The Kite Runner
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The Kite Runner

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,236,382 ratings  ·  45,780 reviews
Winter, 1975: Afghanistan, a country on the verge of an internal coup. 12-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father, one of the richest merchants in Kabul. He's failed to do so through academia or brawn but the one area they connect is the annual kite fighting tournament.
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published November 6th 2006 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published June 2nd 2002)
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Chris
Dec 06, 2013 Chris rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Monkeys
Recommended to Chris by: Everyone
Shelves: unfinished, poop
I became what I am today at the age of twenty-nine, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 2008.

What I am about to tell you about what I became is going to be very shocking. It is going to manipulate your emotions. It may include some random words in my native language for no reason whatsoever. It will teach you unnecessary things about my culture. It will not be smarter than a fifth grader. And it will include as many cliches and as much foreshadowing as is humanly possible.

You are going t...more
Britta
"For you, a thousand times over."

"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."

"...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun."

"But even when he wasn't around, he was."

"When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing."

"...she ha...more
Linda
Jul 22, 2011 Linda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Can't really recommend it, I'm sorry.
Shelves: fiction
Finished this book about a month ago but it's taken me this long to write a review about it because I have such mixed feelings about it. It was a deeply affecting novel, but mostly not in a good way. I really wanted to like it, but the more I think about what I didn't like about the book, the more it bothers me. I even downgraded this review from two stars to one from the time I started writing it to the time I finished.

Let's start off with the good, shall we? The writing itself was pretty good...more
Keely
This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly. Just like the spate of Native American pop fiction in the late eighties, this is overwhelmingly colonized literature, in that it pretends to reveal some aspect of the 'other' culture, but on closer inspection (aside from the occasional tidbit) it is a thoroughly western story, firmly ensconced in the western tradition.

Even those tidbits Hosseini gives are of such a vague degree that to be impressed by them, one would have to have alm...more
Matt
Jan 18, 2008 Matt rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who slurp up 'chicken soup for the soul' books
i really wanted to like this novel. judging from its thousands of 'five-star reviews' hailing it as the one of the 'best books ever written,' i'm in the minority when i state that this novel, while well-intentioned, just left a little bit of sour taste in my mouth.

my problems with the novel are as follows: first of all the writing itself is so ham-fistened, heavy-handed, distracting and otherwise puzzling that by the midway point, i seriously considered chucking the book against the wall. each...more
Naeem
Dec 22, 2007 Naeem rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to keep their blinders on
I found this book a failure of courage and imagination -- all the more upsetting for the author's astute sense of detail and wonderful psychological depth. But ask yourself this: if the Taliban are real humans than why are they not represented as such? No doubt we will all love the movie as well.

If you want to read a book on Afghanistan, I recommend Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light.

Below is my complete review:

I started out loving this book. Hosseini is dead on target in his depiction of childr...more
La Petite Américaine
Jun 14, 2008 La Petite Américaine added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Morons Who Enjoy This Kind of Crap
After pondering long and hard, I'm going to try now to articulate just what it was about this book that sucked so much, why it has offended me so greatly, and why its popularity has enraged me even more. This book blew so much that I've been inspired to start my own website of book reviews for non-morons. So let us explore why.

First, let's deal with the writer himself. Hosseini's father worked for Western companies while in Afghasnistan. While daddy (who I am guessing, from Hosseini's tragic ac...more
Linda
So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time.

Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez...more
Basuhi
Sep 12, 2013 Basuhi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, everywhere, if you are human.

Before I started this book, I distinctively remember running my hands over the cover, over the embossed letters that read, The Kite Runner, with not a thought spared but just a sense of hope and anticipation.

Now, after I've finished it, I'm once again running my hands over them.
Those letters that read, The Kite Runner.
Those letters that mean a lot more than what they seemed to a few days ago.

Yes.

Oh.

No.

Yes.

Oh.

Oh.

This is just a tiny fraction of "Oh"s that I felt during my journey through this b...more
MJ Nicholls
Nov 08, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even  ·  review of another edition
This is one strain of the virus we call Middlebrow Literature. Issuetastic fiction that turns up-to-date, politically loaded topical material into powerful works of stating the obvious whose aim is to educate the Uninformed or Casually Interested Westerner in the ways of another culture at a time when that culture or nation is under scrutiny, or has the western gaze upon it and needs to answer for itself in an accessible and heart-tugging manner. Now and then we will accept literature from far-o...more
Jackie Gill
May 15, 2008 Jackie Gill rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "Simple People"
Recommended to Jackie by: Masses of "Simple People"
Shelves: just-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mystique
Feb 24, 2008 Mystique rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mystique by: Melissa Coworker
I have some criticisms for this book, but because I chewed through it in such a short amount of time, I'll start with what I like and move to the criticisms.

I did NOT want to like this book. I am one of those annoying people who wants to dislike what everyone else likes, and wants to like what everyone else dislikes. Usually, this works out for me without effort; however, in the world of literature there are occasions that it does not. This was one of those occasions.

The book was brutally heartb...more
Roos
May 24, 2008 Roos rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Roos by: my friends
Shelves: booker, furious
Speechless when I'm finished this book...
Cried when read Hassan's letters to Amir
Adored what Hassan and Baba did to Amir
Excited during my journey to Kabul
Confused when I want to make a review

Hoalah....

Buku ini bikin aku nangis tengah malam, bikin aku bangun kesiangan, bikin mataku bengkak pagi-pagi, bikin gak konsen saat kerja...dan bikin aku bingung mau ngereview apa...dah menguras airmata, menguras emosi dan menguras konsentrasi...karena begitu membaca gak bisa naruh lagi bukunya....pikiran se...more
Stephen
I liked this book a lot. Due to the uncomfortable nature of the story told, I'll probably never read it again, but I'm glad that I did read it once. I saw it as the story of one not very likeable boy growing up in a soon to be war torn region and his eventual stuggle for redemption.

I was quite suprised to see how popular some of the negative reviews of this book were and I'd like to comment on a few of the comments they contained.

One condemnatory critic said "This is the sort of book White Ame...more
Rola
عانيت كثيرا من ضيق فى التنفس أثناء قراءتى لهذه الرواية , و خصوصا الجزء الأول, الأمر الذى كان له أثر على معدل قراءتى لها حتى اكتشفت أن ما اعترانى لم تكن حالة مرضية و إنما من فرط حبس أنفاسي خلال القراءة لهفة و شوقا إلى متابعة الأحداث *
*حدث بالفعل

ملاحظاتى العامة عن الرواية كانت فى تفوق جزئها الأول كثيرا عن أجزاء خروج البطل من دياره , و التى تحولت الأحداث فيها أحيانا إلى أحداثا عادية مكملة فقط للحكاية , و أحداثا أخرى توقعتها و أشعرتنى كأننى أشاهد "فيلما هنديا" مبالغا بعض الشئ.
:)

هى رواية عن الوعود و...more
ليلى المطوع
رميت الكتاب جانبا وقلت لن اكمله وبكيت
لا احد يستطيع ذرف دموعي كما يفعل خالد حسيني

هو وحده من يستطيع ان يقلق القارئ ويبكيه على بطل من ورق

وهذا ما فعله معي ولو كان للكتاب ملامح لارأيت شفتيه ترسمان ابتسامة كيرياء وهو يلمحني امد يدي واقرأ ماالذي حدث مع أمير

كلما قلت لن اكمل الرواية بسبب ماتسببه لي من ألم وحزن اجد نفسي بعد لحظات اعود لها

جميلة جدا هذه الرواية ومن اروع ما قرأت

****

من كثر ما اضاع خالد حسيني عقلي رحت فتحت التقرير وكتبته واكتشفت اخر شي اني حطيت التقرير تحت روايتي


الله يسامحك يا خالد حسيني...more
Sammy
What a powerful story. I didn't think I was going to like this book as much as I did... but I really did. I got so involved in this book that my emotions were going haywire. Not just feeling happy and sad as you do with most books, but feeling anxious and angry and dissappointed. Everything these characters felt I began to feel. That's definitely the mark of a great novel and a great writer.

One thing I think this novel really does is shed light on a situation we really don't know all that much a...more
Ravi
May 02, 2007 Ravi rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
In the wake of the Fraud of Small Things, tons of Asian writers with their impossibly exotic backgrounds and compellingly interesting lives have become all the rage in the publishing world. And of course, it doesn't get more exotic than Afghanistan these days. Khalid Hosseini rides the wave for what its worth churning out a predictable piece of semi-literate garbage — the sort that will appeal only to fellow Afghani nostalgia hounds — the small proportion of whom believe books are better read th...more
Luther Obrock
I gave this book one star. Yes it is about Afghanistan, yes it contains some interesting and even well-written scenes, but all-in-all this book is maudlin and over the top and seems to refuse to end until every imaginable soap-opera-esque turn of plot has been explored and milked of every melodramatic possibility. Hosseini also has a penchant for the artlessly grotesque, and his scenes of child rape are jarring--made even more so by his seeming inability to integrate them meaningfully into the s...more
Michael
Dec 08, 2007 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: recyclers
I had serious issues with this book. There might be spoilers below, if you're super-picky. But I'm not going to tell you about how Amir is actually, unbeknownst to the reader, the ghost of the patron saint of Afghanistan the whole time, or anything. Oh, damn.

I hated the narrator's guts nearly immediately, and only partially got over that over the course of the novel. I'm fine with narrators I dislike--I LOVE Notes from the Underground, and that guy's the king of skeezes--but only if their voices...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is a largely uncritical review, but I found it to be a beautiful, haunting, powerful tale. The Kite Runner is about a young boy, Amir, growing up in a wealthy part of Kabul, Afghanistan, the only son of a popular entrepenuer, who betrays his best friend and later has a chance to redeem himself. As his father's best friend, Kahim, says, "There's a way to be good again."

Amir grows up with Hassan, the Hazara servant boy whose father, Ali, grew up with Amir's father. Hassan's mother left as so...more
Petra X
A genius idea for a story that could have been deep and meaningful in more than a 'I think we can get a screenplay out of this' way. That's not to say it wasn't enjoyable, it was, very, but it isn't literature. The characters are cheesy and one dimensional and appear and disappear in not very realistic ways throughout the book. The politics are none to subtle either. But, it was a good and undemanding read and I've rounded up the 3.5 stars to a 4.

Usually if I enjoy a book on a fairly shallow le...more
Maciek
Because The Kite Runner is adored by approximately 110% of those who have read it, I decided to read the thing myself. After thousands of enthusiastic reviews I had pretty high expectations which the book ultimately did not meet.

The Kite Runner is a pretty simple story; how one event can change a whole life - sort of stuff Ian McEwan specialises in. Hosseini is big in foreshadowing - he certainly won't let you forget that A Terrible Event is going to happen on That Day of That Year, but before g...more
Zeek
I felt a bit apprehensive picking up The Kite Runner, considering all the buzz about it. (I don't trust overhyped books.) But, thankfully, it lived up to the publicity.

The story starts off set in Afghanistan, before the Taliban were in control and even before Russia began their campaign. It could have been set in the deep south of America prior to 1960 for that matter, or in Berlin right around the time Hitler reigned supreme, or perhaps more closely to regency England and colonial India- the c...more
Msmeemee
Oct 16, 2007 Msmeemee rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tear-jerking saps
Shelves: classic-lit
SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

so, it starts off strong. it almost feels like a biography, that's how real it felt to me. i actually looked on the back of the cover to see if it was based on a true story or something.

one thing i noticed off the bat was hosseini's style of writing. it was an extremely easy read. i wasn't sure if this was so it would be accessible to a wider audience or so we could concentrate more on the story rather than the prose or what. what's ironic is that the narrator and protagonist i...more
Amanda
Consider me underwhelmed. The Kite Runner isn't a bad book, nor is it a particularly good book. Two boys are the best of friends, until a tragic incident tears them apart. One is doomed to live his life filled with guilt and the other is doomed to be unbelievably good no matter how tragic life becomes. Basically, it's A Separate Peace set in Afghanistan and, for my money, A Separate Peace is a far superior, more nuanced work. Despite my lukewarm reaction, I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone f...more
Lynne King
This is the third in my top favourite books of all time. If I could give it more than five stars I would.

I read this book, and after closing my Kindle, my immediate thought was what a fabulous book. But why did I like it so much? I guess it was a number of things. It has all the ingredients of a great book: loyalty, weakness, betrayal, guilt, lies, sex, secrets, violence, an attempted suicide and finally love coupled with justice.

Firstly, it’s a social document covering the period 1975, followed...more
Joyeeta (Dauntless, I Choose You!)
5 (I need tissue papers) Stars

The Kite Runner is a kind of book that although has a happy ending but the disastrous events in the book will leave you shattered enough to shed tears endlessly.The book deals with lives of people of a usually neglected part of the world- Afghanistan.

The country that has suffered several powerful invasions in the last century was once peaceful. Long ago, people there smiled from the core of their heart.Long ago, they had kite tournaments. Long ago, they had no Tal...more
Jason Koivu
The kite is the only thing that soars in The Kite Runner, a good book with some tired plot devices.

Entertaining? Sure. The story keeps up a good pace. However, it's a story I feel I've already read, seen and heard a thousand times and many of those times it was done better. Scenes that are supposed to be movingly emotional seem straight out of the introductory class Dramatic Storytelling 101. The trying-to-hard-to-paint-a-picture Afghan details are placed before the reader like props instead of...more
CB Brim
This book is a clumsy exercise in melodrama, consistently given a free pass for its topical setting that allows affluent Westerners to feel righteous empathy and solidarity with cliched archetypes. The underlying literary themes in this book - loyalty, family, regret - are all dealt with infinitely better by better authors in better books. Coupled with the fact that the Kite Runner's unweildy prose has all the grace of a highschool newspaper article, it's a wonder how people keep praising it.
Fra...more
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Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1970 Hosseini and his family moved to Iran where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973 Hosseini's family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini's youngest brother was born in July of that year.
In 1976, when Hosseini was 11 years old, Hosseini's father obtained a job in Paris, France, and moved the family there. They were u...more
More about Khaled Hosseini...
A Thousand Splendid Suns And the Mountains Echoed The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns I cieli di Kabul : interviste

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“For you, a thousand times over” 3758 likes
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime...” 2656 likes
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