Book Review: The Kite Runner

I’m going to say it before you do- what rock have I been hiding underneath that I haven’t read this book much sooner than now. But, here we are and I have finally taken the plunge and bought the book (R2 read this book in High School, so imagine how behind I feel). I have even taken the extra step and bought the author’s other book, in anticipation- which is not something I ever do. That being said! This week on the blog, we’re going to be reviewing the international bestseller, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- read along and see if I agree with the huge wave of people who have loved this book!

Synopsis:

Amir, a wealthy Afghan boy, is forced to flee is homeland with the father he wishes he had a better relationship with. After he lies and permanently severs the relationship between his father and his best friend Ali, Amir lives with the secret that haunts him. Once relocated to the US years later, Amir receives a sudden call from an old, trusted friend in order to atone for what he did. Faced with addressing his past and reconcile the fact that his homeland is no longer the country he once knew.

Characters:

Amir: Young bookish Afghan boy
Hassan ( Amir’s servant ): Amir’s best friend and targets for his jealousy
Baba: Amir’s father, wealthy, philanthropist and local hero
Ali ( Hassan’s father ): Baba’s best friend and servant
Rahim Khan: Very close family friend, a father like figure to Amir, who saw and accepted Amir for who he was
Soraya: Amir’s wife


…And so it was with kite fighting. The rules were simple: No rules. Fly your kite. Cut the opponents. Good luck.

The Break Down:

Eye opening, emotionally triggering and in some ways heartwarming as well. I can see why this book was so successful, and I’m scratching my head to wonder how it didn’t come across my radar sooner. I loved the fact that it was mainly focused on friendships between men/boys, which I know for myself isn’t one I personally read about often. The depth of Hassan’s love for Amir, his willingness to do absolutely anything for him. As much as Amir cares deeply for Hassan, he didn’t have the same level of sacrifice. Whether it was because of Hassan’s cast and the fact that he was born into servanthood, made it so he didn’t really have a choice and his life was one of service. I found myself having a huge affinity to Hassan, though he might have suspected Amir wasn’t always being kind to him, he willingly took his abuses because he loved him so.

I was slightly disappointed with the storyline of where Amir finally has to face one of his childhood bullies, who turns out to be a leader in the Taliban. It wasn’t surprising or a plot twist, at least not to me. In some ways it needed to happen, as closure but also as a way for him to “redeem” himself for his betrayal to his best friend and his father and the shocking truth that Hassan was in fact his half brother. It’s almost fitting that Amir was so jealous of Hassan, and always wanted to know why it seemed like Baba preferred Hassan over Amir. But the fact was Baba probably saw his betrayal when he looked at Amir and in some ways that destroyed him even more.

Negatives:

If I had to focus in on any negatives in the book, I would say it was the fact that when the author discusses Amir’s past, it felt slow and detailed, painted a beautiful picture of pre-war Afghanistan. I found, once Amir got to adulthood the timeline jumped a lot faster and with less details. I found myself lacking in the details of this time of his life, wanting to know him more or how his character developed as a man. Especially as he was smuggled out of his homeland and had to readjust to life in the USA, but mostly I was interested in how the secret he lived with affected or changed his life. I felt this could have been covered in much more detail.

Would We Recommend:

This book is a “classic” and an INTERNATIONAL bestseller, so who am I to say it shouldn’t be read? It’s a book on a different area of the world, with the recent Russian Invasion in the Ukraine, it created an interesting insight on the ravages of war. Definitely a read.

RnR Rating:

4 out of 5 stars.

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