The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Monday, April 6, 2009

I started this post a month ago, and am just now getting around to finishing it. The story of my life! (Recently, anyway.)

Let me just start by saying that I loved this book. It's been around for a while, and I'm not sure how I've managed to not read it until now. So if you haven't read it? I urge you to do so.

The Kite Runner is told from the perspective of Amir. As a boy, he lives a life of privilege in Afghanistan in the 1970s, and we are witness to his very special friendship with Hassan, the servant's son. The dynamic between the boys is interesting: Although Amir is the one with the money and the status, he often finds himself jealous of Hassan, and as a result, often treats him poorly. Still, Hassan is fiercely loyal to Amir. "For you, a thousand times over," he says.

On one particular dramatic day, Amir is forced to choose between doing the wrong thing and doing the right thing. By the time he makes a decision, it is essentially too late, and Amir (and Hassan) must live with the consequences of his cowardly inaction for many years to come.

Life soon changes for all of the characters due to personal and political conflict. We follow Amir through the subsequent years of his life. After he and his father are forced to flee to the United States, Amir and his father must transition from the privileged lifestyle they lived in Afghanistan to one of "just getting by" in America. Even though he is worlds away from Afghanistan, the memories of his childhood and that one horrific night are never far from his mind.

The ensuing story is a lesson in family, loyalty, culture, and forgiveness. Throughout the journey of his life, Amir's greatest challenge is not in forgiving others--but in learning to forgive himself.

I don't want to say much else for fear of giving away the plot's twists and turns. In the end, this is just a beautifully written, tragic, yet strangely hopeful story. I have Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns on my list of books to read soon, and I've heard it is just as great, if not even better than The Kite Runner. Needless to say, I look forward to reading it.

Have you read The Kite Runner? Want to discuss? Feel free to do so in the comments.


Linda April 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

I agree. The Kite Runner is an excellent book. I also enjoyed a Thousand Splendid Suns. Both are beautifully written stories.

mariehahn13 April 7, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

Yes, I've read The Kite Runner and just absolutely loved it. It was actually the Pastor at my church who recommended it to me, and I'm so glad that he did. It's a beautiful story, and very hard to put down. A must read for everyone!

Vanessa April 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

I've read a Thousand Splendid Suns and it was AMAZING! I'm about to send you an email about reading...

MrsBug April 7, 2009 at 3:39 PM  

I thought both this book as well as Thousand Splendid Suns were beautifully written and really amazing reads. I will say though that i thought the movie was terrible, but isn't that always the case when there is a book first?

For me personally, I felt like it humanized a lot of what goes on in the Middle East, rather than a generic news story. I find that I connect more what is going on over there now, if that makes any sense!

Lesley Rae April 7, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

I too, loved reading The Kite Runner. I didn't know about a Thousand Splendid Suns, so I'll have to go out and buy that now!

Sarah April 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

Ditto - excellent book. I have A Thousand Splendid Suns, but have yet to read it. If you haven't signed up on yet, do it. You can find all sorts of good books to read. I'm addicted. :)

Melissa & James April 7, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

I've read both The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns and loved them both. I agree with Mrs. Bug that it was a neat inside perspective into the Afghan Culture.

It's also a great conversation starter (particularly The Kite Runner) on the issues of seeking redemption.

Does anyone know if Hosseini has another book in the works?

Megan April 8, 2009 at 1:33 PM  

One of my all-time favorites along with A Thousand Splendid Suns. Read both in a matter of days.

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