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The Kite Runner
 
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The Kite Runner [Format Kindle]

Khaled Hosseini
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (18 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

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In his debut novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini accomplishes what very few contemporary novelists are able to do. He manages to provide an educational and eye-opening account of a country's political turmoil--in this case, Afghanistan--while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over. And he does this on his first try.

The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...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.")

Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon. --Gisele Toueg

Extrait

One

December 2001

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, 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. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. After I hung up, I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.

I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.

Two

When we were children, Hassan and I used to climb the poplar trees in the driveway of my father’s house and annoy our neighbors by reflecting sunlight into their homes with a shard of mirror. We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts. We took turns with the mirror as we ate mulberries, pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing. I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiselled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire. I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought. And the cleft lip, just left of midline, where the Chinese doll maker’s instrument may have slipped, or perhaps he had simply grown tired and careless.

Sometimes, up in those trees, I talked Hassan into firing walnuts with his slingshot at the neighbor’s one-eyed German shepherd. Hassan never wanted to, but if I asked, really asked, he wouldn’t deny me. Hassan never denied me anything. And he was deadly with his slingshot. Hassan’s father, Ali, used to catch us and get mad, or as mad as someone as gentle as Ali could ever get. He would wag his finger and wave us down from the tree. He would take the mirror and tell us what his mother had told him, that the devil shone mirrors too, shone them to distract Muslims during prayer. “And he laughs while he does it,” he always added, scowling at his son.

“Yes, Father,” Hassan would mumble, looking down at his feed. But he never told on my. Never told that the mirror, like shooting walnuts at the neighbor’s dog, was always my idea.

The poplar trees lined the redbrick driveway, which led to a pair of wrought-iron gates. They in turn opened into an extension of the driveway into my father’s estate. The house sat on the left side of the brick path, the backyard at the end of it.

Everyone agreed that my father, my Baba, had built the most beautiful house in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, a new and affluent neighborhood in the northern part of Kabul. Some thought it was the prettiest house in all of Kabul. A broad entryway flanked by rosebushes led to the sprawling house of marble floors and wide windows. Intricate mosaic tiles, handpicked by Baba in Isfahan, covered the floors of the four bathrooms. Gold-stitched tapestries, which Baba had bought in Calcutta, lined the walls; a crystal chandelier hung from the vaulted ceiling.

Upstairs was my bedroom, Baba’s room, and his study, also known as “the smoking room,” which perpetually smelled of tobacco and cinnamon. Baba and his friends reclined on black leather chairs there after Ali had served dinner. They stuffed their pipes -- except Baba always called it “fattening the pipe” -- and discussed their favorite three topics: politics, business, soccer. Sometimes I asked Baba if I could sit with them, but Baba would stand in the doorway. “Go on, now,” he’d say. “This is grown-ups’ time. Why don’t you go read one of those books of yours?” He’d close the door, leave me to wonder why it was always grown-ups’ time with him. I’d sit by the door, knees drawn into my chest. Sometimes I sat there for an hour, sometimes two, listening to their laughter, their chatter.

The living room downstairs had a curved wall with custom-built cabinets. Inside sat framed family pictures: an old, grainy photo of my grandfather and King Nadir Shah taken in 1931, two years before the king’s assassination; they are standing over a dead deer, dressed in knee-high boots, rifles slung over their shoulders. There was a picture of my parents’ wedding night, Baba dashing in his black suit and my mother a smiling young princess in white. Here was Baba and his best friend and business partner, Rahim Kahn, standing outside our house, neither one smiling -- I am a baby in that photograph and Baba is holding me, looking tired and grim. I’m in his arms, but it’s Rahim Khan’s pinky my fingers are curled around.

The curved wall led into the dining room, at the center of which was a mahogany table that could easily sit thirty guests -- and, given my father’s taste for extravagant parties, it did just that almost every week. On the other end of the dining room was a tall marble fireplace, always lit by the orange glow of a fire in the wintertime.

A large sliding glass door opened into a semicircular terrace that overlooked two acres of backyard and rows of cherry trees. Baba and Ali had planted a small vegetable garden along the eastern wall: tomatoes, mint, peppers, and a row of corn that never really took. Hassan and I used to call it “the Wall of Ailing Corn.”

On the south end of the garden, in the shadows of a loquat tree, was the servants’ home, a modest mud hut where Hassan lived with his father.

It was there, in that little shack, that Hassan was born in the winter of 1964, just one year after my mother died giving birth to me.


From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1536 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 353 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1408845822
  • Editeur : Bloomsbury Publishing; Édition : 1 (24 février 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00B0CR0O6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (18 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°4.135 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne 

4.5 étoiles sur 5
4.5 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 THE book to read NOW! 22 octobre 2005
Par Montana
Format:Broché
A friend sent me this book - I'd never heard of it. However, as soon as I started reading, I realised this book was going to be incredible and that I would love it.
The first half is a presentation of all the characters - who become very "touchant" as soon as one starts reading, as well as realistic in its descriptions of the way of life in Afghanistan.
Set initially in the early 70's in Afghanistan, before the Russian invasion, the book describes an interesting country (knowing literally nothing about Afghanistan personally) with it's way of life, customs and it's "castes". Radical changes take place once the Russians come in and the characters we've grown attached to must come to terms with certain events and their consequences - which prove to be complicated.
The graphic descriptions of the Taliban regime and the total destruction of a country physically, morally and humanely are difficult at times, "insoutenable" at others. Nevertheless, the novel doesn't come off as pathetic nor as begging for your sympathy - it's just the truth: dosed with both the good and the bad.
At times one thinks one knows what will happen but, events seem to take a different turn.
The use of Afghan terms to describe the real emotion of family, of closeness, to bring forth an image of Afghanistan is used quite well without overtaking the book and keeps one in the proper state of mind.
Frankly, this is one of the finest novels (a first novel for the author) I've read, if not THE finest in a very long time.
Highly recommended reading for a novel that has grown through word of mouth - and very rightly so. Looking forward to the next work by this same author.
I was lucky enough to hear the author discuss the book on tv in the US.
Lire la suite ›
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11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 apprendre à s'assumer 24 janvier 2005
Par Witzbomb
Format:Broché
Ce livre est bouleversant. Je l'ai dévoré en cinq jours. J'avais d'autres choses à faire mais ne pouvais m'arrêter. Ce livre peut avoir une multitude d'interprétations, il a également une multitude de mérites. C'est le premier livre d'un Afghan en anglais, le vocabulaire est particulièrement bien choisi et parvient avec pathos à nous faire revivre une période que le narrateur, si ce n'est l'auteur, considère comme idyllique. Donc chacun peut y voir ce qu'il peut, pour moi c'est surtout l'histoire d'un homme qui se cherche et s'en veut profondément pour une faute qu'il a commise pendant son adolescence. Le personnage ne doit pas autant expier qu'apprendre à s'assumer. Enfin, je ne peux pas trop vous raconter l'histoire pour tuer l'intérêt mais je le recommande vivement.
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10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Captivating 11 mars 2005
Format:Broché
I have been reading novels for decades, but in all those years of reading, this is possibly the best story I have read that has a non-western setting. An Afghan friend recommended this book to me, and of course I was skeptical at first. I never expected it to be such a powerful, deep moving, well-written and touching story that happened to be set in Afghanistan.
Set in Afghanistan, in Kabul in the 1970's, the Kite Runner moves to the U.S.A and back. It includes fascinating characters like Amir who lived a privileged life as the son of an affluent man, and Hassan the son of a poor servant who perks for Amir's privileged life. The two become good friends, a friendship which is tested when Hassan is raped, a scene witnessed by Amir who made no effort to come to his friend's rescue. Yet Amir is haunted by that moment of cowardice even as he leaves for the USA.
Even though it is a fiction, this haunting story with spectacular, yet uncomfortable scenes creates in the reader a sense of reality that is difficult not to believe. I easily felt like I was reading the real life story of a young boy, who grows up still haunted by his past cowardice. The characters are real and alive, the setting in Afghanistan and America is superb, the plot is outstanding and the pace of the novel is fast and captivating.. All in all, this emotionally gripping story provides an insight and understanding of the human tragedy in Afghanistan. The author successfully touched on human emotions, stirring guilt, sadness, anger, and happiness throughout the book.
Also recommended: DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY
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7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Une leçon d'humanité ! 31 août 2005
Par Catherine
Format:Broché
Ce livre a fait l'objet d'une lecture collective au sein d'un groupe dont je fais partie. A l'unanimité, tous ont profondément aimé "The Kite Runner" pour son ouverture sur un monde finalement assez peu connu en Occident, un monde de tous les excès, de toutes les beautés, un monde où le cerf-volant, encore aujourd'hui, sert de fil conducteur. Par ailleurs "The Kite Runner" est aussi l'histoire du remords, de la faiblesse humaine, du repenti, de la soumission - bref, tous les ingrédients d'une oeuvre en tous points magistrale. Une lecture à ne manquer sous aucun prétexte.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 MAGNIFICENT!! 7 décembre 2013
Par BABBLE
Format:Broché
I'm currently reading "Kite Runner" in English, and I must say that this book is absolutely delicious, crystal-clear, both tender and cruel; should be read aloud in front of an audience.
Obviously, this author is a story-teller, enjoys writing fiction probably inspired by real facts from his childhood in Kabul, a city he knows like the back of his hand.
This guy Khaled Hosseini loves the people who read him because we understand he wants to "fly" us like kites or take us away very high in the sky.
Un beau voyage. Merci, monsieur Khaled Hosseini. :-)
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Gold Star Award Winner!

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