Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, History
5th sentence, 74th page: And that was close as Hassan and I ever came to discussing what had happened in the alley.
Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that hsi new world cannot grant him: redemption.
This story is one of those that hits you right in the gut. And will probably stay with you forever. I know this because I can remember reading it about ten years ago. And although I could remember the amazing intensity of the story, and the vague storyline, I couldn’t remember enough to find this book again. Fast forward the ten years, I bought a Khaled Hosseini boxset on a whim. Picked up one of the books, and lo and behold, it’s the book I’ve spent ages searching for!
I sat up all night to finish The Kite Runner. It’s a little slow to start with. But once you hit the eighth chapter, it becomes incredibly difficult to put down. And then, once you’ve finished it, there are so many feelings that linger that it is almost impossible to sleep. Or really, think about anything else for a while. This is a true tragedy, with a nice little silver lining that helps to keep you from the precipice as you read it.
There are few people in this world who are inherently good. Fewer who are put into a bad situation and are able to maintain this sense of dignity and internal strength. Yet, Hassan ticks all of these boxes. And the fact that this story features his downfall and much of his tragic life makes it incredibly painful to read of someone who just feels “good”. I also love that this goodness is reported by his childhood friend and another young man who doesn’t quit fit this bill. He is more relatable to a degree. Amir is selfish, insecure and struggling to find out who he is in the shadow of another. The combination of the two boys is both amazing and horrifying. And it makes this story well worth reading and finding a new reality and intensity to dive into.
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