My Thoughts About The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Book Review #36)

“For you, a thousand times over”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

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1 Million stars out of 5.

I don’t know. I really don’t know how to start.

I consider a book as one of the best books I’ve read if I don’t know how to start giving it a review, the reason being there are a lot of things that I want to say and I am confused where to start. I only have two books on that list so far, first being Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Muramaki and second is The Color Purple by Alice Walker. And after reading this book, The Kite Runner just made it on that list.

The book is the story of Amir during the 1970 pre–war Afghanistan, followed by the invasion of the Russians in 1979 and the terror that happened afterwards during their nine year occupancy in Afghanistan, the terror and destruction caused by the Taliban in the nineties and the 2000 post-Taliban as the backdrop of the story. The book follows Amir perspective. The book follows Amir’s childhood in the wealthy part of Kabul, Afghanistan living with his father and their servants, father and son, Ali and Hassan, during the early times before war broke in the country. We follow as Amir and their servant’s son, Hassan, grew up, play and learn the art of kite flying, learn and appreciate books, became closer as brothers and fought their bullies together. We follow as Amir always tried to get the approval of his father, a powerful businessman, and how he always try to make his father proud of him. We follow as Amir growing and always despising Hassan in his thoughts while Hassan continuously serve him dutifully as a friend and as a servant. We follow as both their lives changed when Afghanistan was attacked by the Russians and years later when Taliban took over. We follow as the two become separated because of poor choices. We follow as Amir and his father escaped Afghanistan and moved to the US to start a new life. We follow as the two learned the ropes in the US, how their lifestyle changed and how they became accustomed to a country far different from where they came from. We follow as Amir chased his dream in the US and how he started his own family. We follow as he’s still being haunted by the actions that he made during his childhood that changed the life of his friend. We follow as the past didn’t forget Amir, making him come back to Afghanistan to once and for all have a closure and make things right. We follow as secrets over secrets are revealed shedding light to the real connection between Amir and Hassan.

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

I can’t describe enough how I adore the writing. The subplots worked well to with the conclusion of the plot to complete the picture. When I was reading the book, I didn’t feel like I was just watching the characters. I felt like I was with them. I was with the people of Afghanistan during it’s glorious and peaceful days when it’s safe to roam the streets without the fear of hearing wails of women and children and seeing them die because of starvation or wounds or seeing burning houses or people being randomly killed in the streets, mingle with people without the fear that who you are talking to is a spy of the Taliban, laugh with the vendors without the fear of being shot in the head and eat kobab without the fear that it will probably be your last meal.

For me the author was very successful in portraying the beauty of Afghanistan not just by how descriptive his words were but also of made me feel the overflow of emotions that he wanted to convey to the readers through his words. It was like the author is painting using words and he’s using your mind as the canvass to convey what he wants the readers to know and understand. The book itself is an eye-opening for me in regards to Afghanistan, a country where I don’t know much about aside from what I see and read on the news. This is the first book I read about Afghanistan and how the author introduced me to his country is very natural that I felt the pain the Afghans felt when their country was torn. This book provided me a new prospective about how I should see Afghanistan. This book gave me a dose of Afghan history, gave me a look as to what Afghanistan look like, gave me Afghan language lessons and a glimpse who Afghans really are. This helped me understand a certain part of history integral to Afghans. It focused on Afghanistan and highlighted how the country started to fall. By how the author described pre-war Afghanistan on the first part of the book is really far from what we’re curently seeing on the news now.

“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

“For you a thousand times over.” After reading this line from the book, I can’t help but to stop for a while because of the emotions that came rushing through me. I felt how raw the emotions of the characters are. The author showed the unlikely friendship between Amir and Hassan. Friendship against all the odds and boundaries. Friendship tested through time. Friendship between two person with two different background and character, Amir coming from the rich ethnic group of Pashtuns and Hassan from a minority group called Hazaras who are deemed to be inferior in the country. One who acts without thinking then will torment himself afterwards with guilt and one who doesn’t seem to know what limitations of being good is. Hassan who considers Amir as a real brother while the Amir treats the Hassan inwardly without the latter knowing. How the book resolved itself like a puzzle and how the wrongs were fixed totally caught me off guard. This book talks about how fate worked with the two. Life is always marred with mistakes and decisions that we do. Life is not always on our side. But at the end of the day they serve their purposes. They serve as our best teacher. How we are always being given the choices and option and what we just need to do is to choose the ritght one. How we are are always given the opportunity to right our wrongs and what we just have to do is to grab it. This book will make you cry, laugh, love, dismay, horrified, care and most specially hope.

All the characters are not all likeable but that’s the strength of the book because it will make you think otherwise and it’ll serve it’s purpose midway reading it. After reading a couple of pages from the book I felt like all the characters are cliched. I felt like what I am just reading is another family saga torn by war then at the end to be reunited. I immediately judged the characters to being too good and predictable to be true. I despised the main protagonist, Amir, at first, for being so doubtful, coward and selfish towards other particularly to his friend Hassan. And Hassan for being too forgiving and understanding to the point that it already became so annoying. But then, as I push through reading the book, things have turned to a different direction. I began to connect with the characters. I began to feel the characters. I began to slowly understand what the author’s direction was. This is not just a family saga. What I am reading is not just a story of family but a story of a country. The author became very effective in connecting a family issue to a main turning point of a country’s history. It’s a story about redemption and freedom. Redemption and freedom on the part of the main protagonist and the ongoing struggle of the deeply-wounded Afghanistan towards redemption and freedom. Both having a troubled past and both wanting to make a closure for that past the continuously hurts them.

“There is only one sin. and that is theft… when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

All the other characters are also all well-developed. They were not just there to extend the story. They were all there because each had integral parts to the story. They were given their own background and life in the book which made me even more appreciate the book. Relationships among the characters were very much developed making it easier to understand their actions adding emotional richness to the story.

I like the books genuine and honest storytelling. The author is very effective in providing powerful and painful illustrations using words. The book has its share of disturbing and haunting scenes. It did not veer away with the stories of violence, abuse and terrorism for that is the reality of what war is. This book talks about the ugly truth about war, how no one wins in a war.

“There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Lastly, I should not forget to say that this is a love story. The love that binds fathers and sons, friends connected by heart and strangers connected by purpose. Their story depicts the reality of what love is and the complexities that comes with it.

Overall it’s moving, haunting and powerful novel. It is a wonderful, moving and well written book. It took a while for me to finish the book because I savored every page of it. I can’t recommend it enough. Go read it! I’ll definitely go check his other two books.

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4 thoughts on “My Thoughts About The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Book Review #36)

  1. I read this book a few years ago and it made an impression on me for sure. If you loved this, then you’ll like the other two books too. Khaled’s latest, ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ had me reading till 3 am, till I finished it and found myself in tears. It has so much more depth and you can truly see the writer growing and maturing. #MustRead #HighlyRecommended

    PS: I realised we have many books/authors in common, though I don’t review every book in my blog, most of those are in Goodreads.

    Liked by 1 person

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