The Kite Runner: A Book Review

n134136An adult Amir opens the novel in the present-day United States with a vague reference to a childhood event, and then the novel flashes back to Amir’s childhood in Afghanistan.

1975: It tells the story of Amir and Hassan, the closest of friends, as good as brothers, and also experts in the art of kite flying. The two young boys live in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and this year they are going to try harder than ever to win the local kite-fighting tournament, and this is Amir’s one hope of winning his father’s love. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon of the tournament ― an event that is to shatter their lives. Just like the kites battling in the sky, war comes to Afghanistan, and the country becomes an extremely dangerous place. After the monarchy falls and the Russians invade, Amir is forced to flee to America.

Although Amir and Baba toil to create a new life for themselves in the United States, the past is unable to stay buried. When it rears its ugly head, Amir is forced to return to his homeland to face the demons and decisions of his youth, with only a slim hope to make amends; to find the one thing which the world cannot grant him ― The Kite Runner becomes the story of Amir’s quest for redemption ― righting the wrongs he committed all those years ago as a boy in Kabul.

Hosseini’s story is not just about Afghanistan, but of relationships which are universal. The prose, elegant and rich; the story fast-paced and hardly ever dull, introduced me to a world – the world of Afghan life – which is strange, fascinating and yet oddly familiar, all at the same time. Hosseini’s writing has helped to rip the Afghanistan which is known commonly; and, has revealed to me an Afghanistan, a place which is not just another place full of turmoil and tragedy.

This story is clear and yet powerful, and not only is the story itself brilliantly constructed, but the book also explores the very art of storytelling. It’s a story with many moral values, and the book is so intensely plotted, that every page shows something new; all the pages, together, create a wonderful unpredictable ending.

A gripping and emotional story, The Kite Runner had me thrilled and moved, both at the same time. This master piece is a painfully honest story which depicts loyalty and betrayal, friendship and cowardice; which later, by an act of cruelty, ruins lives. In simple words, all I can say is, ‘The Kite Runner is a wonderful, brilliant book.’


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