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

by Khaled Hosseini

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
39,308105616 (4.21)1 / 720
Truly loved this book because of the loving relationship between the boy and his father and because it showed the overwhelming costs and ruination caused by the Taliban in Afghanistan. ( )
  GaleGirl | Apr 25, 2012 |
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The Kite runner tells the story of Amir, an Afghan with a complicated relationship with almost everyone and a self-professed lack of guts who lives in fear of the day when retribution will come for his childhood crimes.

This is a story about family and brotherhood and society and how it treats people. It's also triggery as fuck and features the rape of children rather heavily as a plot device. So, yeah, avoid if that's an issue for you.

I enjoyed the majority of this book. I liked how messed up and flawed the main character was and how society enabled him to be the way he was. I liked how the characters emotions were explored and how the entire thing felt like one big mess.

I disliked the reliance on melodrama. The book lost points with me for how it ends. SPOILERS. Because it's not tragic enough that this poor child was repeatedly raped, he had to try and commit suicide. It didn't even make sense in a plot-related way as it took away from the sense of redemption at the end of the book - of someone who's finally decided to do the right thing with his life. ( )
  TPauSilver | Feb 5, 2016 |
Enlightening. We see these people on the tv and we have no ideas what their lives are like. ( )
  Koren56 | Feb 4, 2016 |
Unbelievable imagery - I can still remember this book, which is not so usual for me. Looking forward to reading the new novel out by this author if it doesn't come due before I have a chance. I'm a library person, not really into buying books as a general rule. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
A book recommended to me by a friend. This was not the read I was expecting. I believe it has since been made into a film of the same name. I did get a surprise near the end of the book, but otherwise found it nothing more than a GOOD light read. Although I must confess, I listened to it as an audiobook, and with hind sight maybe I'd give an extra half star. ( )
  Fliss88 | Jan 24, 2016 |
The story really takes you there and is beautifully told, very descriptive and detailed. The father-son relationship could play out in any culture, as does the main theme of guilt and regret over past mistakes. Sad, but it also promises hope. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
One of my all time favorites; right up there with To Kill a Mocking Bird ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
One of my all time favorites; right up there with To Kill a Mocking Bird ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Kite Runner review
The Kite Runner is a dynamic story of the struggles of a boy as he attempts to overcome his inner demons and recreate his life after a tragedy. The story begins in the childhood of a boy and then follows him into his later life where he tries to right the wrongs which have been haunting him. This struggle has real emotion and this is expertly portrayed to the reader by Hosseini. Additionally the story does not let the quite explicit and obscene scenes which are involved in it hinder the story or turn of the reader. They are down tastefully. Finally the story stays with the reader and has a lasting effect. This speaks to its power. Overall Hosseini pairs an excellent story with masterful writing in order to write a novel that is both appealing and powerful. Although there are some scenes which are somewhat obscene and could be unappealing to some, I would strongly recommend The Kite Runner to a peer. ( )
  Joseph_Hubner | Jan 20, 2016 |
Unlike The Lovely Bones, which was on the bestseller list forever and I hated, I liked this, a lot. It just wasn't the best book ever for me. I did enjoy the depiction of the other places and cultures. ( )
  susan259 | Jan 20, 2016 |
I don't know why I waited so long to begin this book. It was incredible. The writing kept me riveted; the characters so clearly defined, the places so easy to picture. The story and characters' behavior both heart-breaking and redeeming will stay with me. ( )
  nljacobs | Jan 19, 2016 |
I struggled to get through this. It was so slow at times, reading it seemed like work. ( )
  Marion_B | Jan 19, 2016 |
An incredibly well written book that I never want to read again. (Nor do I ever want to read anything like it.) ( )
  Belles007 | Jan 17, 2016 |
"For you a thousand times over". The infamous line that was given life from this novel deserves every reference it receives. Few times have I laughed, cried, and raged at a novel as I have toward this one. From the first page, the reader is sucked into the world of Amir and Hassan. This world is both the physical one they share in Afghanistan along with the one formed through their brotherhood. This is a story of betrayal, redemption, loyalty, tradition, and most deeply of all, of love. This love is of all types: romantic, familial, and so much more. A truly beautiful novel that paints a picture of a beautifully terrible world, it is no surprise I finished all 400 pages in 5 short hours, and if given the chance, I would gladly forget it all just to be able to go on the journey for the first time once more. ( )
  elenalee | Jan 17, 2016 |
Amir grew up privileged in northern Kabul, before it would be savaged by war, Russian occupation, and finally the Taliban. His father was wealthy, but more than that he was respected. The best friend he would ever know, Hassan, was the son of their servant and devoted to Amir in a way that few people will ever experience. He didn't know how lucky he was.

Years later, the secrets Amir harbored, secrets that had haunted him since his last kite tournament, the last time he had seen Hassan smile, demanded reparation. So he returned to Kabul to atone for his sins, seeking both punishment and forgiveness.

Breathtaking. It is the only word I can think of to describe this novel. No words I use to describe this story could do it justice. It is a timeless tale of love, sorrow, and redemption. This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. My only regret is that I did not read it sooner. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Really one of the best stories I've ever read. Very moving on many levels. ( )
  lposton | Jan 13, 2016 |
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
★★★★ and 1/2

Synopsis: 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 an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.
In A Sentence: Beautifully written, very well done!
My Thoughts: Wow! I'm surprised that I haven't read this sooner! I don't have anything bad to say about this book; there's nothing to critique. The story was sad yet wonderful, with plot twists that for some reason you can't see coming, although in retrospect it was so obvious. The action happens sporadically, but it occurs at just the right time in the story, so you don't get bored (not that the rest of the book was boring, but it could have become so if Hosseini didn't give the plot some direction). And, to top it off, the writing is beautiful. Every time I had to stop reading, I would put the book down reluctantly. So when I discovered I had the day off on Memorial Day, I promptly sat down and finished the book in about 3 hours. The writing just draws you in and keeps you there, and you find yourself surrounded by the beauty and culture of Afghanistan and its Muslim Community. Personally, I find Islam oppressive towards women, but I was still able to appreciate the religion and culture through Khaled Hosseini's writing. He made Afghanistan seem like a very nice place before the political upheaval, the exception being Assef (I found it interesting that the only sadistic person was someone who had blond hair and blue eyes).
This was truly a masterpiece in writing, in my opinion. I would recommend this to just about anyone who appreciates a well-written, well-thought-out book. An excellent read that nearly made me cry. ( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
This book starts off really great, it does not deteriorate into crap but I want to stress that it starts off really great.

I have never been to Afghanistan before (I imagine very few of us on Goodreads have) but this book paints such a vivid mental image of life in Kabul during the early 70s (before the Soviet deployment of their Army there) that I feel as if I have some kind of first hand experience. I am not saying it is an accurate picture of the real Kabul at the time, just that the image and the imaginary atmosphere seems very real. Wild horses couldn't drag me there now, but I imagine back then it was a nice place and time to grow up in (depending on your station in life there I guess).

The first part of the book that is focused on the childhood of Amir the privileged kid and his servant / friend Hassan is wonderful evocative. It resonates with me particularly as I come from a culture where servants and maids are fairly common place. The servants who serve their employers for many years tend to live in or near their employer's home and tend to have kids of their own who grow up along with the boss's children. The servants’ children often becoming their playmates if not exactly friends; a close friendship would require a more equal status in life.

The pivotal scene where Amir betrays Hassan to save himself from some serious pain is quite disturbing and tragic. His subsequent actions to expunge shameful reminders of his cowardice are even worse and nearly had me flinging the book across the room in disgust. This is actually a compliment of the book, I like books that evoke strong feelings, a novel transcends from being merely good to truly special if it can make the reader feel something.

Unfortunately the second half of the book which focuses on Amir's adult life in the US does not quite live up to the promise of the first half. The story of Amir's poverty stricken life with his father, his courtship of an Afghan girl is charmingly narrated but to me it is fairly standard soap opera material. Amir's subsequent return to Afghanistan, the violent climax and bittersweet denouement are all good reading but does not resonate anywhere near as strongly as the first half of the book. In fact when the author starts to pile on the melodrama I began to feel a little jaded. The book ends on a quietly optimistic if somewhat melancholy note. I am glad I read it and I can quite happily recommend to anyone who have read the book's synopsis (not part of this review) and find it interesting. Will I reread the book? Ask me in a couple of years.

EDIT: About 3 weeks ago I rated this book at four stars because I had some reservations about the second half of it, but in retrospect I find that I really do like this book a hell of a lot as a whole, it has given me new insight, food for thought, and knowledge. It is as if the overall virtue of the book has been percolating in my mind for a few weeks until I am finally ready to appreciate it in full. If that is not worth 5 stars I don't know what is.

Take five Mr. Hosseini! ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
I think this story was well written but I just really struggled with the rape of kids... I get sick in my stomach when I hear the title of this book as that is all I can really think about. I gave 3 stars for the writing but it could have been 5 if the rape could have been left out. And, if I would have known that was in there... I wouldn't have read the book at all. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
I think this story was well written but I just really struggled with the rape of kids... I get sick in my stomach when I hear the title of this book as that is all I can really think about. I gave 3 stars for the writing but it could have been 5 if the rape could have been left out. And, if I would have known that was in there... I wouldn't have read the book at all. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
This story is based in Afghanistan with a young boy named Amir. His father and him are living under the soviet forces. They decided the at the best idea is to flee to America to escape their current situation. This is a graphic novel but also pulls on the heart strings of the reader. ( )
  Emilysill | Dec 2, 2015 |
"The winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today", 30 November 2015

This review is from: The Kite Runner (Illustrated edition) (Hardcover)
Wow, what a powerful read - I sat and read the whole thing in a day; couldn't put it down.
The story of wealthy, motherless Amir, and his heart-rendingly faithful companion Hassan, son of the family servant. The author brings their innocent childhood escapades in beautiful 1970s Afghanistan vividly to life; but with growing up come more complex emotions...
As Afghanistan becomes involved in war with the Russians, Amir and his father flee the country, but his past will catch up with him, even in his new life...
I'm not going to say it's the greatest literature, but it's utterly heart-wrenching. ( )
  starbox | Nov 29, 2015 |
Very engrossing. Great story but not AMAZING like most people are saying it is.. I liked it though. ( )
  KatDes | Nov 20, 2015 |
This was, indeed an excellent story. However, there were too many coincidences in the plot for it to be a realistic novel, even though there weren't enough to be magic realism. Definitely worth reading, but just a hair short of greatness. ( )
  darushawehm | Oct 24, 2015 |
Powerful and haunting indeed. Truly a modern classic. ( )
  trile1000 | Oct 23, 2015 |
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  Bookman1954 | Oct 23, 2015 |
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