Run, run, run

30 06 2010

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.

Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics. Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story of modern Afghanistan and of Amir’s equally guilt-ridden relationship with the war-torn city of his birth. When Amir returns to Kabul to rescue Hassan’s orphaned child, the personal and the political get tangled together in a plot that is as suspenseful as it is taut with feeling.

Pretty impressive first novel this and a really good read. A few twists and turns along the way and it certainly is a compelling narrative. The setting in Afghanistan feels thoroughly authentic but the themes really transcend location.

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