Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I don't know what specifically made me wait so long to read this book. I'm always slow to pick up the boy-coming-of-age stories and I don't know why but I hesitate to read what everyone else is raving about. I am glad, though, this one fell into my lap. Though the writing isn't anything spectacular, it did suck me in. It took me a while to sympathize with the main character, Amir. His attitude and his choices were frustrating and obnoxious to me - and Hassan seemed almost too perfect. I found, however, that as Amir started taking some responsibility and acknowledging that there are actually things worth finding courage for, I hoped that his actions would lead him to some peace of conscience.

The book paints such a vivid picture of a world I know very little about. We see Afghanistan as a flourishing place where a boy could grow up feeling secure with his place in the world and Afghanistan as a war torn shell. I've never read about the Afghanistan where kites flew in tournaments and school was out in the winter instead of the summer - and learning that made the knowledge of what little remains of that society and place all the more tragic.

The story seemed to rely a bit heavily on foreshadowing and coincidence, although it didn't spoil the read for me. The plot twists felt authentic enough - except for the fact that every Afghan Amir met seemed to have been helped by his father. And once I knew that Sohrab was Amir's half-nephew, I was pretty sure I knew the ending of the book. The theme of forgiveness and redemption was heart-wrenchingly wrought, though (I did have a few tears) and I'll finish with my favorite lines from the book:

"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."


bethany said...

that looks really good. I love the quote you put there...I own this one, and have it in mind to get to it. Especially now, thank you so much for that review!

Michelle said...

His newest book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" was excellent too.

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