The Kite Runner by Khalen Hosseini

February 1, 2010
By Anonymous

“I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn’t care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the Valley of Pnsjher on my lips,” is the last paragraph of the descriptive, compelling and touching novel “The Kite Runner”. The title has two main meanings; firstly, cultural significance; kite running was a popular sport in Afghanistan, the country where part of this story is set, and secondly, emotional meaning for the main character; he was an exceptional player thereby gaining recognition and respect but he witnessed unspeakable actions as a result of it.

The story is the narrative of a young boy, Amir, who is born to a wealthy Afghan man. His mother died in childbirth and his relationship with his father is dire due to his father’s perception of the boy’s lack of manly successes. His closest friend is his loyal and also motherless servant, Hassan. During the novel Amir escapes the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan with his father to live in California. There the father/son relationship strengthens as they struggle on their own in a foreign country. Amir graduates high school and experiences first love. All is going relatively well until an urgent unexpected visit to his home country.

The book covers a wide range of emotions: from sorrow, regret, betrayal, remorse and grief to forgiveness, love, happiness, joy and many more. It handles all these topics and converts them into an understandable and realistic story that broadened my knowledge of both the country’s culture and history. The story also addresses the issue of moving in a way in which anyone who has lived through that experience can relate to.

The book tells a heartbreaking story about the happenings in Afghanistan that provided the readers with a deeper understanding of people experiencing war.
It was an informative and educational read that was also extremely fascinating, sad and interesting. It took a complicated idea and organized it beautifully.

Although this is not the best book I have read it is definitely among the top five or ten. It is the first book that I have read about Afghanistan and has sparked an interest in me to learn and read, more about the country. I have read many other stories of this kind, although based in other countries, and found it to be the best regarding the style of writing and structure thus far. “The Kite Runner” is an international bestseller; published in 48 countries. It was also the first novel ever about Afghanistan written in English. If you are ready for an emotional ride then this is the book for you.

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