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The Book I Really Should Have Liked More: Review of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

The Book I Really Should Have Liked More: Review of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”Narrator Amir has grown up in a life of privilege in Afghanistan.  His father is rich, powerful, and part of the upper class.  As part of his privileged life Amir’s household comes with servants, one of which, Hassan has grown up like a brother to Amir and the two have shared everything together.  Hassan is loyal to Amir, taking fights, taunts, and sometimes much worse, but Amir is scared and refuses to go to his friend’s aid when a group of bullies commits an unspeakable crime against him.  Living with the guilt it is almost a gift when the monarchy is toppled and Amir’s life looses it’s shine, causing Amir and his father to flee to America.  American life is good to Amir and he marries his wife, publishes a few books, and seems content.  Then he gets a letter from his homeland and is forced to return.

Hosseini paints a dark (if accurate) picture of Afghanistan under terrorist rule but also paints another picture.  Amir goes back to Afghanistan believing he knows everything about his country of

The Book I Really Should Have Liked More: Review of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”
birth.  He thinks he knows the pain Hassan went through as part of the serving class and thinks he can go back and find his country unchanged.  What Amir finds when he returns is not just that his country has changed, but  that he never knew his country as well as he thought.

It is also the story of a man and his guilt.  Regardless of what country you were born in we’ve all had moments in our past we regret.  Or moments in our childhood we wish we could have borrowed some of our adult wisdom to handle.  The problem Amir faces, while unique to his situation, country, and culture, also bares some universal truths.  We all know what it’s like to wish we could take something we did in our youth back and fix it.

The Book I Really Should Have Liked More: Review of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner”
Throughout the novel Hosseini tries to lighten an otherwise dark topic by Amir’s recollections of kite running with Hassan.  Amir wins his first kite battle, the only time his father has ever truly been proud of him, and Hassan runs the last kite for him, “a thousand times over”, as a sign of his devotion.  It is this act that has caused Amir the most guilt in his life, and the thing he spends the rest of his life trying to make up for.

“The Kite Runner” gives you an interesting look into the culture of Afghanistan both before and after Taliban rule. As well as the difficulty of the Afghani immigrant in a culture so different from their own, and then the difficulty of the immigrant to go back to their home country and try to rekindle the same feelings.  Well written and poignant this book deserves the acclaim it’s gotten, but I do have to say this one just wasn’t for me.  I’m not sure what it is, as the book was well written, but it took me awhile to really get into this one.  After several false starts I managed to get up enough motivation to make it all the way through and it had some redeeming qualities, it just wasn’t for me, but I do plan on picking up “A Thousand Splendid Suns” anyway and seeing how that one goes.


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