Of The Kite Runner Book Review

The March read for my Book Club was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner : Khaled Hosseini : 9781408824863

The Kite Runner published in 2003 was the debut novel by best-selling Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini who also has A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) And the Mountains Echoed (2012) Sea Prayer (2018) under his writer’s belt.

Khaled Hosseini is an incredible storyteller who draws you into his world one word at a time to immerse you into the Afghanistan blue sky, a sky full of kites in epic battles, the sun in your eyes the wind in your face and the rush of running after the fallen, the coveted last kite; and then betrayal, the end of an era, immigration and redemption….

The Kite Runner : Khaled Hosseini : 9781408815250

As an avid fantasy reader The Kite Runner is a bit outside of my comfort world but for my book club I plodded through it. I don’t normally cry when I read but… this is the closest I came to almost crying in a very long time, hahaha! Blinking away tears, I wished the book club had picked a more upbeat read for the month of March.

The book is a bit slow to start with an opening chapter set in the present December 2001 and a phone call from an old friend sets Amir on the road to atonement of a litany sins buried in the past…

“For You A Thousand Times Over”

The Kite Runner, Book by Khaled Hosseini (Paperback)

From there we will go back in time to watch the past become the present, childhood, friendship, the bond fathers have with their sons, navigating ethnic inequality on the backdrop of a country imploding and the immigrant’s nightmare of trying to find refuge.

I laughed a little when I read a line about how no one can find Afghanistan on a map and even stopped reading to just look up Afghanistan on the map… Off the top of my head most of what I know about Afghanistan is in reference to the war and the talibans, a vignette of scenes from movies flashes past as I remember  from way back watching Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 3, Tom Selleck in High Road to China…

John Rambo being briefed for mission to Afghanistan in Rambo 3
Afghanistan Map and Satellite Image

The Kite Runner is a book about friendship and as I read Amir and Hassan’s story I was somehow reminded of The Prince Pauper, one rich the other not, and although they do not switch roles in the way Mark Twain’s story did there’s a certain irony in how everything eventually plays out……

The Kite Runner [DVD] [2007] - Best Buy
It has a movie apparently

The Kite Runner is a father-son story

 Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.

Amir’s father was an intimidating character Baba who scared me a little and had me when I was not wondering at how his name Baba is our Shona word for father, then if all fathers wanted to kill their sons, at least a little, well, that’s what Amir thought anyway, as he sought for his father’s approval.

Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can’t love a person who lives that way without fearing him too

“..there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?”

“No,”

“When you kill a man, you steal a life,” Baba said. “You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?”

The Kite Runner is a coming of age story of betrayal and redemption

“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.”

Though the book is a work of fiction some aspects seem almost autobiographical drawing parallels from the author’s own life experiences…

The book does not have a definitive happy ending… but it has hope.

For You A Thousand Times Over

kite runner art
Art by Mengniu

~B

Click button below to check out some the book clubbers thoughts on The Kite Runner

35 Comments

  1. I loved it. I enjoy reading books from other cultures. It’s such a good way in. I loved the Bookseller of Kabul and the Reluctant Fundamentalist too. Both made a huge impact on me. I really loved a previous book you recommended, The Hairdresser of Harare. That was so well written and so real. I think about it often and it’s on my most re read shelf

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I recently re-read The Hairdresser Of Harare and had occasion to have a virtual discussion with the author and on answering the question about if the book was a biography or not he laughed and marvelled at how people ignored the opening page of the book that clearly states this is a purely a work of fiction and any resemblance is coincidental and kept trying to find out what had inspired the book … I think its a testament of how the story flows so easily you can picture it as something that could happen or something that did indeed happen.

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    2. At the B(r)itchy one.
      Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check out the Bookseller of Kabul and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.

      I googled britchy…very interesting . “Someone who is behaving too big for his/her britches in a particularly witchy way.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never knew there was a real meany! I got given the moniker at a convention years ago when I described myself as a bitch and others changed it to Britch because of my being a Brit! (Now American!)
        I hope you enjoy the books as much as I did. I love seeing the world through other eyes. You learn more about other perspectives than you could any other way

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You read one of my favourite books. This is my type of genre. But nothing… absolutely nothing beats Chengerai Gove’s book called Mother of Bones.

    I love how he told me the society was completely uneducated through their actions and words. I loved how the nobility came across from the same society despite their broken way of speaking. I love how I could understand some phrases that made no sense in English only because I knew it was a direct translation of what we say in indigenous languages.

    I love how even though the author is was a man . The protagonist was a woman painted so accurately even using expressions men cannot relate to… about breastfeeding.

    I love how the story is of someone who probably is hailed a hero in the annals of struggle fighting was portrayed as cruel for choosing to fight for freedom. It’s an amazing perspective one never thinks about when celebrating heros. That we forget the woman who birthed them would have preferred them to be weak and ordinary so they can live a longer life with a family and children without pain.

    I loved how I didn’t know the actual details of the exact time in Zimbabwe’s history the characters lived (as the author doesn’t refer to major historical events of the time) and yet I could immerse and appreciate the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “..there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?”

    Now that it has been explained, he says it right.

    I would love to read it one day, maybe before the end of this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved that explanation about stealing… almost any bad thing one can do is a form of theft.fin

      Its an interesting book to read especially finding some things are common or shall I say universal.

      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Understandable I haven’t read A Thousand Splendid Suns but from what I have I heard its another of the kind that will play with your feels it seems to be author’s specialty
      ~B

      Like

    2. @catkai
      I know what you mean. I understand.

      I felt different after reading a thousand splendid suns. I was inspired to read more subsaharan African novels, it was my first. I didn’t realize I undermined the ability of Africans to surpass the quality of nonafricans in writing historical literature until I opened this novel.

      Of course this realization reframed my view to realising Africans are brilliant at writing about themselves (autobiographical literature). Now I’m searching for non- autobiographical works by Africans and have only found them in African Americans. I’m optimistic though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. African literature is amazing and I’m reading more and more but you are right that most books you come across are by African Americans.

        I love the way Africans tell their stories, how they bend language to their will, the life in the stories.

        Absolutely amazing!

        I went through a Nnedi Okorafor phase. Delicious storytelling!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh yeah, follow her on Twitter. If a journalist writes about her and calls her an Afrofuturism writer, she always corrects them!

        She’s a phenomenal writer.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I should join a book club just so I have other people suggesting good books to read, then I will read so that we are all on the same page.

    Liked by 1 person

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