Author: Khaled Hosseini.
Publisher: Riverhead Books.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Disclaimer: Long ultra long post.
I realized it only once I was done! :|
I picked up this book one afternoon after much contemplation as to which book to read next. I guess most of the readers feel the same. The uncertainty of WHAT to read next. There were many who recommended this book, so I thought, Why not?
If you are ready to have your heart yanked out and crushed, this book would be the best option. For a reader who feels the pain and happiness of the fictional characters as their own, this book is going to be like a Thanksgiving feast!
The Kite Runner is a pragmatic and insightful book set in Afghanistan in the 1960s and almost 3 decades after. The book starts with a time in Afghanistan which we no longer hear about. A time when there was no extremity in religion or customs. A time when people led normal happy lives. A country, prosperous and thriving!
This, is a tale of 2 boys, Amir and Hassan. Amir, son of a successful broad minded businessman living in one of the better off places in Kabul and Hassan, son of their servant Ali who lives with them. How an ominous day changes the course of their lives forever. Both the boys had lost their mothers. Amir's mother had passed away at childbirth and Hassan's mother had eloped. The fathers were childhood friends too similar to the boys. Amir born a Pashtun - the majority in Afghanistan and Hassan a Hazara. Hazaras were considered as low class and there was always a discrimination. Amir goes to school while Hassan helps his father with the household chores and is illiterate. However, in many segments its clear that Hassan though the illiterate one, is quite perceptive & observant. The boys have an unique relationship. Hassan dotes on Amir. It says in the book that the first word Hassan uttered when he was a baby/toddler was Amir's name. On the other hand, Amir has a confused state of mind when considering their friendship. He likes Hassan, however the fact that that he is a Hazara and his servant prevails in Amir's heart. This feeling is also triggered due to Amir's father who gave equal importance to both the boys.
The book is described from Amir's point of view. So the readers get to see through the mind of a 12 year old boy who is insecure, confused, jealous and who yearns for his baba's approval. The depiction of the book, the thoughts going through a young boy was realistic & bitter at times. In many instances I felt that Amir was a coward, but on second thought, he was just a kid with the apprehensions of any confused boy of his age. I felt pity and was perplexed at the events turning out in Amir's life.
Those times,kite running was one of the most celebrated ritual.The deciding of which kite to buy, the strings,the pain of cutting your fingers and the victory were all a big deal then.Amir wanted to impress his father by winning the kite running competition. However, when the time arrives, he gets cold feet and Hassan is the one who motivates him.
Amir wins. After the competition,its downhill from there. Something terrible happens to Hassan and is witnessed by Amir. Amir, being the confused and cowardly boy does nothing while the injustice occurs to Hassan. After that fateful day, their friendship drifts apart even though Hassan tries his level best to revive the relationship. So much apart that, both the boys grow up in different continents. The guilt was too much for Amir to take resulting in events, ultimately forcing Ali and Hassan to leave the house for good. The Russians had invaded Kabul forcing Amir and his father to flee to Pakistan and later to America. In California, both father and son start a humble life anew. A life of flea markets, college , love, marriage, Amir being a published writer, the trauma of being childless, death of Amir's father.
|Khaled Hosseini, author (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The language is simple and the author uses his regional language in some places. The emotions come across strong & crystal clear. In some sections, its almost brutal. In some of the segments, it almost felt like an autobiography.
Like Amir, KH is a voracious reader and used to pour over Persian poems.
Like Amir, KH is a writer.
Like Amir, KH moved to the United States.
After reading the book, I had watched the movie. I had this lump in my throat throughout. :( A beautiful book that is sure to traumatize you emotionally. A book which will remain in the hearts of the readers for a long long time.