“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini tells the powerful and touching story of Amir as he transforms from child to adult during the transition of the Afghanistan government from monarchy to revolution. This vivid and rich story is unforgettable. I enjoyed both the book and the movie because of how engaging and moving the plot is. “The Kite Runner” is a New York Times Bestseller that I highly recommend you start reading.
1. Culturally Rich
One thing I admire about Khaled Hosseini’s work in both “The Kite Runner” and his other novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is the cultural accuracy of the story. I don’t know much about the daily life in Afghanistan, especially that from 30 years ago, nonetheless, Hosseini paints a remarkable picture of what the country was and is now like. Critic Houston Chronicle said, “Hosseini brings his native country to life with great sensitivity. [He] richly describes the Afghan customs and traditions that tug on the immigrants as they mourn the loss of their country and struggle to build an American life.”
2. Your past
The books opens with this striking statement: “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” One thing I learned from this book is that your past makes who you are. You change based on the events that unfold. If things were different, even slightly, you wouldn’t be the same person you are now. How incredible is that?
You begin to look at things with a new perspective after reading “The Kite Runner.” Amir’s father Baba offers some life lessons that have stuck with me ever since. He says, “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft...When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.” Considering this caused me to redefine some areas of my life.
Hassan, son of Baba’s servant, is not only Amir’s best childhood friend but also a loyal and devoted individual. His life was served for the benefit of Amir even though Amir couldn’t process what happened in that winter of 1975. At the time, he kept quiet and that changed everything. Yet through it all, Hassan remained a steadfast friend. It breaks my heart when he looks at Amir with honest and sincere eyes and says, “For you, a thousand times over.” That’s a true friend right there.
In addition to the culturally rich plot, the transition between governments becomes clearer. Amir and Baba are privileged and seeing how that changes throughout the story gives me a sense of what really happened to the people in Afghanistan. They end up leaving to travel to the United States and even that transition shows me the difficulty of the time. To get a good and historically-aware portrait of Afghanistan, you should read this book.
“The Kite Runner” deals with some strong themes that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It addresses friendship, betrayal, guilt and redemption. It shows how these threads can impact your life and that of those around you. It definitely makes you aware of the bigger picture and not simply focusing on what works best for you.
“The Kite Runner” is a great book that you should check out. I didn’t want to put it down and poured through the pages eager to learn more about Afghan and Amir. To me, it’s one of the classics. And of course, it’s rank as the #1 New York Times Bestseller for over a consistent two years shows that it was well received.
If you haven’t already, you should start reading “The Kite Runner.” If you have read it, what was your reaction? Would you recommend it?