended I read The Kite Runner - but finding it on Audible I chose to download and listen. I thoroughly recommend this option. The author's voice (and accent), reading his own story, gives it added drama and charisma. One of the very best books I have "read" through the magic of audible - it gave me hours of walking pleasure - in fact I extended my daily walk from 3 to 5 kilometers, so I could hear more!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  • 11-23-04

Kite Runner

This year I have listened to 24 audio books and this is my favorite. Just an amazing book that manages to convey--in the author's own voice--the global universe that we are all becoming a part of, in its horror and its promise.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A good book

The Kite Runner is not an upbeat book. It is more like a classic Greek tragedy. Events and human frailty inevitable lead to pain and suffering. The book was sometimes disturbing, but there are bright moments. The writing style was excellent, the story engrossing, and the reading a listening pleasure. Add to that insights into Afghan culture and you have great book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Kite Runner--MAGNFICENT

This could be the best book you read this year. And the reading performance by the author is nothing short of inspired. My sole disappointment was that I wanted the book to be nonfiction!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 06-28-14

Really Good!

After hearing about how great this book was, I decided to give it a chance and found that this book was completely not what I was expecting. Yet, I still thought this was a really good listen. The author, who is also the narrator, does a terrific job with the narration. He is also an excellent writer as this book was creative and well-written. It takes the reader/listener on a roller coaster ride of emotions and I couldn't get enough of it. Two thumbs up!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GH
  • Sherborn, MA, United States
  • 04-04-14

A Timeless Story of Guilt and Redemption and Hope

I had been told that this book was wonderful. I have to admit that after the first 1.5 hours of listening I was bored out of my skull. If I hadn't committed to read it for the book circle I'm in, I would have stopped. Then like a sudden gust, they story took shape and I was hooked. This is a story about guilt and coming of age in a country of turmoil. It is about friendship,jealously, fear, betrayal, redemption and anguish. But is also a story of hope and determination.

The story is read by the author and though his pace his slow, I think he makes the book come alive. There are plenty of allusions that after you complete the novel that you will ponder. If you are a romance, sci-fi or thriller lover you will find this book tiring. Yet, if you like thrillers and near-to-true-life stories, it is a must. I give it a solid thumbs up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thousand times over better than expected

This book pulled me in like no other in recent memory with its tale of betrayal, heart break, bravery, rendition, forgiveness, and full on unconditional love. I have seen the movie which was beautifully done but the book was so much more layered and engrossing. Best book I have read in along time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 03-03-13

Afghanistan, Islam, and Two Little Boys . . . WOW!

Having two sons who have served in the Middle East during the Gulf War, I wanted to glimpse inside the window of how we got to where we are today . . . WOW . . . this is a wonderful STORY, first of all, of the friendship between two young boys, from two different "classes" . . . something that kids pay no attention to . . . and the journey they undertake . . . the historical perspective will give you a lesson you won't soon forget . . . into a people and a country that has been under seize for centuries . . . the human faces of the boys will grab your heart . . . and tear it out . . .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 04-20-11

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Cosmin Costea
  • 03-16-17

How wrong we are

This books shows us that there are good and bad people; and all of us in between. Impressive book for understanding Afghan's and human soul in general. Teaches you that nobody's perfect and you need to live with your choices; and make the best of your life.

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  • Danish Javed
  • 02-23-17

The story was good but jumpy, reading was brillian

good book to listen to if travelling
keeps you immersed but the story did seem jumpy, large parts of life in one place and years put into 2 lines
probably due to me reading a thousand splendid son's first
however would recommend

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  • ms
  • 02-09-17

superb piece of writing

Very moving and thought provoking story....from a master storyteller evoking much emotion and opening my eyes to a sad fact of life in the world today thank you

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  • Alex Henderson
  • 12-22-16

Great story, shame about the performamce

really enjoyed the story and his writing style, however the reading itself was very flat and the author doesn't have the voice for it

  • Overall
  • Daisy
  • 12-21-16

Moving Story

Tragic and beautiful. I found the experience of listening to the story very different to reading it. I read the book when it first came out, and from the first sentence had instant recall of the whole story. But I am so glad that I continued to listen.
All the more poignant read by the author. Loved it.

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  • Angela
  • 09-30-16

Loved it!

It's a little slow to start bit so worth it. A moving story that most Westerners would know nothing about.

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  • Nadia
  • 08-21-16

Amazing, heart breaking

This book is truly amazing and heart breaking. I l was adicted to this book. I loved the metaphors and the beautiful style of writing. I laughed, cried and cried some more! It's a five star book.

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  • Jean Catherine Weiss
  • 08-10-16

Beautiful!

An incredibly moving story. Listened to it when driving or cooking and often had tears in my eyes. Once I was used to the reader's accent I enjoyed the fact that I was listening to the correct pronunciation of the names and places.

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  • marie
  • 06-25-16

Absolutely brilliant!!!!

One of the best books i have ever read, gripping from start to finish
Wow well worth it , narrator great too !!
An insite into the truth

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  • Nameesh jain
  • 05-23-16

great narration and story

it is beautifully narrated and story was full of emotions and ups and downs. liked it very much !!!