Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Book Review: "The Kite Runner" By Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is the debut novel of Afghan writer, Khaled Hosseini. It is also the first novel published in English by a writer from Afghanistan. And it is a wonderful book - so simple to read but yet gives subtle messages about life and human relations in between its pages. Khaled Hosseini succeeds in the blending of his drama with its context. His narrative takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery, where actions, memories and guilt are experienced.

It is a story of a wealthy Pashtun boy, Amir, from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul; his betrayal (and the guilt of betrayal) with his childhood friend, Hassan, son of his father's Hazara servant; his exodus from Kabul to Peshawar and then to United States when Soviets take over his motherland; his struggle in United States for earning. And finally, his return to Kabul when Taliban’s are ruling the country to rescue Sohrab, son of Hassan. All along the story, runs the course of other events in Afghanistan, from the fall of the monarchy to the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.

The characters are so lovingly drawn - so flawed, so troubled. The story will make you laugh and cry, but more than anything, you will learn about Afghani people, who have suffered beyond words. It also highlights the human cost that the Taliban, and the Soviets for that matter, had on Afghanistan society.

Overall, a great read. You would not like to put it down once you start it. I would surely read other works by Khaled Hosseini based on my liking of this novel.

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