The Kite Runner – Book Review

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Page Count: 371

Rating: 4.5 / 5 

The Kite Runner

Goodreads Summary

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.


Review

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”

This book had me crying before the story even began. 15 minutes into the book, I was already wiping tears off my cheeks and I thought I would be crying throughout the story, just like I was in A Thousand Splendid Suns. But much to the disappointment of my sister, who was sitting ready to make fun of me, I didn’t.

Set in Kabul, and later in America, The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir and his relationship with his servant’s son, Hassan. They grew up together, and to Amir, Hassan was the face of Kabul. Yet, he never acknowledged Hassan as his friend as he was from a lower caste; the son of his servant. Hassan never faltered in his loyalty, and Amir often made fun of Hassan for not being able to read and write. However, there was an unspoken bond of brotherhood between the two. As the story progresses, the two grow up, and grow apart, but they continue to feel the other’s presence in their lives.

The book also creates a beautiful picture of the Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion, and a heart-wrenching picture after. It shows the broken state of the country after the Taliban took over, and paints a sorrowful picture of what could have been.

Khaled Hosseini has perfectly captured a tale of a protagonist whose actions invite utter hatred, and his faithful servant who would willingly take on bullies for him a thousand times over. A tale of love, betrayal and remorse. A tale which arouses curiosity about the past of the protagonist and keeps you from wanting to put the book down.

“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.”

I loved reading this book. Even though the story did not make me as sad as A Thousand Splendid Suns did, I found the writing in this book much better. It wasn’t very challenging, yet Hosseini managed to create beautiful metaphors and imagery with his simple words. He stunningly captures the feelings of remorse, regret and hope, and says there is always a way to be good again.

“Zendagi migzara. Life goes on.”


Final Verdict

A definite must-read. The book is very well written. Even though you will loathe the protagonist in the beginning, you won’t be able to stop reading his story.

9 thoughts on “The Kite Runner – Book Review

      • My pleasure!
        Have you read the work of Raymond Carvwr? Short story writer, absolutely unparalleled. I think Jhumpa Lahiri might have been influenced by his writing. And she’s another favorite of mine.

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        • I haven’t read Raymond Carvwr but I’ll definitely look at his work. Thank you for the suggestion.
          I’ve been meaning to read ‘The Namesake’ by Jhumpa Lahiri but haven’t got my hands on the book yet. What are your favorites by these authors? I’d love to give them a read 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jhumpa Lahiri’s book “The Lowland” is stunning. Her first book of short stories is fantastic. “The Namesake” is good, but felt more knotty. And anything that Raymond Carver writes is fantastic. Check out his collection titled “Where I’m Calling From.” Keep in mind, though, that his particular way of writing, and his laconic style is not for all. He’s pretty spare in his descriptions, and yet, he conveys both emotion and atmosphere in ways that seem impossible. I adore his work. Very haunting.

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  1. “The Kite Runner” was such a beautifully written and heart-breaking book! It stayed with me for years after I’d read it. And yes, I wept, too. The protagonist’s weakness and fear are alas, all too common in humans, and he was a kid. That human-weakness aspect of it reminds me of the protagonist in”The Boy in the Striped Pykamas ,” a book which, though very well-written, was very contrived and exploitative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. His fear is just human nature but no one wants to acknowledge it. So reading the story does make the reader hate Amir for his actions, even though most of us would have done the same thing had we been in his place at that young age.

      Liked by 1 person

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