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The Kite Runner Paperback – 30 Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (30 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594480001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594480003
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,587 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 542,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved novelists in the world, with over thirty eight million copies of his books sold in more than seventy countries. The Kite Runner was a major film and was a Book of the Decade, chosen by The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian. A Thousand Splendid Suns was the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year in 2008. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini's deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir's closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with "a face like a Chinese doll" was the son of Amir's father's servant and a member of Afghanistan's despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul's annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.

Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics. Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story of modern Afghanistan and of Amir's equally guilt-ridden relationship with the war-torn city of his birth. The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner begins in the final days of King Zahir Shah's 40-year reign and traces the country's fall from a secluded oasis to a tank-strewn battlefield controlled by the Russians and then the trigger-happy Taliban. When Amir returns to Kabul to rescue Hassan's orphaned child, the personal and the political get tangled together in a plot that is as suspenseful as it is taut with feeling.

The son of an Afghan diplomat whose family received political asylum in the United States in 1980, Hosseini combines the unflinching realism of a war correspondent with the satisfying emotional pull of master storytellers such as Rohinton Mistry. Like the kite that is its central image, the story line of this mesmerizing first novel occasionally dips and seems almost to dive to the ground. But Hosseini ultimately keeps everything airborne until his heartrending conclusion in an American picnic park. --Lisa Alward, Amazon.ca --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Beautifully nuanced, and the moment of Amir's ultimate betrayal is genuinely shocking. It is a passionate story' -- Literary Review

'If you liked The God of Small Things, then you'll love The Kite Runner ... compelling' -- Image Magazine

'My top fiction book of the year ... marvellous' -- Joanna Trollope, Books of the Year, The Observer

'Told with simplicity and poise, it is a novel of great hidden intricacy and wisdom like a timeless Eastern tale' -- Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

214 of 223 people found the following review helpful By bobbewig on 5 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
When it was suggested that I read The Kite Runner, I put off doing so for a long time because I am primarily a "thriller/suspense/mystery" type-of-guy. That was a mistake that I'm glad I eventually corrected. The Kite Runner is an astonishing, powerful book that had me riveted from the first to the last page. It is a story of fierce cruelty and yet redeeming love, as well as of an intimate account of family and friendship. Both transform the life of Amir, the main character, who comes of age during the last peaceful days of the Afghani monarchy; just before Afghanistan's revolution and its invasion by Russian troops. Hosseini is a masterful writer whose prose and narrative style ooze emotion. If you have any hesitancy about reading this book, as I did, put your doubts aside and rush out to get yourself a copy of The Kite Runner. You'll be very glad you did. It is not only a book that will keep you from doing anything else but turning the pages, it is a book that will stay in your head and heart for years to come. It is that good!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Hancock on 9 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
As someone who has visited Afghanistan several times I was pleased to see a popular novel set in the country. Hosseini's writing style in the first half of the book is delightful and he could have created a modern literary classic. But by the second half he has decided to dump Nobel for Hollywood. He uses just about every worn-out cliched emotional writing device there is and then peppers it with so many preposterous coincidences I was left open-mouthed at the audacity of it all. It will have them weeping in the aisles down the Odeon, no doubt about it. But it could have been so much more.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ian on 18 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book which pulls all the emotional strings, making you think that it is an autobiography. Maybe a touch too contrived towards the end but that is a tiny critiscism of one of the best books I have read in a long time. I hope they don't try and make a film of it, the characters should stay alive in the brilliant word pictures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simon Thomas VINE VOICE on 1 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
I read The Kite Runner for Book Group last week, and after a few people raved about it, I was expecting something brilliant. Well, I quite liked it - there we go, nothing if not effusive! The first 100 pages or so were great - a very vivid and complex portrait of an unequal fraternal relationship. Fascinating glimpse at issues of servitude, power, jealousy, love and a very believable pair of main characters. For those not in the know, Hassan is the son of Amir's father's Hazara servant - so the boys are the same age, and very close, but in very different circumstances. Perhaps their relationship is best shown in the sport which gives the novel its title - Amir flies his kite in an important local competition; Hassan is one of those who run after the cut-down kites, to keep as prizes. Hassan runs after them in order that he can give the kite to Amir - and his loyalty is such that he will endure much rather than relinquish the kite.

There is an event about 100 pages in which changes the lives of the central characters, the nature of the relationship, and the rest of the novel. To be fair to Khaled Hosseini (the author) the event doesn't feel signposted in any way. I'm always annoyed by pages which scream "Look! Most Important Event Happening Here! Get Ready For Everything To Change!" But after it happens, the main force of the novel is lost. I waded through the remaining 200 or so pages with some interest, but The Kite Runner had rather, ahem, run out of steam.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Basak on 24 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Kite Runner deserves five stars for part one and none for part two...Part one made me cry and made me curious about Afghanistan, its history and its culture. I wish I had stopped reading at the point where the main character moves to the US. After that, the backdrop becomes very superficial. We know that Taliban is bad but the book should have touched upon the issues such as how they came to power and how they managed to stay in power for so long. Moreover, the story becomes a collection of coincidences and you soon realize that all the characters from part one will appear again one way or the other. Credibility of the story is also damaged by events such as the fight with Taliban leader (how do they let them leave, how does he survive, how come he heals so quickly...), the boy's suicide attempt etc. The encounter with the Russian soldiers was also tasteless. The story could have survived without these Hollywood action hero touches.

Still, you cannot be mad at the writer. I felt as if this was Amir's first book and I could not be mad at him because he was my friend. The semi authobiographical color the writer brought to the book was that succesful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Oskam on 13 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
Amir and Hassan grow up together in Kabul in the seventies. Amir is the son of a rich and influential man, Hassan the son of his handicapped but very appreciated servant. The boys seem inseparable, but despite everything there is always the difference in standing. And then on the day of the big kite competition in Kabul something happens that turns their friendship upside down. In the beginning of the eighties Amir and his father flee to America, where Amir marries and becomes a writer. But his past with Hassan is haunting him. Then he is called to Pakistan by the dying best friend of his late father and he finally hears the secret that changes the meaning of his past. In the end he has to go back to Kabul (which is now ruled by the Taliban) to come to terms with his past and save Hassan's son.

This is truely a magnificent book that grips you from the first page. It is awful and beautiful and contains every aspect of life: friendship, treason, love and a villain and gives wonderful descriptions of Central Asia and the Afghan culture as well.
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