The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This is one of those books I am almost ashamed to say that has sat on my shelf for years.  I bought it right away as the buzz began on what a wonderful book it was, and then…. there it sat.  And actually there it still sits because I have yet to read the book.  Recently I had been at my library and seen it in audio format and with my recent travels by car, decided this was one way I could finally be a part of what is known as The Kite Runner.

The following is my thoughts…


As the narration began (read by the author) I am brought into Afghanistan in the early 1970’s.  Amir is the son of a wealthy father, his mother having died during his birthing.  Amir always feels as thought he has to prove himself to his father and spends most of his childhood seeking for that forgiveness he feels he needs for his mother’s death.

And then we have Hassan, the son of Amir’s fathers servant.  The boys are inseparable, from morning to night they hang together, best friends, flying kites, running kites, and Amir reads to Hassan, who can not read but loves to hear Amir’s stories.

The Kite Runner, is their story.

I am sure this book has been reviewed thousands of times through the years, and yet here I am – writing a review and hoping I can bring something new to the table.  Or if not new, perhaps a memory to those who have read this book… and remember, because seriously, how could one ever forget?  So many words rush to my fingertips as I type this review.  I have actually struggled writing this as I feel there is no way I can do this audio, this story,  justice, and at the same time I know I have to try.

The words are powerful.  I learned about kite running, something I had not known about but found fascinating.  The story at times takes my breath away.  Author Khaled Hosseini is the perfect narrator not only because this is his story, but his voice, being born in Afghanistan himself, breathed life into the characters that I feel touched me even more than if I would have read the book.

Well written, highly emotional, at times I am driving with tears running down my face.  And as those of you who have read or listened to this book know, there is a moment where an anger builds in me so strongly, that I am still not sure even after, if I have completely forgiven the act.  (See spoiler button below if you want to talk about this more).

Even if you have read the book, I am highly recommending that you go through it again on the audio.  Even if you don’t do audio – do this one.  Put it in your cars cd player or the cd player in your home while you go about house tasks.  You wont regret it, because when an audio is done well like this one, it is a whole new way to do books.

I am passionate about this book.  Easily one of the best books I have had the pleasure of experiencing in 2010.  Read it.  Listen to it.  But don’t let this one pass you by.

“For you, a thousand time’s over”.

~ Hassan says to Amir

Brief Kite Runner Movie Review:

I purchased the movie over a year ago knowing I would not watch it until after I had experienced the book.  A few days ago I sat down and watched a movie that a few in my book club said they could never watch because of the books content.  I knew I had to see the movie, knowing it would be hard.  It was.  And I wept openly again just as I had done before because I experienced it again – that heart breaking, heart wrenching moment that defines this book.  I watched it with my 20-year-old son Justin, who had not read the book, but not feels that he must.

My Book Journey has been updated here to include Kite Runner

My Amazon review

Cover story:  It is very good, plain on the audio but I think I like it even more that the more modern cover of the two boys with kites.

I borrowed the Kite Runner audio from our local Library

I purchased the Kite Runner Movie

42 thoughts on “The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  1. I’ve got this book sitting on my shelf, like yours has, still unread. I almost know I’ll really appreciate the book, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, alas. Must find time soon.

    1. Hannah I know you will love this book. I am still sitting here hoping that I did it justice. I could really go on and on about this read, errr…. audio. 🙂

      1. Yeah, I really have no doubt in my mind, either. Sometimes I guess the luster wears off the books you’re excited to read, you know, and then it takes me a long time to get back to them again.

      2. Books just come into my hands too fast Hannah, there are books just like Kite Runner on my shelf that I had to have and still sit waiting for me.

        I am trying to make better habits of reading one or two for review – and then one I have been waiting to read. I know I have A Thousand Splendid Sins as well and have heard that one is suppose to be even better than Kite Runner.

      3. Yep, I know the feeling. I think alternating back and forth (whether it’s 2 review copies then 1 TBR or whatever the formula) is a good plan. I’m trying to make sure I read at least a couple books from my shelves every month this year.

    1. I am surprised Bluestocking as to how many have not read it yet. I am liking the company – I thought I was alone on this. I hope me review will let people know that you have to read this book 🙂

  2. This is one of my favorite books ever. All I knew about Afghanistan before I read A Thousand Splendid Suns and this book was news about the wars there. The novels told me about the Afghani people and that makes the news even more heartrending. I loved Hassan too. The story is so realistic, I would forget it was a novel. I must believe that it is very close to a true story.

    1. Barbara, A Thousand Splendid Suns is on my hit list. I hear that it is suppose to be even better than Kite Runner. I can not imagine.

      It does read so real, I am now curious how close it does come to reality and/or a mix of memories that Khaled had. I may need to look for more info on the author.

  3. My encounter with this story was an adventure over time as well. The first time I checked it out of the library in early 2007 demand was still high and I did not get to it before it had to go back. The second time, a few months later, it, along with A Thousand Suns, was among the dozens of books and DVD I was forced to return unread/unwatched as our library system closed down for six months April 2007.

    By the time the libraries reopened that fall it was off my radar. Then in the summer of 2008 I encountered the DVD on the library catalog and ordered and the book intending to read the book first but did not get to it before my one week only turn came with the DVD and so tho it goes against my preference to always read the book first (if the book came first) I succumbed to temptation and watched the DVD.

    I watched it alone in the middle of the night. You are blessed to have been watching it in the company of someone you could feel free to display raw emotion in their presence.

    I finally began reading the book (a large print edition from the library) just before Xmas 2008 and was still reading it in the car as my husband drove me to the rendezvous at a Central OR truck stop with my sister-in-law who was to take me north to Longview WA where my help was needed in the post surgery/stroke care of my Mom. I was still over 100 (LP) pages from the end when I had to leave the book on the car seat I was vacating.

    It was nearly a week (due to major snow on roads and New Years) before my sister was able to get to the Longview library and check out a copy for me.

    I have yet to put up my review. Truth is stories that good intimidate me when it comes to reviewing them.

    I have more to say about the story itself but am moving over to the spoiler page…

    1. Joy, you are reading selling me on the idea of a great book can always be remembered, even where (and when) you read it. I love your comment here.

      1. Oh, yes, I so agree. Tho if it hadn’t been for the library closure and y Mom’s broken hip (both personal traumas) I might not have penned the dates down so precisely. But this is one of those stories that was intimately tied up in my personal emotional reaction to it and it is a proven fact that emotionally charged memories are more deeply embedded, longer lasting and ore easily retrieved/relived.

  4. I haven’t read this book either, Sheila. But your recommendation does make me consider doing it via CD. I could do other things while I listen.

    Thanks! Then, after that, I can watch the movie.

  5. I confess…I haven’t read the book either. I saw it many times at Costco but restrained myself since my TBR pile(s) are taking over the house. I’ve never done audio before since my attention span isn’t the greatest, but I definitely plan to purchase the book soon. Thanks for a great review!

  6. I just bought this book last month, and I really can’t wait to dig into it! Awesome review! I’ve heard so many good things about this book that I have to read it!

  7. You are not alone…I’ve had this book on my shelves for years too. But now after this beautiful review I am going to pull it out and put it in my summer stack that I’m working on!! Thank you!

  8. I also absolutely loved this book (and I hear A Thousand Splendid Suns is even better!). I felt like I learned about Afghanistan, the Taliban, kite flying, human nature, and so much more when I read it.

  9. I read this a few years ago and thought it was good but it didn’t blow me away like so many others. I might have been in the wrong head space for it though. I might check out the movie though.

  10. I read The Kite Runner while I was working on a job that made it possible for me to read as well. If it hadn’t been the only book I took with me I can honestly say that I’m not sure I ever would have finished it. I thought the first 80 or so pages was so boring. I’m glad that I kept on reading though because I think this book is one of my all time favorites.

    It’s a difficult book to read but it is also a very good one. Wonderful review!

    1. Ladybug, I think with the audio I didn’t have that 80 page lull, I remember it starting a little slow, but I don’t think it took long to hook me. 🙂

  11. There is a scene in this book, when Amir goes back to Afghanistan, that made me almost put the book down. I was so afraid to keep reading. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a book evoke the feelings of tension that this one did.

  12. This was a beautiful book, wasn’t it? A Thousand Splendid Suns is wonderful too. It is vivid and heart-wrenching, with unforgettable characters, like The Kite Runner.

    I agree that the actions you discussed, under the spoiler button, were difficult to forgive. Of course, that’s what made this character’s quest for redemption so powerful.

    1. Laughingstars I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. I am even going to mention it to my book club that if they have not read it they need to.

  13. This one is also on my TBR pile. I know it is good, I just need to pick it up and start it. Sounds even better now that you have commented on it. Maybe when I get nome and finish up the books I brought on vacation.

  14. I don’t know if I should feel relieved or saddened that so many people share my embarrassing situation of having still not read this book!

  15. This is one of “those” books .. the kind that you want to go back to again and again .. it was extremely powerful in the story it told. It made me cry in places and made my heart ache in others. I loaned it out to my bebe boy’s second-grade teacher and did not get it back before the end of the school year, so I am going to have to purchase another copy.

  16. should i let my 13 year old daughter read this book? she is very intelligent and can understand hard to read books.

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