Sitting down to read has always been one of the easiest and joyful tasks in my life. But to review a book, well that seemed tough for me. So I thought I would begin by reviewing one of my favorite books called the “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. A surprisingly simple thing but it turned out to be extremely difficult because what could I say about this book that has not already been said or written. But anyway, I gave it a shot and here it goes…
The core story of The Kite Runner is very strong. Amir, the main protagonist is a motherless child of a very popular but distant Baba, and has grown up with Hassan, a member of the abused Hazara community who is both Amir’s best friend and servant. However, in a moment of timidity and fear, Amir betrays Hassan, refusing to help him in his darkest hour. This changes the nature of their relationship and creates a rift between Hassan and Amir, with Hassan and his father finally moving out of their house.
Amir’s journey from guilt to redemption is perfectly captured by Hosseini’s strong portrayal of characters and emotions. The dreadful guilt that childhood mistakes can cause as well as the fear that one must always pay for one’s action and can never be forgiven is captured majestically by the author. In fact, despite the fact that Amir and his father were forced to migrate to California after the Soviet invasion and later when Amir gets married and finds success as a writer, there is little that can save him from the guilt and sorrow of his previous deeds. In his search for atonement, he returns to Kabul and embarks on a remarkable journey to find redemption by rescuing Hassan’s orphaned son. From here, the story takes exciting turns and twists, as Amir finds out that the process of redemption and forgiveness requires patience, love and time.
Drawn from the author’s own personal experience of Afghanistan, the book truly depicts life in the country both after and before the rise of the Taliban. Every aspect of the life and culture of the city is powerfully felt and evoked. Through The Kite Runner, the author has successfully managed to humanize a region that still remains hidden and unknown from the rest of the world. Also, the author has created strong characters which have played a pivotal role in adding to the charm and strength of the story. So whether it is Amir, a person for whom you feel little or no sympathy to Hassan who bears the brunt of Amir’s decision to Baba, Rahim Khan, Sohrab or Soraya, each character is strongly etched out throughout the novel.
So, despite the fact that war and political conflict has rendered Afghanistan as a war-torn area, human drama and emotions play a very important and integral role in this saga. The author’s simple and effortless writing is effective as it helps the readers to identify with the emotions and dynamics of the characters which could exist in any country and culture. A vivid and unforgettable book, The Kite Runner makes other similar books pale in comparison.
In conclusion, Amir might be cowardly and timid, but this novel is full of courage, hope, love and above all redemption and atonement.
About Khaled Hosseini
Born in 1965, in Afghanistan Khaled Hosseini is a prominent and well-known author. Currently, he has published three novels including The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns as well as And The Mountains Echoed. The Kite Runner became a bestseller after it gained popularity in book clubs across the globe and it was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two years. Additionally, it has been adapted into numerous forms, the most popular a movie in 2007 by the same name. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns have sold more than 38 million copies around the globe.
Currently, Hosseini is the Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and has been providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through the Khaled Hosseini Foundation.
Favorite Quotes In The Book
- “For you, a thousand times over”
- “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
- “And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
- “There is a way to be good again…”
- And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.
Highly recommended. A book unlike any other, it offers a glimpse into the life and culture of Afghanistan with characters and scenes that seem very real and detailed. The book is a tale full of courage and hope, even though the main character Amir, might lack them.