The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

86%

52 Critic Reviews

Rather than settle for a coming-of-age or travails-of-immigrants story, Hosseini has folded them both into this searing spectacle of hard-won personal salvation. All this, and a rich slice of Afghan culture too: irresistible.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The New York Times bestseller and international classic loved by millions of readers.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.
 

About Khaled Hosseini

See more books from this Author
Khaled Hosseini was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, the son of a diplomat whose family received political asylum in the United States in 1980. He now lives in Northern California, and is a physician. The Kite Runner is his first novel.
 
Published April 27, 2004 by Riverhead Books. 402 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Humor & Entertainment, Comics & Graphic Novels, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, War, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon22
Peak Rank on Jan 12 2014
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
3
Want to Read
2
Have Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Kite Runner
All: 52 | Positive: 47 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

Rather than settle for a coming-of-age or travails-of-immigrants story, Hosseini has folded them both into this searing spectacle of hard-won personal salvation. All this, and a rich slice of Afghan culture too: irresistible.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by EDWARD HOWER on Aug 03 2008

In ''The Kite Runner,'' Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence -- forces that continue to threaten them even today.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by CharlieB on Jul 30 2014

I think the best bit about the kite runner is its sense of fate and justice, of good overcoming evil in the end, despite all odds. Without giving away the ending, Amir ends up back in Afghanistan and makes a very different set of sacrifices in order to set things straight.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah A Smith on Oct 03 2003

I don't know if there is an Afghan equivalent of the warning against over-egging the pudding, but it is advice that Hosseini would do well to heed. What starts as a fiercely moral but subtly told story becomes an unconvincing melodrama, more concerned with packing in the action than with fictional integrity.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Amelia Hill on Sep 06 2003

Amir's story is simultaneously devastating and inspiring. His world is a patchwork of the beautiful and horrific, and the book a sharp, unforgettable taste of the trauma and tumult experienced by Afghanis as their country buckled.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Smith on Oct 03 2008

What starts as a fiercely moral but subtly told story becomes an unconvincing melodrama, more concerned with packing in the action than with fictional integrity.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Amelia Hill on Sep 06 2008

The Kite Runner is about the price of peace, both personal and political, and what we knowingly destroy in our hope of achieving that, be it friends, democracy or ourselves.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on May 12 2008

It is rare that a book is at once so timely and of such high literary quality.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Aubrey Bourgeois on Sep 11 2012

The heartbreak that one feels flipping through the pages grabs on deep and doesn’t let go.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristin Wilson on Aug 12 2011

The novel is very powerful and moving...It is a beautiful story about the love of one’s country, love between fathers, sons and best friends, and living with the consequences of choices made throughout one’s life.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg on Apr 26 2008

Khaled Hosseini’s novel offers a potent combination of a setting in an exotic land that has taken on increasing importance to Americans in the last several years with a compelling human drama.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Monica Mehta on May 29 2008

The Kite Runner offers a moving portrait of modern Afghanistan, from its pre-Russian-invasion glory days through the terrible reign of the Taliban.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Suite 101

Excellent
Reviewed by Jasmine Crittenden on Aug 29 2011

The Kite Runner is a rich and complex nove...Hosseini interweaves the individual stories of morally complex characters with a stirring portrayal of the political and social turmoil that has shaped Afghanistan's recent history.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

The Daily Beast

Good
Reviewed by David Ansen on Dec 08 2007

"The Kite Runner" isn't subtle, but it allows us to see a country and a culture from the inside: it puts a human face on a tragedy most of us know only from headlines and glimpses on the nightly news.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Common Sense Media

Above average
on Jul 03 2014

This beautiful, moving novel deals with complex adult issues about religion, prejudice, forgiveness, and the nature of "goodness."

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Deseret News

Excellent
Reviewed by Amy Donaldson on Oct 05 2008

The story is powerful because it is so much like life. It is complicated, messy and beautiful at every turn.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

About.com Bestsellers

Excellent
Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on Feb 04 2013

This is a novel about humanity. This is a story about friendship, loyalty, cruelty, longing for acceptance, redemption and survival. The core story could be set in any culture because it deals with issues that are universal.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Monsters and Critics

Below average
Reviewed by Ara 13 on Jul 14 2008

Ultimately, the book reads as if the writer handed the first half...to a book coach who then steered the plot off a cliff, hoping the excitement of the plunge would justify the predictable outcome. It doesn’t.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

BookRack

Good
on Apr 23 2012

Easily one of the most memorable books I’ve read recently. This beautifully written first novel by Hosseini presents a glimpse of life in Afghanistan...and introduces richly drawn, memorable characters.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Lit Reactor

Below average
Reviewed by Cath Murphy on Jul 23 2012

The Kite Runner isn’t perfect. It’s badly written, hyperbolic and repetitive, with one-dimensional characters and antiquated social attitudes.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Military.com

Good
Reviewed by Tom Miller on Apr 01 2008

The author is a refugee from Afghanistan...This is his first novel, and it is an auspicious debut.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

HSJ

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie de Leon on Dec 18 2008

It is not every day that a reader can come across a novel that has so many twists and turns that will keep you thinking about the book long after you’ve stopped reading it.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Asian Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Sue Bond on Feb 05 2013

The author is able to depict moral complexities without clunkiness, instead catching the breath, and heart, of the reader.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by nroberts on Jul 14 2014

Overall, I was glad I read this book. It opened my eyes to the current struggles of Afghanistan and how the Taliban terrorize the people.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Meagan C. on Jul 14 2014

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because it caught my attention and was thrilling. I am very glad I read this book and you would be too.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by TeraMoshrefnoory on Jul 14 2014

Of course I would suggest reading this book but recommending this excellent novel is an understatement, I am telling you to read this book. You will not be disappointed.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by HannahElise on Jul 14 2014

The Kite Runner is an epic story, not only does it show the cruelty of Afghanistan's recent history - the Soviet invasion, Mujahideen, and the Taliban. But it is the story of internal strife that makes Khaled Hosseini's novel as beautiful and as terribly haunting as it is.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Sophh__ on Jun 29 2014

I was never once bored with this story and it opened my eyes up to a whole different way of life. It also taught me many great life lessons. I would highly recommend this book.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by maddi_maddss on Jun 29 2014

The novel...inspired me to be a better person and be more of an active participant in my community and church. It also taught me to respect my parents more, and appreciate them more, because they could be gone in a blink of an eye. The Kite Runner was an eye opener in many different ways.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by Jordynballard on Jan 05 2014

I would tell readers to keep reading the book no matter how bored they get in the beginning, it’s worth the wait because the end is extremely good.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Helium

Good
Reviewed by Karina Szwaja on Jan 14 2011

The book handles dark and intense subject matter with an undertone of grace and sensitivity. Its greatest marvel is the softness and elegance of prose, which is very much alive in this novel.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by AidanC-L, on Jul 14 2014

All in all, The Kite Runner is a must-read. This precious gem may make you think before you act, since there can be unforeseen consequences. Hats off to Khaled Hosseini for writing this amazing novel.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by x.l.bart1 on Jul 13 2014

The Kite Runner is a dark book, filled with haunting scenes and images. It is one to be read again and again; with each reread, surprises and nuances will emerge. The Kite Runner is a book to remember.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by ShanzehK on Jul 13 2014

This book is a must-read, ­regardless of age, gender, or nationality. It delivers a universal message that will move even the coldest heart.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Creatively3 on Jun 29 2014

...the story told by Khaled Hosseni is so unforgettable, extra-ordinary and is do Powerful that for a long time after whatever you read will seem bland.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
on Jun 29 2014

The Kite Runner is a very sincere story about a young boy Amir has an incredible but life changing experience...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by _alliebug on Jun 29 2014

This story will make you smile, laugh, be mad, make you cover your mouth, and cry. It is an emotional book and really gets you into it. I recommend this book and when you are reading it, bring tissues.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by 2seth2 on Jun 29 2014

It is one of the best books I have ever read and deserves all of the fame it has received. In a book with shocking plot twists, devastating tragedies and complex characters you are left with a haunting image of Afghanistan...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by avalancheLily on Jun 28 2014

The Kite Runner is haunting, beautiful and painful. This is really an adult’s book, wherein awful brutalities are perpetuated and secrets and shame are buried until they fester. Amir’s life is interwoven with a turbulent period of Afghani history that reflects his story. This book, narrated from Amir’s point of view, feels raw and real...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Writomania on Jun 28 2014

The Kite Runner is a masterful and an honest story that will have you both weeping and smiling at the misery of the situation. The author has painted a beautiful picture with this book of his which will surely have you begging for more.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by JaclynMiller on Feb 05 2013

Rich in drama, violence, romance, and friendship, it is capable of reaching its audience on both an emotional and spiritual level.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by jan wright on Apr 29 2009

Hosseini does a wonderful job at describing the differences between Pashtons and hazaras. He elaborates on the class and social distinctions in Afghanistan. He paints a brilliant picture of Afghanistan...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Michael A. Wood on Jan 27 2009

The novel does not intend to give an encompassing narrative of Afghanistan's history nor its troubles, but rather to tell the story of a son's attempt to respond to his father's sin and his own cowardice and betrayal.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Christin Shullo on May 15 2008

This novel was so real, so poignant and so awe-inspiring. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini has written a touching yet utterly realistic novel. The Kite Runner is a masterpiece and a must-read!

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

http://www.bookdrum.com

Excellent
on Jul 14 2014

The Kite Runner is a highly readable novel and, like many of the best, contains enough intellectual meat to keep us thinking about the issues it raises.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by Prerna Gupta on Jul 14 2014

This is one of the most heart-rending and touching novels that I have read in a long time. From the first chapter itself, the story gets you hooked.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Rated Reads

Good
Reviewed by Bailey Tulloch on Jun 28 2014

...the emotional impact of the writing causes it to be a difficult read. This is definitely not the type of book that should be picked up on a whim or by a middle-schooler. It’s an incredible novel, but you’ll need to be able to handle some heavy material while reading it.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

http://www2.webster.edu

Good
Reviewed by Bob Corbett on May 01 2006

The hardships of the Afghan people are revealed in passages of power and brutality and especially the long scene of when Amir and his father are being smuggled out of Afghanistan to Pakistan over the Khyber Pass...This is an exceptional book...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

The Independent Review

Excellent
Reviewed by kelseyrolfe on Dec 29 2011

The Kite Runner is a brilliantly crafted, beautiful work of fiction. It was just absolutely heartbreaking...

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Karan Brooks

Excellent
on Aug 15 2013

I don’t know why I have waited so long to read this book but, having finished it in one sitting, I know I haven’t only read an amazing novel, but had an emotional experience like no other.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

http://www.bbc.co.uk

Good
Reviewed by Gavin Bradbury on Oct 01 2003

Hosseini manages to vividly evoke Afghanistan, both pre- and post-Taliban, and the young boy who is brutalised by members of the Taliban as the country itself is.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Zinta Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Zinta Aistars on Jun 22 2010

So often when we hear about a great book, our expectations are so high that we are bound to be disappointed. I had heard much. I was not disappointed.

Read Full Review of The Kite Runner

Reader Rating for The Kite Runner
89%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7521 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Liam Spears 3 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 2.5 out of 5

User Review

Vangelis Moraitis 24 May 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

User Review

ipsita barik 11 Sep 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

Diane Cooke

Diane Cooke 3 Jan 2016

Added the book to want to read list

Lauren Hortum

Lauren Hortum 7 Apr 2015

Has read the book

Razvi Certezeanu

Razvi Certezeanu 30 Mar 2015

Added the book to want to read list

O

O 23 Oct 2014

Liked the book

ipsita barik

ipsita barik 9 Oct 2014

Liked the book

Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

ipsita barik

ipsita barik 11 Sep 2013

Has read the book

Vangelis Moraitis

Vangelis Moraitis 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×