So 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.