Reviews and Reception



“[A] powerful first novel… political events, even as dramatic as the ones that are presented in ‘The Kite Runner‘, are only a part of this story. 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.”  Review by Edward Hower, The Servant, The New York Times

Read the full review here

People :


“Like ‘Gone with the Wind‘, this extraordinary first novel locates the personal struggles of everyday people in the terrible sweep of history.” —People 

San Francisco Chronicle :


“A marvelous first novel… an incredible story of the culture. It’s an old-fashioned kind of novel that really sweeps you away.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Entertainment Weekly :


“Poignant… ‘The Kite Runner‘ offers a moving portrait of modern Afghanistan, from its pre-Russian-invasion glory days through the terrible reign of the Taliban.” —Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)

The Washington Post Book World :


“A powerful book…no frills, no nonsense, just hard, spare prose…an intimate account of family and friendship, betrayal and salvation that requires no atlas or translation to engage and enlighten us. Parts of ‘The Kite Runner‘ are raw and excruciating to read, yet the book in its entirety is lovingly written.” —The Washington Post Book World



The Philadelphia Inquirer:


“’The Kite Runner‘, Hosseini’s first novel, is more than just good writing. It is also a wonderfully conjured story that offers a glimpse into an Afghanistan most Americans have never seen, and depicts a side of humanity rarely revealed.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer 


Diane Sawyer:


“An astonishing, powerful book.”Diane Sawyer


More Praise

Since its publication in 2003, The Kite Runner has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic of contemporary literature, touching millions of readers,and launching the career of one of America’s (and Afghanistan’s) most treasured writers.

Some accolades the novel has earned include:

  • Chosen as one of the titles for 1st World Book Day held in U.S. (2012)
  • Book Sense Bestseller List Sensation
  • Boeke Prize
  • Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Alex Award
  • Borders Original Voices Award, 2003
  • Entertainment Weekly’s Best Book, 2003
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, 2003
  • Literature to Life Award
  • Paperback – on the bestseller list for over 240 weeks (#1 for 4 of those weeks)




Although The Kite Runner has sold millions of copies and inspired a popular film, the book has been met with several challenges since being published in 2003. In 2017, it was the fourth most challenged book, according to the American Library Association. It was mainly challenged for sexual violence, and Islamophobia fueled some challenges, with some literary pundits arguing that the novel would inspire terrorism and promoted Islam. The book also appeared on the top ten lists for 2014 (offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence), 2012 (homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit), and 2008 (offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group).


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Danny Burke ’19

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