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206 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Times Heart-Warming, At Times Heart-Wrenching, But Always Riveting!,
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...
Published on 5 Jun 2008 by Bobbewig

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82 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boyhood betrayal, sacrifice and ultimate redemption
'The Kite Runner tells the story of boyhood betrayal, sacrifice and ultimate redemption set mainly in Afghanistan and the US. The main character, Amir grows up in a somewhat affluent area of Kabul with his father (Baba) and their servants Ali and Hassan. Amir and Hassan are boyhood companions who could have been friends but for their ethnic differences and, more...
Published on 29 Jun 2007 by Adisham Bookmark


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206 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Times Heart-Warming, At Times Heart-Wrenching, But Always Riveting!,, 5 Jun 2008
By 
Bobbewig (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (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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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kite Runner, 18 Jan 2006
By 
Ian "Ianphot" (Oxford, OXON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Kite Runner (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! A thousand times over..., 20 Sep 2007
By 
Mark Blyth (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
Without doubt, one of the best books I have ever read.

Against the background of a falling Afghanistan, Amir's quest for acceptance by his father and redemption from his boyhood-innocent arrogance and betrayal leads you through a throat-lumping, tearful journey peppered with joy and hope.

Once immersed in Amir's story, it is nearly impossible to put this book down and can be re-read over and over. I can't recommend this book enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 24 Mar 2007
By 
N. A. Roberts (Frome) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
Most books you forget the minute you put them down. Then one comes along that you know you will carry with you for a long time. The Kite Runner is the latter. I felt I was reading an autobiography and I was hooked. Yes, there are cliches and coincidences but it is fiction. Maybe because it is Hosseini's first book it is unpretentious, making it accessible. If like me, you know very little about Afghanistan it is informative. It is about how far you may go for parental approval, for friendship or for redemption. You may hate, despise or despair of the narrator but you cannot help but understand him, most of the time. Some characters are despicable, most are endearing.

If you want to have a small insight into Afghan society both in Afghanistan and the States, read about Kabul under the snow, imagine what it may have been like to come face to face with the Taliban, run through the streets of Kabul after a kite, do read The Kite Runner, you will enjoy it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fact or fiction?, 20 Jun 2004
By 
D. Thurgood "dan.tee" (Liverpool Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
Afghanistan has been in the news sufficiently over the last 20 years for this book to grab my attention by its location alone. I am currently trying to break my Pratchett dependency, so the title also caught my imagination by refering to something of which I had no knowledge whatsoever. Kite running? What? Where? How? Kite jumping; now there's something I do know about and I have the injury to prove it! Kite running, it transpires, is the pastime of chasing stricken kites, falling from the skies as their strings are cut in Kabul's annual kite battles. Anyway... the story.
This harrowing tale starts in 1970's Kabul, meanders through late 80's America and returns to Kabul in the terrifying start of the new millenium. The author clearly has intimate knowledge of all these cultures, and the book is a refreshing insight into the Islamic culture of Afghanistan.
The book is almost impossible to stop reading (what a cliche!) as it draws you in so deeply into the principal characters life. At first you could be forgiven for thinking this is an autobiography, written as it is in the 1st person, but a work of fiction it is, and by the end you will be relieved to accept this.
It follows the childhood friendship of two Kabul boys, one a majority Pashtun with a rich father, the other a despised minority Hazara, son of the other father's servant. We see how fickle human nature can be, as the loyalties are stretched again and again, finally to catastrophic breaking point.
The author has allowed some wonderful literary licence to shape the second half of the story, as the lead character desperately seeks release from the past that haunts him, leading him to return from his refugee life in the USA, to civil war-torn Kabul, now in the hands of the tyrannical fanatics, the Taliban.
A tumultous episode in a Taliban leaders front room would seem to finish the story, but the emotional thrashing all but the hardest hearted reader will undergo continues on till the very last page.
This is, as the newspaper reviewers have already said, has to be the book of the year. An awesome, unforgettable read.
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82 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boyhood betrayal, sacrifice and ultimate redemption, 29 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
'The Kite Runner tells the story of boyhood betrayal, sacrifice and ultimate redemption set mainly in Afghanistan and the US. The main character, Amir grows up in a somewhat affluent area of Kabul with his father (Baba) and their servants Ali and Hassan. Amir and Hassan are boyhood companions who could have been friends but for their ethnic differences and, more importantly, Baba's seeming preference for Hassan. The early parts of the book mainly consider the relationships between these four characters amid the changing face of Afghanistan as revolutionary war tears the country apart.

Following the betrayal, Amir engineers the departure of Ali and Hassan and sometime later he and his father flee to the US in search of a better life. Amir grows up, enters a loving but childless marriage and following the death of his father, becomes a successful author before receiving the call to return to Afghanistan, right his wrongs and learn the truth about...(well that would spoil the story).

This is a beautifully written novel that captures the essence of pre-revolutionary Afghanistan, its descent into chaos and terror, the coming (and going) of the Russians and the rise of the Taliban. In fact this message is so powerful it is not always clear if Amir's story is used as a vehicle to highlight the plight of Afghanistan or the other way round. Does this matter? Maybe not, by the end of the book you feel a stronger affinity for Afghanistan than Amir.

Despite the quality of the writing, the plot itself reveals a number of weaknesses where events seem a little too contrived - a little too neat, and the section set in the US could have benefited from severe editing. Overall though, we liked this book mainly because of the vibrant style and the manner in which Afghanistan over the last quarter century is so convincingly presented.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare brilliance, 14 July 2007
By 
Lauren262 (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
This book was absolutely amazing. I was recommended this book and read it not expecting much as it is not my typical read. It is one of the best books I have ever read and recommended it since to many. I was torn between pity and disgust for Hassan. From the moment I picked this book up I couldn't put it down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redemption Taliban style, 28 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Coote "Trevor Coote" (Tahiti, French Polynesia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
This acclaimed work starts out as a coming-of-age novel in 1970s Afghanistan, one of the rare quiet periods in that sad country's turbulent history. The narrator Amir is born into a middle-class Pashtun family and is raised with the son of his father's Hazara servant Hassan (the most likable character in the book) who becomes his closest friend. Therein lay the central issue of the story. The Hazaras are of Turkic-Mongol origin and ethnically distinct from the haughty Caucasian Pashtun who historically have treated them with, at the very best, disdain. The friendship between the two boys is resented by many. Throughout - unintentionally I'm sure - we witness the destructive effects of those most mediaeval of concepts: pride, honour and duty. After witnessing a terrible incident and failing to act, Amir appears doomed to pass the rest of his life on a giant guilt trip. When the Soviets invade Afghanistan he and his father flee the country and head for California. Written in plain almost simple prose the story then develops a Hollywood feel as it takes a series of twists and turns leading up to a redemptive spaghetti western-style showdown in which Amir finally atones for the error of his past. I got the feeling that this was written with a film version in mind (not surprising considering the author resides in California) with the Taliban portrayed as the depraved, black-bearded baddies. Nevertheless, it is a fine and interesting novel, always honest and often poignant (if a little too mawkish for my own taste), most noticeably in the passages dealing with the doomed relationship between Amir and Hassan, and in Amir's heart-breaking return to his war-torn homeland. In fact, Afghanistan's slow descent into hell is painfully chronicled and forms the tragic backdrop to this novel. Moral of the story: Don't make errors in your past.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg, 9 Jan 2007
By 
David Hancock (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost lost for words, 23 Aug 2007
By 
PD Miller "Scribbler 81" (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
Other reviewers have discussed the plot, so there is no need for me to do likewise. All I can say is that this is one of the most beautiful and deeply moving works that I have read in a very long time.

Sometimes a book can move us, but by the following week we have more or less forgotten it. This one had me in tears, and it will stay with me for ever.

Khaled Hosseini - well done. And thank you.
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