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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Khaled Hosseini

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43,985115019 (4.2)1 / 867
Title:The Kite Runner
Authors:Khaled Hosseini
Info:Riverhead Trade (2004), Paperback, 372 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)

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Showing 1-5 of 1033 (next | show all)
I know that this book is very popular, but I thought that it was one of the worst books I have ever read. Cardboard cut out characters, an emotionally manipulative plot and coincidences piled on coincidences. I spent a lot of this book rolling my eyes. Just terrible. ( )
  Lidbud | Jul 17, 2019 |
First book club book. Theme of redemption. Story of two boys in Afghanistan but of different class. Enjoyable/easy read. Author was able to present a picture of the country and culture and of immigration to the US, the relationship between father and son and what it would be liked to be raised without a mother's presence. ( )
  Kristelh | Jul 13, 2019 |
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini's debut novel, was optioned because it is tailormade for the movies. It has solid characters, both main and supporting, a strong plot, a high degree of drama and pathos, exotic locations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as some scenes in more familiar San Francisco. Its decades-long timespan covers a man's boyhood, teenage years, and early middle-age. There's potential or partial redemption to be found in its denouement. The problem is that novel at times reads too much like a film. Perhaps that is my perception because I read the book after seeing the movie. But that feeling is also due to the quality of the characters who seem stock and stereotypical, the simplicity of the language and vocabulary (this book is often taught in school and is considered by some, Young Adult Fiction). The plot twists often seem far fetched and too coincidental, something that can easily be overlooked in film where you have to suspend disbelief but is harder within the confines of a novel. One of my literati friends hated the book deeming it, "juvenile...mediocre YA, ... contrived and absurd...two-dimensional, ill-written, Pathetic. Just pathetic." Ok, you get the point, he didn't like it. But despite these criticisms, which I don't entirely dispute, I believe Hosseini has written from the heart. Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein liked to discuss books and authors. There's a quote about books in A Moveable Feast, Hemingways account of living in Paris as a very young and poor man in the 1920s, that reminded me of this book. "They were simply written and sometimes beautifully written and he knew the people he was writing about and cared deeply for them." ( )
  OccassionalRead | Jul 10, 2019 |
‘’There is a way to be good again.’’

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 of violence. But quietness and cowardliness are separated by an extremely thin line and there are times when bravery and honesty, no matter how unpleasant or disagreeable they may be, are forgotten. Hassan is his best friend. Intelligent and brave and kind. However, he has the ill fortune to belong to a low caste. And then tragedy strikes, born out of hatred and absurd discrimination. Amir reveals an impossibly ugly side and the hardships begin.

‘’When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.’’

Once more, Hosseini paints with words and communicates a world of unbearable injustice. The disputes between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras, the end of the monarchy, the Soviet intervention, the Taliban regime. A life in constant fear, a friendship so strong and yet so fragile, torn apart by shame and misconceptions. Undefeated prejudices. A city that has become the shadow of its former heyday. Children being sold by the ones who were supposed to protect them. Women being stoned to death while the roaring crowd, a mob of uneducated worms, cheers its lust for blood. Fairy tales are seen as the one source of support, a gentle reminder, a warning if you will, that everything can go wrong. And then everything can be fixed. Almost everything…

I read the novel and then I chose to read the graphic novel edition. Both were excellent, the shock and terror equally strong. The illustrations by Fabio Celoni and Mirka Andolfo are so vivid that there were times I was petrified regardless of the fact that I knew what was coming. I thought A Thousand Splendid Suns was one of the hardest reading experiences in my life but The Kite Runner was even more psychologically draining. Hosseini is a merciless writer, God bless him…The dialogue in both versions is excellent, the characterization brilliantly executed, the overall result astonishing and awe-inspiring. I cried like a baby upon finishing both. On a lighter note, (please, allow me the use of the phrase here) I was mad with joy to see Wuthering Heights included in the narration as Soraya’s favourite book and I enjoyed the cultural reference to El Cid. Personal trivia: I love Charlton Heston.

This is a beautiful, shocking, raw story of family ties, friendship, grief and injustice and the chance to heal the deepest wounds...

‘’But in the end it’s always the world that wins.’’

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jun 27, 2019 |
I have mixed feeling about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed reading it, but on the other hand, I didn't "like" the events described in the book. At times it was hard to read, because some characters are morally bankrupt sociopaths. I couldn't put the book down, and wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen.

This is not the usual genre of book I read, so I was glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone a little and tried something new. The book read like a true story to me, and I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 1033 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Khaled Hosseiniprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andolfo, MirkaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Celoni, FabioIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bourgeois, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horn, Miebeth vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo Fort, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Naujokat, AngelikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nilsson, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaj, IsabellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, HoniCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windgassen, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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."
"But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie".
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:04 -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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