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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
    7,332
  • 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
    1,295
  • 3 Stars
    366
  • 2 Stars
    85
  • 1 Stars
    70

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,299
  • 4 Stars
    1,155
  • 3 Stars
    323
  • 2 Stars
    90
  • 1 Stars
    75
Sort by:
  • Overall

The Kite Runner

Very Well narrated and awesome book

  • Overall
  • Jacinta
  • Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 04-25-10

Ok

I found this book irritating, the author presents a wingeing demeanor which I found annoying. Definitely gives a great look into the lives of Afganistanie people and the history of the country. But I can't quite understand why others rave about this book.

  • Overall
  • Elisa
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 04-21-10

Kite Runner

Kite Runner is about a man's quest to redeem himself from his past. It's a sad, yet at the same time, the dominant theme of hope was alway just under the many events in the novel. It's a wonderful novel and I think anyone would enjoy reading it.

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Point Clare, Australia
  • 02-21-10

A great listen

An engaging tale that took me deep into a culture I knew little of. The book is very well written, even if the amount of detail can slow it down a little at times. Great listen and well read by the author.

  • Overall
  • Jeanette
  • Grass Valley, CA, USA
  • 08-19-09

Wonderful book

Powerful, well written and suspensful-made the war more personal for me , same as the A Thousand Splendid Suns-, the writer brings his culture to life and the horrible wars they have had to go through, Loved hearing the author actually speak his words-thank you for a wonderful audiobook

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matthew
  • Manchester, NH, USA
  • 07-25-09

"Not a Kid's Book" clarification

Just to expand/clarify one of the reviewer's comments: In the beginning of the book gritty slang is used in reference to female private parts, later on there is a somewhat graphic scene where 3 boys rape another boy, the "f word" is used a handful of times later in the book (probably not too excessive by today's standards), and buying children for sex is spoken about in one scene.
Now as far as the book itself: pretty "meh" in my opinion. It was an interesting glimpse into another culture but I didn't feel like that was the purpose of the book and therefore, I didn't feel like I was actually learning a lot. The story is fairly "Hallmark Card" and there are several "tear wrenching" scenes that may make some listeners gag.
I didn't find the main character to be very likable and by the end of story I was not as invested in his life as the author perhaps wanted me to be.

In summary: I can definitely see why this was on the NY Times Bestseller list. It is just bland enough to appeal to a wide audience--but overall never really challenges or informs.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not for Children

This was a great book, however I was concerned to hear that at the beginning of book, it was identified as a children's book. This CERTAINLY IS NOT a children's book. It is graphic, uses explicit language and concepts and has very deep emotional content.

  • Overall
  • Juliana
  • Middletown, PA, USA
  • 06-15-09

are you a father?

This book opened my eyes to see how seriously a child looks to his father for approval, love and acceptance. What a great gift for Father's Day! Be reminded to love your kids always be honest with them. I also like the fact that the author himself reads the book- you get the proper pronunciations of names, cities, etc.

  • Overall
  • Samantha
  • Yarramalong, NSW, Australia
  • 05-28-09

Incredible story

I loved this book, stirring, sad, funny, so emotive.

  • Overall
  • Roxanne
  • Marrero, LA, USA
  • 05-27-09

Good book.

I am usually wary of audiobooks with author as narrator, but in this case the author is very good. The story is moving, and the settings/cultures/times are well developed and very well portrayed.

I did not like the main character much though. Seemed self absorbed and whiny to me.