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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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39,749107716 (4.21)1 / 752
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 (959)  Dutch (37)  Spanish (19)  Danish (12)  German (9)  French (6)  Swedish (6)  Italian (5)  Norwegian (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  Finnish (2)  Lithuanian (2)  Croatian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Indonesian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (1,068)
Showing 1-5 of 959 (next | show all)
I’m an avid reader, I always have been and always will be, but I use to stick to one type of book, realistic fiction with a happy ending and a little drama throughout. Every so often I would throw a classic in there, a little Bronte or Dickens, and maybe a suspense novel, but that was as far as I would venture out. Last year when I was handed, “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” (Khaled Hosseini's second novel) I was reluctant to read it. Set in the Middle East, the book revealed the gut-wrenching truth of what it was like to be a women under the rule of the Taliban, I knew it was going to be sad. Turns out, I loved the book and from there I was hooked. I then read, “I am Malala,” which tells the story of a girl in Pakistan who fought for her right to education. But soon, I found that all of these books told a similar story, that was, until I came across, “The Kite Runner.”
“The Kite Runner,” had me hooked from the very first sentence, “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” I couldn’t put the book down until I was finished. I just had to read on. Khaled Hosseini’s first novel is a story about the relationship between father and son, and a tale of two friends-I know this sounds pretty mundane but just wait. There’s rivalry between two friends, embarrassment, guilt and a son struggling to please his father- and I’m well aware we’ve all read those stories. But, “The Kite Runner,” is different. It’s a story of redemption.
Amir is a privileged kid, his father, Baba, is rich and Amir gets basically whatever he wants. Amir is different from what his father wants him to be like. His father wants Amir to be a masculine boy who can stick up for himself and others while really he has a gentle personality and loves to write stories (something Baba doesn’t approve of). Throughout the entirety of the novel Amir struggles for his father's approval. Because Amir can’t please his father he reacts by abusing his best friend Hassan verbally and physically because he knows Hassan won’t fight back (we’ll get to that in a moment). All of this builds up the extreme guilt Amir experiences. (Readers may initially feel that Amir is a bad kid, but even at his lowest points Khaled Hosseini makes you want to like him, and want to root for him even when he is in the wrong because after all he’s just a kid, and we all make mistakes).
Hassan is the sweetest, most innocent and perfect literary character you will meet. He is not only Amir’s best friend, but his servant, (which is why he can’t fight back against Amir when he is bullying him). Hassan defends Amir against the neighborhood bullies, and comforts him when his father is giving him a hard time. Baba loves and cares for Hassan as if he is his own son, and Hassan, unintentionally, is constantly receiving fatherly approval from Baba. Hassan has a thirst for an education, he loves listening to Amir read and tell stories and begs him to teach him some words. Although Hassan’s tragic death comes relatively early in the novel, his influence on the characters and story is carried throughout.
The kite running is intense. “I opened my eyes, saw the blue kite spinning wildly like a tire come loose from a speeding car.” Vivid descriptions like this are everywhere. Hosseini describes the most serene moments (such as the blue kite) as something violent allowing for intense emotions and giving the text motion. The friendship between Amir and Hassan is what shapes this book. It last even after Hassan’s death. “ ‘For you a thousand times over!’...The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later in a faded Polaroid photograph.” This book is heartbreaking, for those readers who have never cried over a book, this book will make you cry. I promise.
Every friendship has its obstacle: fights, jealousy and secrets kept from one another, but the obstacle in, “The Kite Runner,” is something much deeper and the root of the problem is all on one character, Amir. Amir’s inability to forgive himself for past mistakes and the redemption he strives for are the heart of this story. From the beginning of the novel Amir struggles with being friends with Hassan. He is embarrassed that his best friend is a servant who can’t read, along with the fact that Baba loves Hassan and Amir equally, and if anything Baba favors Hassan. Because of this Amir channels the frustration he has with his father to verbally and physically abusing Hassan. At the end of the novel Amir finally resolves his long lasting conflict that he has dealt with, something that Hassan and Baba would both be proud of. But I won’t spoil it by saying what it is.
“A smile. Lopsided. Hardly there. But there.” I won’t say who’s smile it was that held so much importance to Amir at the end of the book. But what I will say is that Khaled Hosseini will remind us readers what it’s like to be transported to another world, and the one he created is so vivid and real, readers will be left feeling like they have experienced it themselves. ( )
  Rebecca4176 | May 27, 2016 |
READ IN DUTCH

I liked reading The Kite Runner. It's about a world I didn't know much about earlier. When I read this, I found out all kinds of new things, which made me understand some things I heard better. I liked the story line. First it's all peaceful but in the end your are reading a thriller. Definitely! I would recommend this book to anyone. It's one of those books you should have read! ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
This book is just about perfect. I hate that it took me so long to get to it. The ending is a little pat, but I'm glad it ends with some hope on the horizon. I would recommend this to anyone. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
I cried. ( )
  Kindnist85 | May 25, 2016 |
This story is just so amazing and so "touch the heart". I dont know how many times i closed the book to calm myself and thought it's just a story.
A story which will help to open your eyes and say Humanity is the and should be the only religion on earth. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 959 (next | show all)
The Kite Runner begins in Afghanistan with a boy named Amir and his father living happy but after the threat of Soviet forces they flee to America then soon after in the book, Amir's father dies. Later on in the story Amir is wedded to his wife but then he is called upon by his fathers old friend to return to Afghanistan and then later on he ends up saving a boy, the son of a child hood friend, named Sohrab and that gives Amir his redemption
added by CRosss | editLos Angeles Times, Cameron.Ross (Sep 10, 2014)
 
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.
 
il était un enfant calme. le calme est synonyme de paix. de tranquillité. le calme, c'est lorsqu'on pousse la manette volume de la vie vers le bas.
il marchait comme s'il avait peur de laisser des traces de pas derrière lui. il se déplaçait comme s'il souhaitait ne pas créer le moindre mouvement d'air.
added by fati.mokhtari | editFZ
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Khaled Hosseiniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andolfo, MirkaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Celoni, FabioIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fort, Isabel MurilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horn, Miebeth vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Translatorsecondary 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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People/Characters
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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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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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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