The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Rating: 7 out of 10
Summary: (From “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” So begins The Kite Runner, a poignant tale of two motherless boys growing up in Kabul, a city teetering on the brink of destruction at the dawn of the Soviet invasion.

Despite their class differences, Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, his devoted sidekick and the son of Amir’s household servant, play together, cause mischief together, and compete in the annual kite-fighting tournament — Amir flying the kite, and Hassan running down the kites they fell. But one day, Amir betrays Hassan, and his betrayal grows increasingly devastating as their tale continues. Amir will spend much of his life coming to terms with his initial and subsequent acts of cowardice, and finally seek to make reparations.

Commentary: This book has been on everyone’s mind since it was published (and subsequently made into a movie) but I actually read Hosseini’s second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, first.

The Kite Runner did not disappoint me, even with all the hooplah surrounding it. Hosseini’s style is clear and emotional, everything is well-paced and descriptive. A good, solid read and great glimpse into Afghani culture and history.

Even with all the destruction and warfare and devestation throughout the novel, it retained a sense of hopefulness which I think is especially crucial. At times it was a little too wound up and weepy, but generally smooth and I recommend it.