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The kite runner by Khaled Hosseini

The kite runner (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Khaled Hosseini

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
37,379100516 (4.21)1 / 665
Title:The kite runner
Authors:Khaled Hosseini
Info:New York : Riverhead Books, c2005.
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 892 (next | show all)
I'm struggling to decide whether I liked the book, loved it or hated it with every single inch of my saddened heart. Seriously, it's been a very, very long time since a book touched me so deeply and made me shed so many tears. This book is all about the importance of family bonds, friendship, loyalty, everything written in a fluid, simple, easy language and yet Hosseini managed to turn this book into something deep, imbued with just too much meaning with so few words, it's not even funny.
I was unfortunate enough to get a couple of spoilers for the book (friendly advice: if you're in the middle of the book, it is NOT a good idea to check for the trailer of the movie's adaptation, as it contains mild spoilers), so nothing struck me as absolutely unexpected, yet the book still kept me trapped to its fascinating world until the very last page.
One of the best thing about this book is how it talked about the character's life in the US without patronizing the country, always making sure that Amir was a coherent character, with a heart deeply rooted in the values and traditions of his home country. It was also interesting to finally see a story by the point of view of someone most uninformed people consider a "terrorist".
I just can't seem to find words enough to express how this book change the way I saw Afghanistan, its people, its culture. I loved every single page of The Kite Runner and feel like it's going to leave an empty space in my heart... ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
A very brutal heart wrenching book that is at times very hard to read but worth persevering with for the experience. Not for the faint hearted, at no time did I find it happy or uplifting in any way. Just an intense story. ( )
  areadingmachine | Aug 19, 2014 |
This book reads like a kite. Just when it is going smoothly a strong wind pulls it and your stomach drops thinking it's all about to come crashing down. In the end, though, you'll feel like flying. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Shortly after starting The Kite Runner I mentioned to someone that I had just started reading it. "Ah, I loved the first part of that book.", she said. I replied with "Oh? You didn't like the rest?" and got the answer: "Oh, I did. It's a good book."
It seemed like a strange thing to say at the time. Having now read the book myself, I think I know exactly what she meant.
The Kite Runner is a really good book for many reasons. It has some really beautiful moments, some really uncomfortable moments, and some moments that are just downright gut-punching. The raw and seemingly effortless way in which it conveys happiness, but also sadness, guilt, hopelessness, anger, and pain makes it a really special book.
At the root of it all is the story of a boy from Afghanistan, and the story of his life as he transitions from childhood to adulthood. With that comes a window into a culture, a way of living, and often a way of thinking that is foreign to me. Much of this is extremely interesting, but more importantly it also feels very real, and adds an extra layer to the story itself.
This book has so much going for it, and it is therefore a bit of a pity that I loved only the first part of it. Because, again, there are so many great things in this book. There are quite a few gear-changes in the story, which isn't a problem in itself, but during one of them I think the book loses some of its emotional intensity, and never quite manages to get it back. It goes from being an engrossing emotional story to being a story with plenty of engrossing emotional moments. While the latter is still good it's just not quite the same.
The Kite Runner is a really well done, solid, good, worthwhile read, and I'd recommend it to anyone. I just think it could have been a little bit more. ( )
  clq | Jul 29, 2014 |
Maybe it's because I'm getting older and seeing how much of a mess life can be, but I don't usually appreciate books where everything neatly fits together. This is one of those books, but it seems destined to be so, and proves a point by doing it. The descriptions of memories are beautiful, and the child's remorse so sympathetic, that the perpetual references to the one seminal event in the child's life is not as tiring as it could have been. Really good story, didn't want to put it down. Hopeful. ( )
  margaret.pinard | Jul 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 892 (next | show all)
The Kite Runner is about the price of peace, both personal and political, and what we knowingly destroy in our hope of achieving that, be it friends, democracy or ourselves.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Observer, Amelia Hill (Sep 7, 2003)
At times, the book suffers from relentless earnestness and somewhat hackneyed descriptions. But Hosseini has a remarkable ability to imprison the reader in horrific, shatteringly immediate scenes... The result is a sickening sensation of complicity.
added by Shortride | editTime, Aryn Baker (Sep 1, 2003)
This powerful first novel, by an Afghan physician now living in California, tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love.

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Khaled Hosseiniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andolfo, MirkaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Celoni, FabioIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fort, Isabel MurilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaj, IsabellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, HoniCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to
Haris and Farah, both
the noor of my eyes,
and to the children
of Afghanistan.
First words
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.
I see now that Baba was wrong, there is a God, there always had been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid, with its bright diamond lights and towering minarets. There is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to him in my hour of need.
For you, a thousand times over.
I see America has infused you with the optimism that has made her so great.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
This novel presents life in Afghanistan before the revolution and the Russian invasion. The author describes the customs and culture of the Afghan people and the difficulty of immigrants trying to adapt to American life. Most of all, this is a story of friendship, family, betrayal, and redemption. There are intense images, but the book is very powerful and well-written. The 2007 movie was based on this book.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0747566534, Paperback)

In his debut novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini accomplishes what very few contemporary novelists are able to do. He manages to provide an educational and eye-opening account of a country's political turmoil--in this case, Afghanistan--while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over. And he does this on his first try.

The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")

Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon. --Gisele Toueg

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:43 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's 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 it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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