Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Kite Runner: My Review


The Kite Runner is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007.

The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Khan, who befriends Hassan, the son of his father's Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.

- Wikipedia

I didn't. They told me I would cry but I didn't. But I was moved. Impressed. And most importantly, I learned as I was introduced to a different literary genre. Most of the novels I’ve read were fictional. The Kite Runner may be fictional in characters but some facts remain -- the Afghan history, child abuse and discrimination as well as the power of faith, hope and love.

SPOILER ALERT! Don't tell me I didn't warn you.

This is my first time to read a novel with an Islamic background. I got to learn some of Islamic cultures about:
- servant-master relationship
- usual conversation with opposite sex
- engagement and wedding

Now I know that a kite flying contest is not all about making a kite soar the highest. There are two competitions involved --- being the last one flying and catching the last one falling.

This novel made me go back to the first chapter upon reaching its mid part.

All the characters played significantly moving unique roles:

  • Amir’s guilt and struggles
  • Hassan’s sacrificial love
  • Assef’s sociopathic views
  • Baba’s life perspective
  • Ali’s fatherly love despite disability
  • Rahim Khan’s loyalty and mentorship
  • Soraya’s unexplained infertility
  • Sohrab’s silence
  • Sanaubar’s harlotry
  • Farid’s brave assistance
  • Farzana’s shyness
  • General Taheri’s unwavering expectation
  • Khala’s warmth and welcomeness

I hope that Khaled Hosseini would make a sequel of this novel. I wonder what went through Sohrab’s young mind – from his memories of his parents, grandma and Rahim Khan up to the time of their deaths, about the very right moment he was taken in and then out of the orphanage unfortunately becoming one of Assef’s toy (just like his father Hassan), when he met his father’s best friend Amir finding hope but then feeling betrayed at the end, while he spent his life in silence, while he sees how much Amir was genuinely working hard to win his trust again, and finally, when he unconciously gave Amir that very rare smile as they flew a kite together for the first time.

There is no happy ending. There is a challenging, realistic and inspiring ending.

Again, thanks TeaSea for lending me the book.
Photo courtesy of Gah-ehl. ^^,



=:=TeaSea=:= said...

Thank you too for the warmth response of introducing this book. 'Twas also a premiere to reading a book with Islamic preferences. The closed mind was opened to understand more of its culture and behavior. The book made me cry! It was able to make me reach the peak of my imagination on how the story was going on. Truly, Khaled moved the untouched perspective of being an open-minded to international dimension focused on family and the society! I learned a lot! Indeed I was able to come up this comment " the book that made me cry, the writer who moved my nerves into a different dimension that traces the lines of inner emotions which fills the gap of evolution and bridges the gap of reality and most likely tearing apart the pieces of humanity from its solid identity..take time to read if you have time "

~KATE~ said...

I cannot agree more, TeaSea!

Though I didn't cry, this novel put a lump in my throat especially while reading Sohrab's struggles.

I like the way Hosseini started and ended the novel. His style is one of a kind. ^^,