3 Mar 2018

Review - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Synopsis:

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

My Thoughts:

It's not easy to write about this book, just as sometimes it wasn't easy reading it. Not because The Kite Runner is a bad book on the contrary; it is an exceptional piece of literature rather because the story of Amir and Hassan inlvolves so much tragedy that sometimes I had to put the book down and give myself some time to overcome the emotions it evoked in me.

However, when I wasn't having one of my emotional breaks I read it in big chunks. Mr. Hosseini's writing is definitely the most beautiful of all the authors' I've read this year so far. It's lyrical and touches your soul at the right times. He is amazing at storytelling, I felt I was really involved in the happenings and Amir and Hassan were like friends to me; I cared about them, I wanted to know their fate.

Amir is our narrator. His whole life story unfolds in front of us, from the moment he was born to present day. In the center of his reminiscense there is a boy, Hassan, the son of Ali, his father's slave. Hassan and Amir had an idyllic childhood in Kabul, they did most things together and they were friends despite the difference of their social status.

Then one day something happened to Hassan that shook both of their worlds. Amir blamed himself, since he could have prevented the whole thing and his guilt drove him to make a few terrible decisions that made Hassan disappear from his life.

When the Russians march into Afghanistan Amir and Baba (his father, whose attention he'd always fought for) migrate to America to start a new life. But it's only a matter of time till the past catches up with Amir. When a phone call comes from Rahim Khan, Baba's best friend, Amir learns that at last he has a chance 'to be good again'. And so he flies to Pakistan and visits the ailing Rahim Khan to hear news about Hassan and to make past mistakes right.

Afghanistan's recent history gets animated inside your head while you're spending time with this novel. The difference between the Afghanistan of Amir's early years and the war-ridden country he finds when he returns is striking. It was very sad to read about the destruction that ensued first by the hands of the Russians, then by the Taliban.

Judging by all the things I have told you so far of The Kite Runner you probably think there is not an ounce of happiness squeezed into this tale of friendship and ordeal. It is not true. There are brilliant moments that shadow the sorrowful events even if shortly. Love is a powerful motivator in the story; the love of a loyal friend, the love of a father, the love of a son – it gives strength to the characters to move on and change their ways if necessary. There are so many examples to learn from, so many lessons The Kite Runner gives us. I will not forget this book easily.

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