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The Kite Runner - Riverhead Essential Editions (#1 New York Times Bestseller) Paperback – 2003

4,964 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; Trade Paperback Edition edition (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594480003
  • ASIN: B002PUKHZG
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,964 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in thirty-eight countries. In 2006 he was named a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. He lives in northern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,692 of 1,857 people found the following review helpful By Ron Franscell, Author of 'The Darkest Night' on June 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The earth turns and the wind blows and sometimes some marvelous scrap of paper is blown against the fence for us to find. And once found, we become aware there are places out there that are both foreign and familiar. Funny what the wind brings.
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.
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159 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on October 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read 2-3 books a week, and this is without a doubt my favorite of this year. No, I'll go further: it's one of maybe 8-10 books I'd choose to take to a deserted isle. I've put The Kite Runner directly into the hands of perfect strangers in book stores and said, "Read this one."
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!
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Frampton on August 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly magnificent book! Without a doubt one of the very best stories I have ever read, not just because it is so beautifully written, but also because it is an important story. It takes place during the last thirty years of turbulent history in Afghanistan, and deals with a family and their love for each other and for their country. Author Khalid Hosseini no doubt has drawn heavily on his own life experiences to bring us this story. He was born to a wealthy family in Kabul Afghanistan and came to America as a political refugee in 1980. In The Kite Runner, Amir is the son of a prominent Pashtun family; his best friend, Hassan is the son of their servant man and a Hazara, a much hated ethnic minority. Despite their ethnic differences, Amir and Hassan are close friends throughout their childhood, both of them always mindful of Hassan's servant status. The two boys grow and learn, one of them privileged, the other deprived, both of them secure in the bosom of a prominent Pashtun family, both loved by the patriarch of that family, while the winds of change blew ceaselessly over the Afghan landscape. This story traces the lives of Amir and Baba his proud Father, and of Hassan and Ali his Father and faithful servant to Baba. In July of 1973, the people of Afghanistan woke to learn that while their King Zahir Shah was away in Italy, the Afghan monarchy had been ended in a bloodless coup led by the King's cousin Daoud Kahn. For a while there was peace in their lives but it was not to last. Before the end of that decade came first the Russians with soldiers, tanks and helicopter gun ships, and when they left, came the years of wanton destruction by the countless tribal war lords.Read more ›
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