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Twelve year old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father Baba, one of the richest and most respected merchants in Kabul. He has failed to do so through academia or brawn, but the one area where they connect is the annual kite fighting tournament. Amir is determined not just to win the competition but to run the last kite and bring it home triumphantly, to prove to his father that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan is the best kite runner that Amir has ever seen, and he promises to help him - for Hassan always helps Amir out of trouble. But Hassan is a Shi'a Muslim and this is 1970s Afghanistan. Hassan is taunted and jeered at by Amir's school friends; he is merely a servant living in a shack at the back of Amir's house. So why does Amir feel such envy towards his friend? Then, what happens to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament is to shatter all their lives, and define their futures. When Russia invades Afghanistan, Amir and Baba escape to San Francisco, where Baba fades but Amir feels that at last he can succeed. But he is still haunted by guilt and he knows that his past will not let him go. The destructive rule of the Northern Alliance, followed by the even more terrifying and oppressive Taliban have destroyed the country that Amir knows, but the hearts of men cannot be suppressed. Amir must return to Afghanistan to search for salvation, and perhaps his life-altering mistakes can be redeemed. This is a moving, courageous story of love, loyalty, secrets and vengeance, and of a country and a boy whose footsteps cannot be retraced, as the events and decisions resonate and alter them for ever.
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The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini's deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir's closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with "a face like a Chinese doll" was the son of Amir's father's servant and a member of Afghanistan's despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul's annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.
Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics. Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story of modern Afghanistan and of Amir's equally guilt-ridden relationship with the war-torn city of his birth. The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner begins in the final days of King Zahir Shah's 40-year reign and traces the country's fall from a secluded oasis to a tank-strewn battlefield controlled by the Russians and then the trigger-happy Taliban. When Amir returns to Kabul to rescue Hassan's orphaned child, the personal and the political get tangled together in a plot that is as suspenseful as it is taut with feeling.
The son of an Afghan diplomat whose family received political asylum in the United States in 1980, Hosseini combines the unflinching realism of a war correspondent with the satisfying emotional pull of master storytellers such as Rohinton Mistry. Like the kite that is its central image, the story line of this mesmerizing first novel occasionally dips and seems almost to dive to the ground. But Hosseini ultimately keeps everything airborne until his heartrending conclusion in an American picnic park. --Lisa Alward, Amazon.caReview:
'A haunting morality tale' -- USA Today
'An epic tale ... shattering ... Amir's story is simultaneously devastating and inspiring ... sharp and unforgettable' -- Observer
'Brilliant ... It is rare that a book is at once so timely and of such high literary quality' -- Publishers Weekly
'Hosseini's description of a childhood friendship between two boys in Kabul is a moving reflection on Afghanistan's upheavals’ -- Rageh Omaar, foreign correspondent, Observer
'Hosseini's sparkling descriptions of people, places and emotions never dry up. Hosseini is a truly gifted teller of tales' -- The Times
'Provides a vivid glimpse of life in Afghanistan over the past quarter century ... carefully and convincingly described' -- Library Journal
‘A haunting morality tale set in Afghanistan and California, covering nearly 40 years’ -- USA Today
‘A marvellous first novel ... It's an old-fashioned kind of novel that really sweeps you away’ -- San Francisco Chronicle
‘Poignant ... offers a moving portrait of modern Afghanistan, from its pre-Russian-invasion glory days through the terrible reign of the Taliban’ -- Entertainment Weekly
‘This is one of those unforgettable stories that stay with you for years ... extraordinary ... powerful’ -- Isabel Allende
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0747566526
Book Description U.S.A.: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Distinctively SIGNED by AUTHOR KHALED HOSSEINI on title page, in both English and Farsi. BLOOMSBURY SIGNED 2003 FIRST PRINTING. Rare 2003 Bloomsbury first British edition, new and unread, with original red band. Fine/fine; near flawless. Charcoal black clothboards w/red metallic printing; corners sharp. Textblock clean, tight, square, unmarked, unread, flawless. Unclipped satin-gloss pictorial dj complete with original red wrap-around band; near-flawless with very slight, light indentation on back cover, and tiny light crease on red bank. Original price on dj flap. Protected in clear archival Brodart wrapper. Carefully packaged, padded, and shipped in fresh new box to arrive in best condition. Complete satisfaction guarantee. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 150622-2