If you haven’t heard of The Kite Runner, where have you been for the past few years?
Since being published in 2003, Hosseini’s tale of redemption, friendship and loss, has become an international bestseller. And it’s easy to see why – Khaled Hosseini is nothing short of a true storyteller.
The novel starts with a phone call, and the promise that for Amir “there is a way to be good again”. Over the next few chapters Hosseini reveals the details of Amir’s childhood – life in Afghanistan, his strained relationship with his father, his close friendship with a young Hazara, Hassan, but most importantly the source of Amir’s anxiety and guilt. After fleeing to America following the Soviet Union’s military intervention in Afghanistan, Amir still cannot shake the shame and guilt that has followed him ever since ‘that day’ – his past has finally caught up with him after all those years. What happens next is gripping to say the least.
That being said, the content of the novel itself is sincerely moving- Hosseini has an eye for detail, and an accomplished authorial voice that instead of overshadowing the narrative, allows it to unfold exactly as it should. But it is the characters of The Kite Runner that really steal the show. Amir is a reader’s dream, the kind of protagonist that you will struggle with and agonise over – he is at once infuriating and yet hopelessly endearing. Hassan will break your heart, Assef will remind you of what is wrong in the world, Rahim Khan will give you hope, and Baba will inspire both admiration and frustration.
In short, The Kite Runner is a must read for various reasons that it wouldn’t do justice to list…