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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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The Kite Runner (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Khaled Hosseini

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41,361110615 (4.21)1 / 828
Member:Aquaplum
Title:The Kite Runner
Authors:Khaled Hosseini
Info:Riverhead Trade (2004), Paperback, 372 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)

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English (989)  Dutch (37)  Spanish (21)  Danish (12)  German (9)  Swedish (6)  French (6)  Italian (5)  Norwegian (4)  All (3)  Catalan (2)  Lithuanian (2)  Finnish (2)  Croatian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Indonesian (1)  All (1,102)
Showing 1-5 of 989 (next | show all)
Events from my own life made this a book I could not finish. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
The Kite Runner explores a young boy growing up in the Afghanistan of long ago. Amidst ethnic tensions and revolution the boy and his father flee to America. The boy grows up as he struggles with his new immigrant status. The past is always on his mind, particularly the best friend he left behind. ( )
  marh2 | Jul 10, 2017 |
This is a story about fathers and sons, but primarily it is about how the betrayal of a friend - even refusing to identify him as such - hurts and haunts one Afghan expat living in the United States. The story is carefully grounded in realism, allowing for narrow escapes and happy coincidences but never for an easy path, and its ending is perfectly chosen. What is most important about this novel is the provision of a too-rare window into Afghanistan and its people that humanizes and inspires compassion.

It has been too easy for Western audiences to laugh along with the Robin Williams joke about how bombing Afghanistan into the stone age would be an upgrade. This novel reminds (or reveals, in my case) that as recently as the 1970s Afghanistan was actually a prospering country with a bright future, in which effort found reward and violence was curtailed. The story of its downfall is only cursorily related here, but the narrator's sorrow for what happens to it becomes the reader's.

I know an inspiring thing or two now about Afghans and about a country that I associated with little more than backward savagery. The music of Ahmad Zahir may chafe my western ear, but it is also the sound of an Afghanistan that was and hopefully will one day be again. ( )
  Cecrow | Jun 29, 2017 |
I came to this book a bit late, with extremely high expectations due to all the buzz and good reviews, and it still managed to exceed them. The story starts with Amir, the self-centered but fragile young son of an affluent businessman in Afghanistan. Amir idolizes his father but doesn’t feel worthy of his time and attention. His best friend is Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. Amir treats Hassan alternately as his best friend and as a servant. The two boys are inseparable, until a tragic incident during a local kite-flying contest causes a permanent rift between them and they are separated. Years later, an adult Amir searches for absolution for the cowardly desertion that caused harm to Hassan. The story is sad in so many ways, but beautifully written. The author creates complex characters that you can identify with, and the story was both sad and uplifting at the same time. My only complaint was the many foreign words used in the story. There were too many to stop reading and Google the term. I wish they had included a brief glossary at the beginning or end of the story. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
A heartbreaking story. A boy and his lower-class best friend growing up in imperial - and then war-torn - Afghanistan are faced with all the troubles of a segregationalist world. When the boy witnesses his friend being violated and tourtured, he turns his back on him, only to replicate the schism years later by attempting to save his son. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 989 (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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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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
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Original language

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)

» see all 28 descriptions

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