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The Kite Runner (Unabridged)
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Narrator: Khaled Hosseini
Unabridged Fiction
Audio Length: 11 hours and 53 min.
Available Formats:  
Retail Price: $39.95
Non AudibleListener Price:  $27.97


Average Customer Rating: 4.7

Based on 309 ratings
See All Reviews

 Provider: Simon & Schuster Audio
 Year Published: 2003

"…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)

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.

 Total number of reviews: 75  
See all Customer Reviews  

  A Worhty Read 71 of 71 people found this review Helpful. Reviewer: colleenstricker, from Cardiff by the Sea, CA, USA    Date: August 17, 2003
It might seem a difficult task to stay with a book whose protagonist is so weak, bullying and completely self-absorbed while at the same time thoroughly understandable. Yet, I could not stop; I could not turn it off. Set in the context of recent Afghan history, it describes a relationship of two children contorted by social limitations and a frustrated father-son relationship thwarted in part by the same factors. It is however, beyond all else, a tale of wounds and scars, both self-inflicted and not. Very disturbing and thoght-provoking on many levels. Though authors often do not make the best readers of their work, this author’s presence adds to the texture of the prose.   worth staying with 55 of 56 people found this review Helpful. Reviewer: Gail, from Bellevue, WA, USA    Date: September 16, 2003
The first half of this story could have been about any whiny, privileged child trying to gain our empathy for having grown up in the shadow (you say "shadow", I say "great example") of a father of great character. Not new, not insightful.

BUT the second half takes off, as the narrator is thrust into a chance to redeem himself as a man, an Afghan, a muslim. The characters become much more intriguingly drawn and the world they traverse becomes palpable.

The skill of a reader is essential to my enjoyment of an audio book – a bad reader will make me abandon a good story. The author of the Kite Runner is an excellent reader of this tale. He speaks in an English that is clear even to my very provincial northern US ear, but with Afghan pronunciations that add musicality to the story and draw the listener fully into the author’s world.

Well worth the reading.   A storyteller’s story 41 of 41 people found this review Helpful. Reviewer: jcalabrise, from USA    Date: October 02, 2004
I never thought, from the descrption of this book, that I would fall in love with it! The characters are so real and every page of the story is captivating! Written like a memoir, but definitely a novel ending in present day. The descriptions of the "old" Afghanistan made it come alive with the smells, sounds, tone, formality of life, family and what it means, and hierarchy of society. I really "rooted for" some of the characters yet there are moments you can hate them, with all their flaws. These, too, are easy to relate to. Now I feel like I understand a little bit more about Isalm and the people who worship this religion. I also have a deeper understanding of the Middle Eastern customs. The story, though…..The Story is what I would recommend this book for.   Simply the best book I have ever read   Reviewer: Peggy, from Atlanta, GA, USA    Date: May 06, 2005
This is simply the best book I have ever read. Amazing story telling.   A novel better heard than read 1 of 1 people found this review Helpful. Reviewer: celear, from Parachute, CO, USA    Date: May 05, 2005
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.   High Praise 2 of 2 people found this review Helpful. Reviewer: Carol, from Harvard, MA, USA    Date: May 04, 2005
In this remarkable book, Hosseini has created faces we can recognize in the hundreds of images of the war in Afghanistan that we’ve all seen in our newspapers and on our televisions. His portrayal of characters whose lives have been thrown into total upheaval, who have had to face the challenges of adulthood while still children, who are thrown into situations for which they have no training or skill and who still manage to survive is incredibly well-done. The people he creates are truly alive; you cry and bleed with them. And you hope with them too.

I agree with some critics that there are some rough edges arising from this being a first novel, and there may be some convenient coincidences to bring the book to its conclusion. But the book is at heart a comparison of life as the fantasies that we create and life as the harsh realities we cannot avoid and must learn to deal with. The author’s strong use of first person present tense is a powerful tool he uses in creating the tension of this underlying theme of reality vs. unreality. All this is painted with a broad brush of the Afghan culture — it’s folk tales, poetry, religion, native symbolism, all peppered with a bit of Afghan "recklessness" and whimsy — that leaves one very curious to learn more about these people. It is a notable book from that perspective alone.

The author as reader was good; he brought authenticity and made it a personal experience. It is hard to keep clear in one’s mind that this is fiction.

I highly recommend this book as an adventure into a cultural experience that most of us will never know, and to meet people who are well worth knowing, if only to discover those bits of humanity that are common to us all no matter how diverse our lives may be.

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CNET Rating: 9 out of 10

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