Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Following the span of a few decades, the story centers on Amir from the streets of Kabul to his immigration and his life as an adult in the United States. Amir was the son of a rich Afghan merchant, and grew up with the son of their servant, Hassan. The two got along really well until Amir made a decision that would change both of their lives and cut him away. As Afghanistan turned to civil war, Hassan and his father moved to Peshawar in Iran, and then to California, where they built a new life together. But one day, a phone call brought back the past to him, and changed his life once again.
This book had been on my TBR for quite some time now, and I’m SO GLAD I finally read it. It definitely belongs on the list of books that changed my life. I had heard many great things about it – even my mom had recommended it to me – and I was a bit scared that I would be disappointed, but oh boy I was not. Emotionally, this book was so much more than I could ever expect.
I listened to the audiobook version, which was narrated by the author himself, so that was definitely a plus to the reading experience!
[an accurate representation of me after I finished The Kite Runner]
Basically, the book evolves around friendship and family, race and class, and it’s both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. It deals obviously with Amir’s relationship with Hassan, and how the choices he made towards him affected his life as well as perspective on things. But there is also a great chunk of the book where Hassan is not really preseny (except, of course, in the back of Amir’s mind). The story also evolves around Amir’s complex relationship with his father, and later, the blooming relationship with his wife, which turned into a steady, loving relationship
that never failed to melt my heart. It made me lose hope in humanity and gain it back right away. It was a hell of a ride and I cried way more than I would ever admit, but it was totally worth it.
The main character is flawed but deeply human. He makes bad decisions as a child, but at the same time you can’t really put all the blame on him. The society he lives in is messed up, and some of these
betrayals decisions are also about his own survival in such a world. He also perfectly manages to redeem himself, and overall is very realistic in my opinion.
There are two things I loved above anything else (
three if you add Amir’s wife) and the first is how much I learnt about Afghanistan while reading this book. I have to say, I came into it knowing pretty much nothing about it. But while reading I learnt about its culture, and it’s recent history which was fascinating – albeit a little alarming. I also learnt about Islam, which I always enjoy. It’s something I am working on, and it’s always a great surprise to learn about it in books & TV shows. There are also a few bits of the intrigue that take place in Iran, which was also interesting. The second thing is the amount of crazy plot twists in this book. Some may have seen things coming but I totally did not and that made the story all the better, especially towards the ending, which piles up revelation after revelation when it’s not rudely breaking me in a thousand pieces of tears.
Overall, this book was really intense and well-written. It also contains some fascinating villains, great characters and many plot twists. There is so much more I could tell you about it, but so far my review didn’t really contain spoilers and I don’t want to ruin that. All you need to know is that it is a hell of a ride, and a bit of a tear-jerker, but also an amazing, fantastic story which will most likely make you think a lot. I will definitely be reading other books by this author!
Thanks for reading, and if you have any similar story to recommend, please do so!