Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Oh for a Book and a Shady Nook!
John Wilson

The book most talked about in 2004 was the Kite Runner by first time author Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini wanted to share with people the Afghanistan of before: before the Soviets; before the Taliban; before the repression; before it became the war-torn country it has become. You meet Amir and Hassan as young boys who have grown up together. Amir is from a privileged family and Hassan was born of servants of his family. It was years before they realized there was a difference between them. The big event every year in Kabul, Afghanistan was the kite-fighting tournament. The boys would spend the year designing and building the best fighting kite. Amir would fly the kites and Hassan would run down the streets and alleys to gather the kites that Amir would knock down. One kite-fighting tournament changed both boys forever. Amir went looking for Hassan when he took to long to return with the kite. When Amir finds Hassan he sees Hassan having unspeakable things done to him by the town bullies. Amir watches and does nothing to help his friend. The change in Amir toward Hassan puzzle him since he doesn't know that Amir witnessed what happened to him. The boys loss of innocence and the change in their friendship co-insides with changes happening in Afghanistan, which begins with the invasion of the Soviets. Amir and his father eventually immigrate to America after they lose everything, leaving Hassan behind. Amir is always haunted by how he stood by and did nothing to help Hassan that day. Amir will redeem himself, but it will cost him dearly. I found that I couldn't wait to pick up this book and follow what happened to the characters. There are some books, that when you finish, when you close the last page-you go "wow." This was one of those books for me. The Kite Runner is on my list as one of the best books I have read (so far) and recommend.

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