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The Kite Runner

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,300,799 ratings  ·  70,244 reviews
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his fathers servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons ...more
Paperback, 1st Riverhead trade paperback edition, 371 pages
Published May 2004 by Riverhead Books (first published May 29th 2003)
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Phil Laurette It depends on the young adult. There are a number of disturbing events including rape, brutal beatings and public executions. These things are…moreIt depends on the young adult. There are a number of disturbing events including rape, brutal beatings and public executions. These things are uncomfortable for adults to read and although it is a work of fiction it is written in such a graphic and believable voice that it is hard to separate yourself from the idea that it is based on actual events. You really have to decide for yourself whether your young adult is mature enough to digest such possible realities. I read it myself before allowing my kids to read it and for me my 15 year old could handle it but many could not. Definitely not a "fun" novel to read purely for pleasure.(less)
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Sam In most cultures, family loyalty rests above friendship. Even though Amir did not identify Hassan as his brother, their bond could not have been…moreIn most cultures, family loyalty rests above friendship. Even though Amir did not identify Hassan as his brother, their bond could not have been anything but brotherly. However, Amir didn't know that brotherhood was less about blood and more about how people relate to/treat/defend one another. In short, I think Amir's reaction would have been the same. For one, he only saw Hassan as a servant, not a friend or brother, and treated him like one too. In addition, Amir only wanted people to accept him and give him attention. He already recieved that from Hassan ,because of Hassan's unwavering loyalty, and there was nothing else he needed. Furthermore, he already knew he was not a virtuous person. For example, his treatment of Hassan, when deriding him for his illiteracy, and his use of toys and food instead of apologies to reduce his guilt. Finally, Amir's cowardice was part of his nature. He grew up in spendor and did not know the hardships others had to face. Amir grew up hiding from his problems in imaginary lands and fiction. He had no real grasp of reality so he feared everything. (less)

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فرشاد
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2012, when I was Mathematics teacher at a private high school in Iran, I had an Afghan student in my class. Sometimes, I discussed with my students about literature, and I told them of novels and poem. I found it very strange that my students had no interest in literature and even sometimes looked with hostility to this discussion. Days passed and much time was left to the end of school year. One day I saw Ali, Afghan student, came to me and had a booklet in his hand and I saw in his eyes ...more
J.G. 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
...more
Britta
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"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
...more
Chris
May 21, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Monkeys
Recommended to Chris by: Everyone
Shelves: poop, abandoned
Due to the large number of negative comments I've received, including death wishes, I've added the following request:

Please do not take this review (or yourself) too seriously when reading it.


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
...more
Linda
Nov 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Can't really recommend it, I'm sorry.
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Kite Runner, 2003, Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban
...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, moving novel set in the Afghanistan of the early 70s and of today, about a young boy and his friend growing up in Kabul. Amir desperately wants his fathers approval, but Baba is not quick to give it. He is a rich man, brimming with macho vibrancy, while his son is a different sort altogether. Amir is fast friends with Hassan, the son of his fathers servant. They are as close as brothers. But, beset by bullies, an event occurs that changes Amirs life. There is much death and ...more
Caz (littlebookowl)
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
4.5 stars!

Oh, my heart. This was heartbreaking and beautifully written!
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wifes right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.

Im going to be honest with you. To read this book was a constant struggle, not because I didnt like the writing style, not because it was bad and not because it was boring. No, if anything The Kite Runner was so hard to read because it
...more
Federico DN
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Two little friends, an unspeakable secret, and a quest for redemption.

"Amir" and "Hassan" are two little boys living in the peaceful Afghanistan of 1975, before the russian invasion, and the subsequent civil wars. Amir is the spoiled son of a wealthy and prominent merchant. Hassan is the cleft lipped son of an inferior caste, and a servant in the house they both live in. During their childhood they become fervent competitors in kite fighting tournaments, and unquestionable friends. Until one
...more
Julie
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini ( Berliani M. Nugrahani, Translator) is a 2004 Riverhead Books publication.

Earlier this year I read Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, another book, like this one, written back in 2004. It seemed I was the only person in the world who had not read the book, and once Id finished reading it, I wondered why it had taken me so long to read it. This got me to thinking about all the books that Id intended to read, but never got around to. So, despite my strong feelings
...more
Candace
Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com

'The Kite Runner' had been sitting on my TBR list for years. I kept putting it off because while I was sure that it would be a fantastic book, it isn't the type of smutty romance that I usually read. I knew that I'd have to be in the right kind of mood to read it. Finally, I found myself wanting to read something a little different to break me out of a reading rut and I downloaded the Audible version of 'The Kite Runner' and started
...more
Matt
Jan 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Raeleen Lemay
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
I'm really mad at myself for taking so long to read this. SUCH a good book, and while it may not be worthy of 5 stars for me, I really did love it and it broke my heart a hundred times. I look forward to reading Hosseini's other books, most likely this year.
jessica
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
for you, a thousand times over.

no words can describe the heaviness i am feeling in my heart right now.

i will never re-read this as it is too emotionally devastating (i genuinely cant remember the last time a book made me cry so much), but i know it is a story that will stay will me for the rest of my life. of that, i have no doubt.

also, john, thanks for recommending this book, but i will be sending you my bill for all the therapy i will need after this.

5 stars
...more
Henry Avila
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amir, a little boy growing up in the early 1970's in Kabul the capital of Afghanistan, has the idyllic life a wealthy father Baba, a widower the mother died giving birth to Amir he believes the father hates him for that, in the most beautiful house some say in the city, a great friend Hassan the son of Ali, a servant and loyal to the family. Baba and Ali had been friends too in childhood strange since Hassan's father is just a Hazara (Mongol), Hassan's promiscuous mother had left them to join a ...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 struggle for redemption.

I was quite surprised 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
...more
La Petite Américaine
May 11, 2008 added it
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
...more
❄️Nani❄️
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, historical
For you, a thousand times over.

We are currently experiencing some expressional difficulties.



Should be back in business once emotions are in full functioning mode.

...more
Naeem
Jul 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Amalia Gavea
There is a way to be good again.

The Kite is a symbol of freedom, of the primeval human need to fly, to be as light as a feather. No one can threaten you or harm you when you fly. In the neighborhoods of Kabul, boys take part in kite competitions, looking upwards in hope. Sometimes, though, hope is futile and becomes a mere empty word.

From San Francisco in 2001, we move to Kabil during the 1970s. Amir is a bright, bookish boy with a preference to the tragic myths of old. He is quiet, an enemy
...more
Lyn
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.

Ive read books before with an unreliable narrator and also read accounts of cowardice and shame. Amir, the first-person protagonist and narrator from Hosseinis 2003 novel, filled me with such disgust and loathing that I almost put the book down at 25%.

My doctor would say that Amir suffered from AWDD Ass whooping deficiency disorder and I would enthusiastically second that diagnosis.

That said, I invite everyone to read the book and
...more
Basuhi
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, everywhere, if you are human.
Shelves: books-i-own

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
...more
Peter
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guilt
The Kite Runner is emotional and immersive, a story that is amplified with its spotlight on society and culture within Afganistan - both past and present. The story relates to the lives of two boys, Amir and Hassan, growing up in Kabul and narrated through the eyes of Amir. There are major societal and lifestyle differences between them but it is the character and principles of the two boys that defines this literary classic. Amir is the son of a rich man, he is educated, refined, and
...more
Annet
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loving story and dark at the same time.
Interesting to read about culture and what happened to the country.
Thought it was not my book, but I enjoyed it and read through it pretty quickly.
Jackie Gill
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: "Simple People"
Recommended to Jackie by: Masses of "Simple People"
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew
4 to 4.5 (I need half stars!)

This was a very interesting and well written story of Afghanistan and how it has changed over the last 50 years or so. It was fascinating to get the impression of things from someone who lived through it. While a fictional story, it is obvious that the author drew from his own experiences.

In America, we get an impression of how things are/were through the media and word of mouth. Without actually doing research or talking to someone who who lived through it, you
...more
Linda
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasnt 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 Bings copy when I was over at Deesh and Bings this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez
...more
Praveen
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this novel five years ago and I confess, at that time, It was my best read for some time.

I enjoyed this book. Amir the narrator of the novel has narrated it beautifully. The sense of insecurity in the father-son relation has been woven nicely and the sense of redemption and guilt is the main theme in the psyche of the narrator. I found the entire story heart wrenching and the scenes and plot around the friendship of two boys from two different and opposite strata of the society were
...more
F
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this.
Film was terrible.
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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
...more

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