The Kite RunnerBook - 2004
“I sat on a bench near a willow tree and watched a pair of kites soaring in the sky. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought, ‘There is a way to be good again.’”
Now in paperback, one of the year’s international literary sensations -- a shattering story of betrayal and redemption set in war-torn Afghanistan.
Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras.
This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend’s torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household.
When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother.
Compelling, heartrending, and etched with details of a history never before told in fiction, The Kite Runner is a story of the ways in which we’re damned by our moral failures, and of the extravagant cost of redemption.
From the critics
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Multiple intense scenes frightening for younger children.
Sexual Content: Rape (not graphic) and other suggested instances of sexual content.
Violence: A few fight and murder scenes, some having to do with the Taliban.
Violence: Rape scene(s), stoning and hanging scenes may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Coarse Language: Coarse language is peppered throughout the novel. Some sensitive readers may find it offensive.
QuotesAdd a Quote
"But I hope you will heed this: A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer. I hope your suffering comes to an end with this journey to Afghanistan."
"... but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out." -'Amir'
"For you a thousand times over!" he said. Then he smiled his Hassan smile and disappeared around the corner. The next time I saw him smile unabashedly like that was twenty-six years later, in a faded Polaroid photograph.
“There is only one sin. and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
“People say that eyes are windows to the soul.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
“She said, 'I'm so afraid.' And I said, 'why?,' and she said, 'Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.' I asked her why and she said, 'They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you."
Then I realized something: that thought had brought no sting with it. Closing Sohrab's door, 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. 
"It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn't make everything all right. It didn't make anything all right.
Only a smile. Any tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird's flight.
But I'll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting."
SummaryAdd a Summary
When Amir and Hassan were young boys, Amir witnessed something horrible and did not step in to stop it. This causes him horrible guilt and ruins the friendship he had with Hassan. Years later, he has a chance to redeem himself, by returning to Afghanistan. But her realizes that this country is not the one he remembers from his childhood.
The story of friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan and the act of cowardice that haunts one of them until he is able to atone for it, years later.
Two boys grow up together in Afghanistan. Amir is the son of a wealthy man, and Hassan is the son of their Hazara servant. Although the boys are initially inseparable, when Amir fails his unswervingly loyal friend, their friendship falls apart. This book follows Amir's life in the aftermath of this failure, during his quest "to be good again".