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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
    7,518
  • 4 Stars
    2,663
  • 3 Stars
    693
  • 2 Stars
    220
  • 1 Stars
    160

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,264
  • 4 Stars
    1,322
  • 3 Stars
    369
  • 2 Stars
    88
  • 1 Stars
    76

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,469
  • 4 Stars
    1,181
  • 3 Stars
    330
  • 2 Stars
    90
  • 1 Stars
    80
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Over Rater

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Different narrator. I know authors typically don't make good narrators and this was no exception for me. Yes, it was nice to have the proper pronunciations of words but I other wise found him quite difficult to understand and felt his reading was quite cold.

Has The Kite Runner turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. In fact there are other Afghanistan specific books that I have loved. The Swallow of Kabul and the Bookseller of Kabul both great reads and way more informative on the Afghan situation.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Khaled Hosseini?

Any one who is a professional narrator could have done a better job.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Kite Runner?

If I was editor, I would have guided the writer to make his foreshadowing and symbolism a little less predictable. For example, when Amir is in the big fight, he gets his lip split, and if it wasn't obvious enough, the writer has to tell us it's just like Hussin. Also, the fact that this big fight is with Osef, how coincidental, was the breaking point in the story for me. (Sorry about spellings and it was an audio book I may not have them correct). And of course, the second we hear there is a child, we know he is going to America with the barren couple. Hello, hey reader did you get that??

Any additional comments?

I'm very surprised this book is as popular as it is. I think it is clumsily written, very predictable and pretty sappy, even for a book where nothing pleasant happens.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hosseini an excellent writer and narrator

Hosseini did not spare us the rawness of life in an environment that some of us are not often exposed to ... in addition, the cultural aspects depicted in his story extends the experience. Excellent.

  • Overall

one of the best books

This is one of the best books I have downloaded from Audible. It has a wonderful story that holds the listeners attention.

  • Overall
  • BH
  • Green Cove Springs, FloridA, United States
  • 06-24-11

This Author should NEVER narrate his own work

This may be a great book ... it may deserve far more than a one star but II wouldn't know because I could not get past 30 minutes of it ... after reading A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, I could hardly wait to listen to KITE RUNNER. Unfortunately, did not pay attention to who was narrating and did not listen to a sample ... what a disappointment!!! Maybe someday I'll read it but I will probably NEVER listen to it!

  • Overall

Interesting view of Afghan culture

I mistakenly thought that this was non-fiction. Pretty stupid since "A Novel" is prominent on the cover... But this is Audible. I don't spend much time on the cover. Anyway, thinking it was a true story, I purchased to learn more about life in Afghanistan pre and post Rusi invasion, and Taliban rule. To the degree that it is accurate (seems like it), I think I did gain perspective and knowledge. It is an interesting book. I don't need much incentive to hate the Taliban, but if you do, this story will help. I am obviously not much of a literary critic, but I find it strange and annoying that the Amir John turns to religion at the end. Knowing, as the character does, how destructive Islam (substitute any mono-theistic religion followed to natural conclusion) has been to his homeland, people, and culture, I just can't imagine how he concludes that Gods will has saved the day. I see it as just another cowardly act, similar to the painful plot twist. Instead of letting down his wonderful friend, Amir John surrenders his mind and self in the end. Those of you who prefer literature should probably check this out. I will leave it to you.

  • Overall
  • Ludimila
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 05-14-11

AMAZING!! Totally worthwhile!

The story is wonderful and so lovely, and the author's narration is beyond breathtaking. I cried and I laughed, and I longed for when I could listen to him and his story again. There is no chance you won't fall in love with Amir and the complexity of his character and story. Buy this book!!!! You won't regret it!

  • Overall
  • Greg
  • Roswell, GA, United States
  • 04-28-11

this one is sneaky

I did not read the reviews before I downloaded this book and therefore I had no idea what to expect. Listening to the first couple of hours, I was interested but not necessarilly riveted, and then the traps the author layed were unveiled and I was unable to stop listening. Do not miss this book

  • Overall
  • Matteo
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • 04-22-11

"For you a thousend times over"

I enjoyed every bit of this book. A story about redemption, dont we all seek it? I think this was the best fiction book I ever read. I actually tough it was a memoir as the main caracter is a writer, but I didnt want to look up if it was or not, because thinking it was a memoir and having the author narrate himself on the audiobook it made it all more compelling.

reviews say it makes you feel all sorts of things, but I think this book is mostly about sadness, there is not much of other feeling really, but the story is amazing, and very very well told. The fact that it includes so many words in farsi, read by the author make it so more original.

enjoy

  • Overall

compelling read

touching story and flow very nicely. you see the word from the authors point of view and feel what he went through

  • Overall
  • Barb
  • Wasilla, AK, United States
  • 02-06-11

I really enjoyed this book.

Gives great incited to a very complicated culture. Glad I grew up in America. Narration was perfect.