REVIEW: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Year of Publication: 2003
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Audio Book
Length: 12 hours and 2 mins.
First Line: “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”

Summary: Over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, and published in 42 different languages.

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable, beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan nonetheless grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir’s father’s servant, is a Hazara, member of a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When the Soviets invade and Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. Written against a history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel’s faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption.

Review: ‘The Kite Runner’ has to be a classic for years to come. I can’t imagine high school students in the future (or even now) not being made to read this novel sometime in English class. At first this novel is hard to understand because it is set in Afghanistan and it’s a different culture with different slang and names, etc. If you know the basic recent (I mean since the 70s) history of Afghanistan and the surrounding countries than you can quickly follow what is going on. One of my main problems with the book was the main character, Amir. He is not your ideal protagonist. He’s really a horrible person and friend and I would I find myself screaming at this fictional character for the choices he made in his life. But that is part of the point of the novel: living with the choices we make. Hosseini just brings Amir and all of the characters to life. It’s not hard to imagine that something of this sort really could have happened. It’s just such a beautiful book. I recommend anyone with an open heart and mind to read it.

Worst part: I think a lot of people will choose not to read it because of the context. Because I want to recommend this book to some of my family members but I know they will not touch this because it deals with Afghanistan.

Best part: It’s completely enthralling. You get sucked into this book and its world.

Grade: A

Recommend For: Everyone

Other Books by This Author: A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed

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