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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
    7,415
  • 4 Stars
    2,647
  • 3 Stars
    688
  • 2 Stars
    220
  • 1 Stars
    157

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,176
  • 4 Stars
    1,302
  • 3 Stars
    366
  • 2 Stars
    87
  • 1 Stars
    74

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,373
  • 4 Stars
    1,170
  • 3 Stars
    327
  • 2 Stars
    90
  • 1 Stars
    77
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • rosie
  • Australia
  • 10-12-09

Haunting

A well told story of a man's journey through life and the deeds of the past that haunt him. Thoroughly engaging.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved It!

This starts out slow. In fact, I was complaining to a friend that it was so boring I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. But once you get past the important set up, this has to be one of my favorite books. It's all about how seemingly simple decisions can alter the course of your life. I loved the glimpse into another culture and the getting the narrator's (the author in this case) perfect pronunciation.

My only issue is that it starts out saying it is an Audible kids book, which it absolutely should not be. This is defintely adult material. Not only that, the themes of coming to terms with growing up and one's past would be beyond most kids. Other than that, I highly recommend this book. It's a wonderful read (listen)!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Allen
  • Larchmont, NY, USA
  • 08-18-08

Ear vs Eye

I have listened to this book and just now saw the movie. I have to vote for the spoken word in this case. Mr. Hosseini's accent is lyrical and adds a unique quality to this material that would be missing in the film or print. I hold this in the same high regard as Frank McCourt reading Angela's Ashes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Powerfully written

What an incredible story. It's inconceivable to me that this is fiction. If so, Hosseini's ability to develop characters with such depth and intensity is a true gift. The story is wrapped with such detail and emotion is was difficult to put down. Don't cut yourself short with the abridged version, you will want to hold onto every single word!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marcy
  • Raleigh, NC, USA
  • 11-16-05

You must read this book!!!

We've all done it, stood and watched when we should have interefered, lay silent when we should have spoken up, especially as children. Amir had the luxury of being born into the right family, which is about all the kid as going for him in the beginning. This story introduces an Afghanistan that many of us do not know. It is timely and relevent to what's going on in the world. As readers we are taken on a journey with Amir to reconcile his character deficiencies in a country he no longer recognizes. Through will and determination he did not posess as a child, he is able to atone for his sins and "make everything right". This is a beautiful, heart wrenching story that I know I will never forget. It has affected me deeply, for which I am thankful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wow

Wow, this is a true gem. The story is vivid and compelling and translates into spoken word marvelously. Even more amazing (for some reason) the author has a real day job, he is a physician??

As for listening, having the author narrate can be a risky proposition, but Khaled has a wonderful voice and brings a feeling and flavour to his work that adds another dimension to an already great tale.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Outstanding work

This book truly captivated me. I listen to Audible books often on my lengthy commute, but this time I spent considerable "driveway" time listening to this book. I would routinely arrive home but not be able to stop listening to the compelling story playing through my car sound system.

The poignant story itself will be enough to hold most listeners interest, but the rich language that creates the vivid landscape in which the story unfolds is addicting. The primary character's childhood fears, selfishness and angst is the core of the story and is revealed in the first person in an intimate and provocative way. The symmetry of the the entire story, from beginning to end, evolves naturally and completely. It is impossible not to be touched by this story.

This book is also unique in that the narration is done by the author himself. Like many of the reviewers whose reviews I have read and found helpful, I have come to make my Audible.com selections as much for the narrators as for the authors themselves. My favorite slections have been those when a great story was matched with wonderful narration. This was such a case. The author/narrator's subtle accent and fluent pronunciation of Afghan names and places reinforced the authenticity of the book. Beyond that, his voice and the production quality of the recording was outstanding.

If I was going to guess what the author himself would most want to hear is that he has told a wonderful story in an authentic voice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Just excellent

I've listened to many audiobooks, but this was the best so far. The narrator is excellent and the story is incredible and easy to follow. The length of this book is justified -- just the right amount of detail. I will definitely listen to this one again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What a whiner

I was interested in this for two reasons. 1) Like everyone else, I'm interested to learn about Afghani culture in the wake of recent events, and 2) it's a local interest story to me in Fremont.

I didn't know quite what to expect in terms of plot, and was ready to go along with the autobiographical nature of the book.

Then I learned that the author is a bit of a weasel. A spineless, spoiled coward, with no character. He disappoints at every turn, and then spends the latter parts of the book trying to make amends. He does some good deeds, but they still reek of selfishness.

Finally, the writing itself is of mediocre quality, so even if you wanted to taste the truth of his character, the bitter with the sweet, the book is just plain not enjoyable.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Shaddi
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, United States
  • 07-25-05

A must read!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • 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 !!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul Botterill
  • 04-19-16

Worth the read!

Great performance and compelling story. Not an easy book to stomach by any means though!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anthony
  • 03-19-16

Great story well told

I really enjoyed this book. Sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Happy , sad , joy, shock, laughter, sorrow. Great story from the mouth of the author.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-16

Beautiful

Beautifully constructed story with huge depth of character. An emotive journey that is travelled as much as read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Claire Paccalin
  • 02-06-16

Best book I've read/listen to in a long time!

I loved this book. Would recommend it to anyone. Cried and laughed out loud. Definitely a must read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-17-16

Better at x1.25 speed

I really wanted to like this book but it's taken me about a month to listen to the first 6 hours. However I recently read someone's review of the Audible app where they praised the ability to increase the play speed. I decided to give that a try (in all honesty in a desperate bid to get the book finished so I could move on) and found myself riveted for the last 6 hours of the book, finishing it in two days!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • smile
  • 10-07-15

Great story

I found the narrators voice hard to listen to at the beginning, but definitely worth a listen to.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • J
  • 10-01-15

Wonderful story - annoying voice

Would you consider the audio edition of The Kite Runner to be better than the print version?

No

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kite Runner?

Its a great story

Which character – as performed by Khaled Hosseini – was your favourite?

i found his voice annoying, but that's aa personal comment and a shame as its a great story and this is the first time I think I'll buy the book and read it

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

who has the time?

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Charles
  • 09-25-15

Excellent Story but Hate the Narrator

Would you try another book written by Khaled Hosseini or narrated by Khaled Hosseini?

I would read another of his books but not listen to anything narrated by him..

How could the performance have been better?

Hate his voice and accent..

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • elPaco
  • 06-14-15

Stunning

A quite beautiful book. Heart- wrenching story - beautifully written - beautifully narrated. I had seen the film already and whilst there were a couple of changes from the book, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading/listening to the book. Probably one of the best........
I loved it.