Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary: “”I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” So begins The Kite Runner, a poignant tale of two motherless boys growing up in Kabul, a city teetering on the brink of destruction at the dawn of the Soviet invasion.
Despite their class differences, Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, his devoted sidekick and the son of Amir’s household servant, play together, cause mischief together, and compete in the annual kite-fighting tournament — Amir flying the kite, and Hassan running down the kites they fell. But one day, Amir betrays Hassan, and his betrayal grows increasingly devastating as their tale continues. Amir will spend much of his life coming to terms with his initial and subsequent acts of cowardice, and finally seek to make reparations. (Summary found on Goodreads).
This book made me cry and let me tell you something that you’ve probably heard from me before: that does not happen often. I went into this with the knowledge that this book was supposed to make me bawl my eyes out, but I was a little stubborn there, wanting to not cry.
Yeah that didn’t happen.
The Kite Runner is devastating, as expected by Khalid Hosseini. It was actually a lot different from his other book A Thousand Splendid Suns, dealing with completely different topics, even if they both take place in the same region. I’m really glad it wasn’t all that similar though because this only strengthened my understanding of the culture and the devastation in Kabul.
Hosseini is a beautiful writer. He painted a world so clearly in my mind, carried the themes so wonderfully, and really drew me into Amir’s story. I didn’t love Amir, but I think that was the point. In the beginning, I hated Amir and loved Hassan. Of course, as the story progressed, I felt for Amir and his guilt over his past actions. I kept hoping he would be able to redeem himself, but I’m beginning to wonder if Hosseini knows how to write happy books. This was quite the opposite from happy. The ending was…hopeful? But it was no where near happy.
I’m really gratefully Hosseini doesn’t sugarcoat anything, though. He shows the darkness, the sadness, and anger of life, especially life under the Taliban. It’s such a difficult topic to handle, but I found Hosseini handled it extraordinarily well, never leaving out a detail, but managing to keep it just slightly under hopeless.
I highly recommend reading The Kite Runner, or A Thousand Splendid Suns. I am so glad I have.