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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 91 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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book , draws you in and makes you part of it, 18 Jan 2008
By 
A. J. Sudworth "tonysudworth" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
I usually read historical novels and sci-fi so this is a bit of a departure for me but well worth it. This is a story of friendship and redemption (but not in the obvious way..) set in the years before the Russian invasion of Afganistan and after the fall of the Taliban. The friendship of two boys (Amir and Hassan) is brought to life in the eraly part of the book and the under currents of the complex family realtionships that eventually give Amir the chance to correct what he regards as his cowardice.

I won't spoil the plot but the book by turns captures the innocence of childhood, how Amir finally grows up and his determination not to let his friend down - even if it through Hassans son and not Hassan. The book vividly captures the Afghan lifestyle both before Russia and after the Taliban takeover, it is in one moment a beautifully descriptive book and then wham ! a very brutal story

This is not one to dip into - you'll get caught in the story and I defy you not to be moved
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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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82 of 91 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 Where did it all go wrong?, 7 Mar 2008
By 
J. Cousins (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
If the only thing you knew of Afghanistan was what you'd read in the newspapers of late, you'd probably have a view of it as one of those 'difficult' places, in desperate need of sorting out.

Yet, the Kite Runner - an evocative and moving book - tells the story of how things were, and how they could have been, before everything went so wrong.

I came to this book late. I'd just finished Violette Shamash's moving book 'Memories Of Eden', the story of a Jewish girl growing up in Iraq between the wars. A friend urged me to read The Kite Runner, and it was impossible not to draw parallels. If you like one, you'll love the other.

Two countries. Afghanistan and Iraq. Both pretty much at the top of the 'difficult' list. Yet both were beautiful, simple places at an earlier point in time.

Read this book, and Violette Shamash's, and weep.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and compelling, 4 Jan 2008
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Kite Runner (Paperback)
I was totally absorbed by this book which brought Afghanistan vividly to life for me. Khaled Hosseini uses just the right amount of detail to make scenes jump off the page without the writing getting bogged down in long descriptions. This is a very well crafted novel. The chapters are perfectly composed and end with a hook that begs you to keep reading. Amir the narrator is possibly the least likeable character in the book, but he sustains your sympathy, even when you hate the choices that he is making and scream internally for him to act differently.

Were I feeling so inclined, I could pick flaws in this novel. Many of the characters are simplistic - Hassan is too perfect for words, Assef is a villain straight from central casting, Soraya's rebellious past doesn't sit credibly with her familial devotion. The novel also makes some abrupt jumps in time and place that jarred with me, and it took me a while to adjust to the changes in pace. But overall I found this book so moving, so compelling that I can't say anything more than: read it.
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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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