Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Book image courtesy of Google Books

Read and reviewed in December, 2007. Released January, 2008.

Complex family relationships, father/son conflict, childhood betrayal, guilt, political uprising, love, marriage and infertility - and I'm only halfway through! I didn't think I'd like this book; the subject matter didn't look appealing, but it has gotten so many positive reviews and I heard the movie discussed on NPR. Now I'm glad I asked time-traveler for it. It's very well written, and hard to put down.

Fascinating book! An intimate coming-of-age story of two boys in pre-war Afghanistan. One wronged the other and later, as an adult, tried to atone for his past, and embarked on an epic-style quest, all against the background of social and political upheaval: a coup, the Russian-Afghanistan war, the rising of the Taliban, and the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. These news-worthy events were minor to the plot of the story, though. Central to the plot were racial and class differences between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras, very similar to that between American whites and blacks before the Civil Rights victories of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Here are some interesting quotes from the book:
These seemed ironic, as if he were really talking about The Kite Runner:
"Sad stories make good books."

"I finished my first novel, a father-son story set in Kabul ..."

These emphasize that people the world over are more alike than different:
"Take two Afghans who've never met, put them in a room for ten minutes, and they'll figure out how they're related."

"You can take Afghans out of Paghman, but you can't take Paghman out of Afghans."

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