The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

the kite runnerSo many things have been said about The Kite Runner, “heartbreaking” is one of the words that are used the most often to describe this novel and I can attest to the fact that it’s true. It is indeed a heartbreaking story, but also a beautiful and informative novel at the same time. Why it took me so long to actually read the book I wouldn’t know, but I am so glad that I have read it.  It has been on my radar for a while, but I’ve only decided to pick it up after I’ve read and loved his third novel, And The Mountains Echoed.

The Kite Runner tells the story of two boys, Amir and Hassan and their friendship. It also gives us a glimpse into the history of Afghanistan and the culture and I enjoyed reading about the political atmosphere in the country at the time, which was in the 1970s. Amir is the son of a wealthy man and Hassan the son of their servant who has an unlikely friendship that is being frowned upon by their peers.  The two boys grew up together. Hassan is such a delicate and pure soul who wears his heart on his sleeve. His unconditional love for his friend Amir is easy to see in his actions, especially the way he stands up for Amir, as he tells Amir “for you, a thousand times over”. Amir on the other hand, is a difficult character to understand. At times I found him a coward and his actions irritating, actions like teasing Hassan for being illiterate, not standing up for their friendship and willfully watching Hassan get hurt in the worst possible way, because he is selfish. But there is a way to be good again…

Hassan’s father was an interesting character too, a strong man. I found the way he raised Amir and the way he treated him a bit strange, but there was one thing he told Amir about sin that showed me that he is an insightful man too. He told Amir that there is only one sin and that is theft. This explanation for that statement is insightful and I think it’s one of those statements that would make a great topic for book club discussion.

Overall, The Kite Runner, was a great read. It is not an easy read, there are parts of the novel that might be difficult to read to a sensitive reader, like graphic details of the events that led to Hassan and Amir being separated. I found this to be an emotionally gripping novel, almost impossible to put down. Khaled Hosseini definitely pulled on my heartstrings with The Kite Runner. I enjoyed it even more than I did And The Mountains Echoed.  It’s a gripping story of friendship, betrayal and redemption that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the novel.

PS: I am aware of the fact that I’m not giving a short overview of what happens in the novel as I usually do. It’s a bit difficult to do so without giving too much away. I’d rather you read the book and that’s my “subtle” way of telling you that you have to read the book.

Image source

  • Ciska van der Lans

    I read this book years ago and though I did like I never read one of Hosseini’s other books. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Lost in Literature

    I scored a copy of this for 50 cent at a library sale. Haven’t read it yet, maybe in 2015??
    Your review makes me want to get to it. Thanks!

  • FictionFan

    This has been on my Kindle for ages, ever since I read and loved And the Mountains Echoed. Thanks for the reminder – I must get around to it soon if you think it’s even better than Mountains…

  • Jennine G.

    Which of the two of his books did you like better?

  • Mary @Bookfan

    I liked his first two books and have And the Mountains Echoed on my shelf. Hope to get to it in early 2015 (can’t believe I’m scheduled out that far!).

  • Parastou

    I loved his first two books but have hesitated to read And the Mountains Echoed – so glad you enjoyed The Kite Runner.

    • I definitely think The Kite Runner is better, but And The Moutains Echoed is still a good book, better than most other books I’ve read.

  • I can’t believe this is the only book I’ve read by him. I loved it so much! I guess I was afraid the others would pale in comparison.

    • I liked And The Mountains Echoed, but not as much as this one. I think before I say this one is the best of the 3, I should read A Thousand Splendid Suns first!

  • I enjoyed your review. The Kite Runner has been on my radar. I hope to read it soon.

  • Ali

    I wonder if the movie based on the book is true to it.

  • Nishita

    I don’t think I enjoyed this book as much as his other books – probably because I didn’t like Amir at all, but the story in itself was amazing and so well-written.

  • Alexraphael

    This was such a tough book to read. It took me a long time to get into it.

  • Isi

    Hi Mel,
    I read this book a few months ago thanks to my reading club at the library, and I really loved it. I was like you: I knew I had to read it, but I was lazy 🙂
    There in the club all the women thought it was a very good book and we talked a lot about everything, because it has a lot of things to bring up. Now I want to read more books by this author.

    • This is definitely a book a lot of discussions can be had over. I’m glad you got to read it for the book club, you guys/ladies must have had a good discussion meeting. You definitely chose the right book to read 🙂

      • Isi

        Yes, we all liked the book and found it touching.
        We are 19 ladies and 2 men (one of which is my father, by the way, haha)

  • Tanya M

    I read this back before I became a bookworm and remember being stressed out by it. Idid get an autographed copy of And the Mountains Echoed for my birthday and still have not read it!

    • This book was definitely not an easy read. I liked it more than And The Mountains Echoed, but because the latter was my first read by Hosseini and really really liked it! You should read your copy 🙂