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Kite Runner [Paperback]

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I became what I am today at the age of twelve... March 14 2006
...on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975." So begins The Kite Runner, a poignant tale of two motherless boys growing up in Kabul, a city teetering on the brink of destruction at the dawn of the Soviet invasion.
Despite their class differences, Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, his devoted sidekick and the son of Amir's household servant, play together, cause mischief together, and compete in the annual kite-fighting tournament -- Amir flying the kite, and Hassan running down the kites they fell. But one day, Amir betrays Hassan, and his betrayal grows increasingly devastating as their tale continues. Amir will spend much of his life coming to terms with his initial and subsequent acts of cowardice, and finally seek to make reparations.
Hosseini's depiction of the cruelty children suffer at the hands of their "friends" will break your heart. And his descriptions of Afghanistan both before and after the war will haunt readers long after they've read the last page. The Kite Runner is a stunning reminder that the dark hearts of adults are made, step-by-step, by the hatred they learn as children, and that all it takes for evil to triumph is for a good man to stand back and do nothing. Another great novel in the genre is'Quest'by Giorgio Kostantinos, it's one not to be missed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly away Oct. 29 2004
THE KITE RUNNER is written with such startling realism that I can't help but think it is largely autobiographical. The settings of both Amir's childhood in Kabul and his adult life in the Bay Area are lovingly written with such clarity that I almost believe that I could go over the hill to Fremont and meet the very people described in the book. Books like this one are the entire reason I read. Hundreds of books can be read and enjoyed but then you stumble across one like THE KITE RUNNER and you don't want it to end and the next bunch of books you read pale in comparison. THE KITE RUNNER is a beautiful story, beautifully written. While reading it is difficult not to sit and weep for Afghanistan and her people. I cannot recommend this wonderful book highly enough. It is one of the best novels I have read so far this year. The only other book that came close was THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and that one has many funny elements to it. The writing style of "RUNNER" is sparse and simple, yet it packs an emotional wallop. I could smell the kabobs sizzling on the grill, see the kites soaring and battling in the crisp winter sky, and feel the despair of the Afghani people over the loss of their old way of life due to war and oppression. The story is almost allegorical in its universal truths of love, friendship, betrayal, and redemption. Not only does it bring to life the turmoil and hardships that Afghanistan has faced, but also it sheds light on the culture and nature of the people behind the news stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flying high Nov. 20 2004
By L. Roth
I think this is one of the best books I've read in my entire life time, that is including HAMLET and ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET. I have an eclectic taste for books. And this one hit me hard. Hassan is a beautiful character, in fact so beautiful that you feel guilty for having ever been alive a day next to someone so flat out perfect. But beyond the sense of place, THE KITE RUNNER features very well drawn characters. There are the "hero" figures of Amir, Hassan and Baba, but also secondary characters like Rahim Kahn, the General and Assef, who provide a complete picture of the various personalities and backgrounds that combined to create Afghan society today.
I also enjoyed the depictions of the Afghan emigre community in California, as these snapshots gave me a sense of the immigrant experience and the conflicts that are present when one leaves one homeland to adopt another.
I haven't read a novel in awhile that I wished wouldn't end, but this is the sort of feeling I had while reading the final few pages of THE KITE RUNNER. This is a good book for reading in a book club, as you will find yourself wanting to discuss the characters' motivations and plot elements with a friend. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotions Jan. 3 2008
This book was full of different emotions for me as I read through each page. Mr. Hosseini has done a great job of describing the characters, their emotions and the events in details that will stay with you for a long time. I must say that I still get tears in my eyes when I explain some parts of the story to the people that have not yet had the opportunity to read the book. Should you read the book? Yes, if you believe in the troubles in the world, in realities of life, loyality and family, then go for it. This has become one of the favourites of my collection. I also think that this book is an opportunity to learn for others who do not know the troubles that people in afghanistan have faced during this continued war for 30+ years. I heard the next book :A thousand Splendid Suns by the same author is another great book to read and I can not wait to start it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Emotions March 6 2008
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a tale of two young boys living in Afghanistan in the 1960's during the last peaceful days of the monarchy. Amir well educated, enjoyed a life of privilege, the son of a wealthy business man, a Sunni Muslim and a Pashtun. Hassan is illiterate, the son of Amir's family servant, a Sh'ia muslim and a Hazara. The boys grow up together roaming the streets of Kabul and have developed a complex friendship filled with love, privilege and shame. Amir narrates their life experiences.

The revolution and the invasion by Russian forces send Amir's family to the United States marking a turning point in Amir's life. Hassan's familly is abandoned which eventually leads to their demise. In America Amir is able to realize his dream of becoming a writer and marries for love. He eventually returns to Afghanistan during the Taliban rule with the hope of finding Hassan. In his search he discovers Hassan had a son, the only survivor of the family. Now held by the Taliban in a lost city, Amir goes to all extremes to win the son's freedom.

This novel is an epic of fathers and sons, friendship between the boys and the guilt of betrayal, an unforgettable heartbreaking story. The Kite Runner is well crafted and the plot seems real enough that we forget this is a novel not a memoir. This book is a gritty description of beauty mixed with violence; it is as tender as it is brutal. Hosseini's writing is concise, to the point and packed with emotions. I highly recommend it.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Pretty good. School book, but not that bad, honestly.
Published 1 month ago by Linda Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
This is a great book, fine writing and gives a behind the scenes 'feel' of the politics and war. Very honest with great character development.

Published 1 month ago by Vera Tarman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I like it
Published 3 months ago by Tristan Atin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 months ago by irene obbayi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Moving and inspirational.
Published 4 months ago by Diane Frost
2.0 out of 5 stars Very slow read
When I started reading this book for an assignment in college, it took me at least three times to actually pick it up and read it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, VIVID, PERFECT.
WOW, WOW WOW, READ this book!
This is one of the best stories written in years.
This review is from a reader of adventure travel, Non Fiction, and I STILL loved this... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Scott Milburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Gave me an understanding of that part of the world before the arrival of the soviet forces and the struggles they had after!
Published 9 months ago by Doc 106
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanted this book to never end.
The story told by this author is compelling, eye opening and inspirational. I was so disappointed when it was over because I wanted it to never end. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lisa Hawco
5.0 out of 5 stars kind of tough to read sometimes
The story gets really sad in some places which makes it hard to read, but it's a compelling story of a man who is troubled by his past. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kari
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