Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: rape, war, brutality, violence, murder, death, cancer, illness, pregnancy difficulty, adoption.
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
I read A Thousand Splendid Suns back in high school (class of 2010) and remember loving the novel and the writing, so The Kite Runner has been on my radar for a really, really long time. I remember Hosseini giving me a visual of the war-torn country of Afghanistan, and helping me understand the devastation that has occurred since the War on Terrorism began. I was interested to hear more from the precursory novel that made Hosseini a bestselling and beloved author.
In The Kite Runner, the reader is introduced to Amir, a privileged Pashtun son of a wealthy merchant, living in Kabul with his best friend and servant, Hassan. Though he treats Hassan as inferior to him, Amir can’t remember a day without Hassan. Over the years they grew close, but Hassan’s unwavering loyalty to Amir never quite settled with Amir. However, Amir respected many of Hassan’s qualities, like his ability to run a kite, and the year that they entered the kite fight and Amir won, Amir was stunned that when asked to run to get the kite he defeated, Hassan stated:
“For you, a thousand times over.”
From there, Hosseini takes the reader on an emotion roller coaster as these boys leave their childhood and friendship in the ruins of war-torn Kabul. As the relationship between them grows distant and the father/son relationship strengthens between Amir and Baba, Hosseini displays mastery in character development as Amir tries to right the wrongs against Hassan. The reader will experience love, loss, grief, strife, and finally redemption alongside Amir, while learning about the customs and culture of Afghan people.
I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by the author, and I highly recommend the audio. Listening to the author’s accent narrate Amir, I felt his character come to life. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like or relate to him, and I did struggle to stay with the novel in the beginning, but it soon enveloped me in the tale of these two young boys. If The Kite Runner is on your to-be-read shelf, don’t wait any longer to read it. Get yourself a copy- audiobook or physical- and read it as soon as possible.
Published: May 29, 2003
Publisher: Riverhead Books
TL/DR: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a novel about a man who learns about the meaning of family and Afghanistan heritage.
Read it? Yes, with a box of tissues.
Recommend it? Absolutely.
Buy it? I bought a copy for my library, and I definitely encourage others to do the same!
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