Nov 19, 2009

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My rating: 4 stars

Quick overview: 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. (from Amazon)

Wow. That's the word I uttered the most while reading this book. There were a few twists that I wasn't expecting, and a few I saw coming, but wow - this story was beautifully written. The author did an amazing job of weaving you into the life of Amir - I laughed with him, I worried with him, and I covered my own eyes when he did something he wasn't proud of.

I would suggest reading the first fifty pages or so in one sitting. I read about five pages and then had to put it down, then ten and had to put it down, etc. The beginning is not slow by any means, but it's easy to get confused and lose the thread of the story if you have to constantly keep picking it up. Plus, there's a lot of time spent developing the story of Amir and Hassan, and while it's good, it's at about the halfway point where the story really takes off and I found myself turning page after page.

Be warned - there are heavy topics that are discussed in the story, and this is not always a good thing to read before you go to bed. But I'm going to leave you with a quote, and know that I would highly recommend you read this novel.

"...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." (Pg. 359)

(Photo: Design Crush)


Muznah said...

You're so right. However sad, I still loved the book. But of course then I couldn't have the heart to see the movie although it's sitting in my dvd collection but I don't know. But great writing.

Great review!

Emily Ward said...

It is hard for me to say that I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns better but I think you should read it. It follows the life of women as opposed to young boys. It was very difficult to read because of the content. Even though it is fiction you know that those things are happening to women all over the world. Maybe it is because I work with women, maybe it is because I am a woman, I don't know but it just made me so sad. It had the same well-written prose and I think you would appreciate it.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I really enjoyed (is that even the right word?) The Kite Runner. His other book is on my to-read list...a long with a lot of other books.. I kinda want to re-read The Kite Runner but Ihave too many to read for the first time..

Stevie said...

I haven't read The Kite Runner yet, but I did read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Like Emily said above, it is difficult to read but I also think it's extremely relevant and important to read so we can raise our awareness about these issues. Plus, it's just a beautifully written story. I'm a huge fan Hosseini's writing style.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I also really enjoyed this book. It has been awhile since I read it. If my to-read shelf wasn't already packed, I would totally re-read this. Some day!

Unknown said...

Been reading lots of good reviews on this one. I have the audio which I'm sure I'll get to sooner than the print.

POF Reviews

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