Book review: The Kite Runner
Posted by AtPeace on July 26, 2007
To me, Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’ wasn’t just a novel – this was an experience. Reading this book affected me in a way that very few other novels ever have. (The only other novel that I remember having traumatized me half as much was ‘Sivagamiyin Sabadham’ which has an ending that somehow makes it impossible for me to read the book ever again, even though it’s my favourite.)
A heart-wrenching tale of friendship, brotherhood, trust, loyalty, guilt and redemption, this novel begins as a flashback with the protagonist Amir living in America. We learn of Amir’s childhood in Kabul, where he lived with his father, his Baba jan. Their servant’s son Hassan is just about Amir’s age and the two kids grow up together having lost their mothers when they were still infants. Amir’s only playmate is Hassan, and the scenes of their childhood and the time they spend together are very vividly described.
Then, an extremely unfortunate incident happens which turns around Amir’s and Hassan’s lives. The political turmoil that Afghanistan goes through doesn’t help matters. Amir and his father flee the country and eventually settle down in the US. But Amir’s mind is far from at peace as guilt constantly gnaws his heart. Several years later, when an old family friend requests Amir to visit him, he decides to go back.. to seek redemption.
The Kite Runner is one of those extraordinary books where the words and pages slowly disappear and the scenes simply unfold before our eyes… one of those rare novels that draw you in completely and make you a part of the very story… one of the truly outstanding stories which make you forget that what you are reading and experiencing is just a piece of fiction…
Without doubt, Khaled Hosseini’s novel will move the hearts of its readers, as it did mine. For its brilliance arises from the simplicity of the plot and the emotions arise from the honest style of storytelling. It is this honesty that is so heart-wrenching.
Of the several reviews about this novel, nothing could have been more spot on than this one by The Times – ‘Hosseini is a truly gifted teller of tales… he’s not afraid to pull every string in your heart to make it sing’. Grab this book if you haven’t yet done so, it’s a highly recommended read.
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