The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A novel set mostly in Afghanistan. The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.
The introverted and insecure afghan narrator, Amir, grows up in Afghanistan in the closing years of the monarchy and the first years of the short-lived republic. His best and most faithful friend, Hassan, is the son of a servant. Amir feels he betrays Hassan by not coming to his aid when Hassan is set on by bullies and furthermore forces Hassan and his father Ali to leave his father´s service. Amir´s relatively privileged life in Kabul comes to an end when the communist regime comes to power and his extrovert father, Baba emigrates with him to the U.S. There Amir meets his future afghan wife and marries her. Amir´s father dies in the U.S. and Amir receives a letter from his father´s most trusted business partner and, for a time, Amir´s surrogate father, which makes Amir return, alone, to a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan in search of the truth about himself and his family, and finally, a sort of redemption.
Mrs Salter’s comments
At the start of this book Afghanistan is a country of wealth, culture, lush landscapes and intellect. Soon after the Taliban take over and everything changes in a very short time. The narrator goes from a life of privilege to a foreign refugee. While his life goes on, there are events from his childhood which haunt and challenge him. Much later in life he has a reason to go back to his old home, see what is left of the countryside, experience the new regime of the country and possibly find redemption for some things he didn’t do as a child.
This is the type of story that sticks with you for a long time. I have two copies available because some readers take a long time to finish. There is a movie but I don’t recommend it, some stories don’t suit the big screen and this is one of them, in my opinion.