Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review of Kite Runner


Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
Penguin Group
400 pages
A must read for everyone. A poignant story about coming of age, friendship and betrayal set in the backdrop of an Afghanistan that’s about to chance forever.
Have you ever been forced kicking and screaming to do something you didn’t want to do, and then find out it was one of the best things you ever did. Well that describes my reading of Kite Runner. It was the May read for my in-person book club and I put it off until the last possible moment and even then was arguing with myself whether I should read it or just not show up for the meeting. And if I would have listened to my other self I would have missed out on one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Amir and Hassan were “fed from the same breast” which is very meaningful in their society it makes them brothers of a sort, but in real life they’re not. Amir is the son of a wealthy man and Hassan is the son of their servant. They share a rare relationship that is uncommon in their culture where they are never perceived as equals. Amir has always been jealous of his father’s affection of Hassan and in trying to get that affection for himself finds himself at a crossroads of right and wrong. Which road will he choose.

Khaled is a master of the written word and a gifted storyteller in his masterpiece Kite Runner he presents his readers with the ever popular right versus wrong scenario and then goes one step farther and puts us in the middle of Afghanistan in the 1970’s during the Russian occupation through the 2000’s and the Taliban incursion. His dialogue is so right on for what I expect from a young man trying to find his own way and use his own voice to say it. To the descriptions of an apocalyptic vision of a war torn land that used to be a paradise that will take your breath away. His characters are so vividly portrayed that you can imagine them down to the expressions on their faces as he puts them through their trials. This is a story of defeat and of triumph, of love and loss, but it’s mostly a story of redemption and atonement. It’s the loss of innocence. It’s one man’s journey, but it’s more.
Mr. Hosseini has presented us with a classic read, one that will stay with his audiences long after the last page is closed. If you are one of the minority who hasn’t taken the time to read this incredible novel, please don’t waste any more time, do it now. And I promise you won’t be sorry you did.