Nov 10, 2010

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner
Author:  Khaled Hosseini
Genre:  Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Riverhead Trade
Date Published:  April 27th 2004

From Goodreads:

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the present.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption. And it is also about the power of fathers over sons -- their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner tells a sweeping story of family, love, and friendship against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, bringing to mind the large canvasses of the Russian writers of the nineteenth century. But just as it is old-fashioned in its narration, it is contemporary in its subject -- the devastating history of Afghanistan over the past thirty years. As emotionally gripping as it is tender, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful debut.

I can't believe I had no interest in reading The Kite Runner, I finally gave in after I found a copy at a consignment store for cheap.  There was no way I was leaving that store without a book in my hand.  WOW!  This is one of the best books i've read of late, so well written, and the story was heartwrenching.

The bulk of the story takes place in 1970's Afghanistan, Amir and Hassan are best friends, but come from totally different social classes, infact Hassan is Amir's servant.  Hassan really got the short end of the friendship, because Amir was not a very good friend.  Amir teeter totted between loving Hassan and resenting him.  I came to really love the character Hassan, he definitely pulls at your heart strings.  Things come head to head when Amir's resentment of Hassan become too strong which leads to Hassan and his dad leaving the household.  Soon after Afghanistan becomes war torn, and Amir and his dad escape to America.  What happens after is really the second half of the book. 

I'm most impressed with how emotionally involved I was with the characters.  I cried a couple of times reading this, and that really says something about the writing.  When someone can write something that touches you deeply enough to feel something real, well, kudos.   I also loved learning about the Afghan culture.  The kite running tradition was really interesting, though hard to picture.

There are a couple of things that made me think "too perfect" like the fact that Amir comes head to head with Assaf, his and Hassan's childhood enemy, as a adult.  What are the chances?  Assaf is now a taliban leader, and I just thought the confrontation between him and Amir was too unbelievable.  I understand why he did it though, I so hated Assaf that I wanted him to get his, and well he did.

The Kite Runner is  Mr. Hosseini's debut novel, what a impact he made in the literal world.  The Kite Runner is about love, friendship, jealousy, and the human heart.  I cannot recommend this one enough.


  1. I haven't read this one yet and it's been on my list for years now. I know I will enjoy when I finally do sit down and read it but I have to get in the mood! Great review!

  2. excellent book. i liked how this story was told and of the friendship.


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