Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This is one of those books that has been sitting on my parents bookshelves for almost two decades and I continuously think about stealing it. Well luckily, I finally did and I am so happy to have had the experience of reading this book. Spanning a 30 year period from the 1970s to the early 2000s, we follow Amir and his best friend Hassan (who is the son of his fathers servant). We see their friendship as children and the devastating events that drive them apart and bring them back together over life changing moments in Afghanistan's history.
There are enthralling and heartwarming scenes at the beginning of the book, showing these two young boys with entirely opposing ways of living; Amir has a wealthy successful father, and Hassan is a Hazara (lower class). There are annual competitions of kite fighting and kite running which truly shows the dedication Hassan has for his friend and makes you fall in love with the character.
As the story progresses, Amir commits a terrible act of betrayal towards his friend, causing an enormous rift in their friendship. When the war starts, Amir and his father flee to America and leave behind the ruin that Kabul has become. The long time frame of the book allows us to see Amir return to Afghanistan to redeem his betrayal and the terrible cost he must go through to right the wrongs of his past.
Within 25 pages, I was completely sold that this book was going to be fantastic. The writing is so beautiful and fluid. Amir's story is told from a first person perspective, and his innocence in being so young allows you to forgive his wrongdoings. Hassan is undoubtedly the most precious child that has ever been written in all of the books I have ever read. I will not be forgetting these characters and the effect that had on me any time soon.
The pacing of the story was excellent, and you will never get bored or restless; I was introduced to an entirely new way of life that I rarely experience and have me very encouraged to branch out more in reading more from non-western perspectives. I will most definitely be reading all works by Khaled Hosseini from now on. This story has so much heart. I cried and cried and genuinely felt every moment of this novel. I would recommend it to anyone, as it shows the devastation of war, but beyond that, it shows something that every person can relate to: the importance of friendship and the desire to set something right when you have made a regretful mistake.
Initial Prediction: 4 stars
Final Rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: 29 May 2003
Genres: Historical Fiction
# of Pages: 324