Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book #: Standalone
Publication: April 2004, by Riverhead Book
The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land.
Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority.
But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
So, I knew that this book has received a gazillion positive reviews, everyone loves it and it has 4.20 stars on goodreads. Still, I had it on my shelves since my birthday on 2009 when my mother had given it to me as a present saying that it was the best book she’d ever read. And I left it on my shelf for 4 years. 4 whole years it was sitting on my shelf and I didn’t even care about it. Why am I telling you this? Just to show you that I was almost positive I wasn’t going to like this book. Why? I don’t f-ing know! I thought it was going to be a melodramatic (which it was), heavy (which it also was) and boring (which it wasn’t AT ALL) story.
The story of two boys, two friends whom life brings apart. I never thought this could make for such a book. Touching. Sad. But also motivational and hopeful. This book was everything I didn’t expect it to be. It blew me away and it’s a book I will remember for a long time.
The highlight of this book is definitely the author. His writing style. His talent. Above all I admire his ability to write all these things, that must include a lot of personal experiences and trigger many feelings, with such political neutrality. There wasn’t any point in the book where I could feel the author taking a stand. Choosing who the good and who the bad guys are. It must take a great deal of strength to be able to do that. To be able to write about something that has affected your own life so much and still watch it as if you’re on the outside, looking in. I can’t do anything, but admire such strength and self-control.
It’s one of few books that made me feel all these kinds of different emotions and all of them very intensely. So here’s how I feel after having read the book:
I am angry.
Because of all the injustice. Because of everything that shouldn’t be happening, but still happens. Because of everything that people among us have to go through. Because it’s not fair.
I am horrified.
By everything that humans are capable of doing. Being capable of hurting so many people just to achieve a certain goal – usually money. Being willing to destroy thousands of lives, children, families, just to earn more money. And, what’s even more scary, being capable of transforming all those things under the mask of “the greater good” or even “self-protection”. It’s unbelievable how far humans can go.
I am sad.
Of all the things that can tear two people apart. Nationality differences. Skin-color differences. Religion differences. Why do all of these even exist?
I am in awe.
Of the author. Of his writing style. Of how he managed to make everything seem so real. To describe everything in such detail without making the story boring. To be able to use such long narrations and monologues, but keep the story direct and alive. He has an incredible talent.
I am moved.
By everything that is happening in this book. It’s happening all around us in the real world and we just choose to close our eyes to it. Even though the story is so sad and could even be described as depressing, I feel motivated.
I am hopeful.
I am different.
I feel like this book has changed me. I feel like it’s my responsibility to do something. To change something. To help someone.
I don’t what else there is left to say. I hope I convinced at least one of you to read this book. It’s something I truly believe everyone should read and everyone would be able to admire and respect.
If there is one phrase that will stick with me for a long, long time it’s this:
“Amir and Hassan, the sultans of Kabul.”
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.
One of the best books I’ve ever read.
A powerful story and a beautifully written book.
The power to forgive, forget and move on could not have been depicted any better.
Recommend it for…
- Everyone over the age of maybe 15, due to violent content.