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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Review

Summary from Wikipedia

The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan.

Review

I was thrilled and moved and felt sad at some points when I read the Kite Runner It is a gripping and emotional story of betrayal and redemption, It tells the story of Amir and Hassan, though they did not know but were brothers from father’s side. They were fond of flying kites and were experts in the art. They live in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and like always they are trying hard to win the local kite tournament. Kite flying is the favorite sport in Afghanistan. But just at that time a war started in Afghanistan and Kabul became an extremely dangerous place to live or to play.

Amir and his father left Afghanistan and went to America to save themselves from the atrocities of war but they were not able to take Hassan with them as legally he was not related to them and only Amir’s father knew the truth of Hassan’s identity. Amir insisted and argued with his father to take Hassan with them but his father did not agree. Amir considered it an act of betrayal, towards his best friend Hassan, which haunted him for the rest of his life.

The story is fast-paced and hardly ever dull, and 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 finds a great balance between being clear and yet powerful, and not only is the story itself brilliantly constructed, but the book also explores the very art of storytelling. Amir himself becomes a writer, and he reflects on his experiences in the story.

But I think the best bit about the kite runner is its sense of fate and justice, of good overcoming evil in the end, despite all odds. Without giving away the ending, Amir ends up back in Afghanistan and makes a very different set of sacrifices in order to set things straight. The final chapter of the book is my favourite, and one that I have found moving even when rereading it. The message behind the very ending could be interpreted differently by different readers, but personally I feel that it offers a small sense of hope for both the future of its characters, and perhaps for war-torn Afghanistan as well.

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