Reviews

Book Review: The Kite Runner

*Warning: Contains Spoilers*

“And that’s the thing about who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s first book which was published in 2003. This book is why I went on to read A Thousand Splendid Suns and did a review for it that you can read here. I originally read this book quite a while back and remember being totally engrossed. I read it again as part of my English class for school and I loved it just as much as I had the first time I read it. This book is as emotionally gripping as all of Hosseini’s books are. It is a story about love, life, betrayal and redemption. It also talks about the war in Afghanistan and how much damage it did to the country and how it turned the lives of the people there upside down.

It revolves around the life of a young boy, Amir, and his best friend Hassan. Hassan is the son of a worker at Amir’s house but the two grew up together and are as close as brothers. One thing they are exceptionally good at is the art of kite flying and Amir decides that they must win the annual kite flying contest that year because he thought it would win him the love of his cold, distant father. Although they do end up winning the contest there is a heavy price they pay for it leaving their friendship in turmoil.

Soon Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan due to the war and they end up living in America. Unlike in Afghanistan where they were very well off and lead a comfortable life, in America they have to start afresh working minimum wage jobs. Even though Amir and Hassan are separated and live on two different continents Amir is always haunted by his past. No matter how preoccupied he is he cannot stop thinking about Hassan.

Eventually, Amir decides to become a writer as writing had always been his passion since he was a young child. He meets a girl he falls in love with and marries and even though he is happy he still continues to live in the shadows of his betrayal. His father unfortunately dies soon after the wedding.

Fifteen years his marriage he gets a call from a friend of his father, Rahim Khan, who is still in Afghanistan. He and Rahim were very close when he was a child and Rahim was the only one who had encouraged him to pursue his dreams of being a writer. Amir decides to go back only to find things about his past that will all lead to a battle between good and evil and an opportunity for Amir to redeem himself. This may be the last chance he has to finally let go of the past, to correct the wrong that has haunted him all these years. It won’t be easy but Amir knows it is finally time to face his demons.

Another great aspect of this book, apart from its raw emotions and powerful characters, is the description. Hosseini, just like in his other books has done a great job describing the life of the people in Afghanistan before, during and after the war. It shows how much devastation was caused to this once beautiful and peaceful country. It describes their struggles in a different way than we are used to seeing.

The end is very moving and I was really emotional at the end. It can be interpreted differently but in my opinion it leaves us with some hope that things may get better- not anytime soon but maybe someday in the future.

“For you a thousand times over”

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