The Kite Runner

October 15, 2012
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Year: 2004
Rating: ★★★★½
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Khaled Hosseini- an Afghan-born American novelist. With its very first novel named “The Kite Runner” made a grand entry in the world of literature. It received the South African Boeke Prize in 2004. It was the first 2005 best seller in the United States, according to Nielsen BookScan. It was also voted the Reading Group Book of the Year for 2006 and 2007 and headed a list of 60 titles submitted by entrants to the Penguin/Orange Reading Group prize.

It tells the story about a boy who betrays his best friend, when he was just 12 years old. And the guilt of that betrayal; makes him repent for his whole life.

The story starts with defining a beautiful friendship between two boys, but one is the son of owner, other is of servant. Amir- the son of the owner is a Pashtun and Sunni Muslim, while Hassan, the servant’s son, is a Hazara and a Shi’a. Despite their ethnic and religious differences, Amir and Hassan grow to be friends. It also explains their characteristics that is if Amir is shy, Hassan is outspoken, if Amir is little timid, Hassan is outrageous. Another plot of tension is “Amir’s father” who happens to be never happy with his “own son”.And then something terrible happens to Hassan, just coz Amir was not been able to help him, coz he was scared. This memory haunts him every day, and every second. This story also unravels various truths about his father, stating may be Hassan was not his servant’s son but his half brother.The realization comes to him late in the novel, but then he pledges himself to help –Hassan, to come out of that place. Upon arrival, the news of Hassan’s death hit him- that shatters him. But he then gets to know about Hassan’s son-Sohrab. This child is emotionally damaged, and then Amir promises him to take to US. Later in the story Amir, Show off some of Hassan’s tricks and Sohrab begins to interact with Amir again. In the end Sohrab only shows a lopsided smile, but this makes him understand that may be this little smile is the first step towards his betterment.

The fact that this novel has spent more than 120 weeks on the New York Times paperback bestseller list and has sold more than four million copies in the United States is hardly an accident. This is a page turner with complex characters and situations that will make everyone think hard about friendship, good and evil, betrayal, and redemption. Overall it is a must read


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