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The Kite Runner Hardcover – June 2, 2003
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The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")
Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon. --Gisele Toueg
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
And now it brings "The Kite Runner," a beautiful novel by Afghan-American Khaled Hosseini that ranks among the best-written and provocative stories of the year so far.
Hosseini's first novel -- and the first Afghan novel to be written originally in English -- "The Kite Runner" tells a heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between Amir, the son of a wealthy Afghan businessman, and Hassan, the son of his father's servant. Amir is Sunni; Hassan is Shi'a. One is born to a privileged class; the other to a loathed minority. One to a father of enormous presence; the other to a crippled man. One is a voracious reader; the other illiterate.
The poor Hassan is born with a hare lip, but Amir's gaps are better hidden, deep inside.
Yet Amir and Hassan live and play together, not simply as friends, but as brothers without mothers. Their intimate story traces across the expansive canvas of history, 40 years in Afghanistan's tragic evolution, like a kite under a gathering storm. The reader is blown from the last days of Kabul's monarchy -- salad days in which the boys lives' are occupied with school, welcome snows, American cowboy movies and neighborhood bullies -- into the atrocities of the Taliban, which turned the boys' green playing fields red with blood.
This unusually eloquent story is also about the fragile relationship fathers and sons, humans and their gods, men and their countries. Loyalty and blood are the ties that bind their stories into one of the most lyrical, moving and unexpected books of this year.Read more ›
In a nutshell, Amir, the son of a well-to-do Afghani , has a best friend, Hassan, who is the illiterate child of Amir's father's long-time servant. Both children are motherless. A horrific event, a secret kept, the loss of personal honor, and a lie come between the boys. From that rift, the story moves forward as Amir and his father emigrate to California, where Amir matures, marries, and becomes a successful writer, but is still plagued by those old sins and lies. Then comes a revelation of still one more long-held secret that sets Amir on a return trip to Afghanistan (now under the worst years of Taliban dominance) to rescue Hassan's child. Author Hosseini doesn't shy from one iota of unpleasantness, and the result is a book with a perfect narrative arc, a sterling story line, unforgettable characters, and and and and... I had the opportunity to meet the author very briefly (just to shake his hand and gush a bit about his extraordinary book) at Books by the Bay in San Francisco and am delighted to report that he is charming, approachable, and thoroughly engaging. He deserves all the accolades that are coming his way.
Buy The Kite Runner. Read it. Then go back to the store and buy 2 more signed 1st editions - one to keep as an investment and one to give to your best friend.
...what a fine book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has everything and I wish this author was more prolific because I love all three of his books, especially this one.Published 8 hours ago by Janette
Interesting and insightful on so many levels—friendship, family, war, pride, courage, expectations, ambitions, culture,. responsibility.Published 1 day ago by BookLover
This riveting novel makes abundantly clear that prejudice, self-interest, and violence in the misguided name of religion are among the banes of human existence. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Scott Albin
The Kite Runner
The story follows a young boy named Amir and his best friend and servant, Hassan in 1970s Afghanistan. Read more
The author immersed me in the Afghani culture, educated me, broke my heart, and still managed to leave me with hope for humankind.Published 4 days ago by Zenobia
A book that I couldn't put down. Well-written about heavy circumstances, but inspiring as well. I probably wouldn't let the average adolescent read it. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer