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The Kite Runner (2003)

by Khaled Hosseini

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
52,926130023 (4.19)1 / 944
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.
  1. 352
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  4. 20
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    WSB7: Contrasting tragedies of brothers "bonding" with unknown half-brothers.
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    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (alzo)
  6. 10
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  9. 10
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  12. 32
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    Alliebadger: Both beautifully written accounts of atrocities we never really think about. Each one is a fast and amazing read.
  13. 10
    Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War by Svetlana Alexievich (Eustrabirbeonne)
  14. 32
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    PghDragonMan: Those who have been through a war never really leave it behind and the consequences often reach beyond those immediately involved.
  15. 00
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    SheReads: Very different, but the cultural relevancy of both books has similar characteristics.

(see all 24 recommendations)

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AP Lit (105)
Florida (16)

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 Book talk: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini10 unread / 10Happytohelp1403, October 2019

» See also 944 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 1164 (next | show all)
It is a story of sin and redemption. There is no easy conclusion to the story and that is what makes it a great book. Also, I love books that spark an interest in a topic- history, current events, culture. This book did! The audio book was read by the author. (Excellent!) ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
Amir, a Pushtun, and his childhood best friend, Hassan, a Hazara, are inseparable, at least outside the public eye. The two friends live on the same piece of property owned by Amir's father, "Baba," in Kabul Afghanistan. It's the 1970's and Hassan's father, Ali, works as a houseman for Baba.

As Amir and Hassan grow, Amir fights for attention from Baba who showers both boys with attention. Born of Amir's jealousy, hidden resentment, and cowardness to stand up for what's right spring and threaten to take over Amir. And when egregious atrocities are inflicted on Hassan by fellow Pushtuns while outside their property, Amir hides, turning a blind eye, rather than taking action. This cowardly behavior will haunt and define Amir for the rest of his life.

When the Russians invade Afghanistan and the Taliban takes over, changing the landscape of the country forever, Amir and Baba flee to America leaving everything and everyone else behind. Decades later, a call comes from Pakistan, urgently calling Amir home, to rectify his wrongs, and make amends.

In this powerful story of fiction (except for the truth of the author fleeing with his Baba from Kabul to the U.S.), Khaled Hosseini brings to light the damage of entitlement and horrors of segregation and discrimination in a way that makes the reader have a much better understanding of how the Afghanistan we know today came to be.

The Kite Runner is filled with beautiful descriptions of a land long ago peaceful that is now demonized (and rightly so by all accounts), and how stealing, as told by Baba, is the worst of all sins: "When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband and rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness."

My two cents on the banning of this book (for sexually explicit content, language, and age appropriateness - marketed for not under 18 and has been apparently read by and/or required of high schoolers) is SO worth the read. The sexually explicit content is more implied than overt and pivotal to the story to show the low depths man will go to dominate and humiliate. Language - meh, unfounded. Age appropriateness should be read by people mature enough to handle the truth about war. I would allow my high school-age children to read The Kite Runner if I read it with them and was available for their questions. Many worthwhile teaching moments in this one. ( )
  LyndaWolters1 | Apr 3, 2024 |
Having come to this book as an audio book after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, I felt it a trifle contrived but nevertheless a compelling story. There were times when it was so harrowing, I almost couldn’t continue. ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
I learned about Afghanistan history but this was very difficult for me to read because of the depictions of violent crime and sexual violence that are still ongoing. Overall the writing was good. ( )
  lneukirch | Feb 4, 2024 |
Wonderful book, but it's very sad and disturbing. I wouldn't let anyone under 18 read it. ( )
  Megan_Demers | Jan 27, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 1164 (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
Hosseini, Khaledprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldelli, LuigiPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bourgeois, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horn, Miebeth vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jukarainen, ErkkiTranslatorsecondary 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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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".
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.

No library descriptions found.

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.
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Average: (4.19)
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