An hour ago, I closed ‘The Kite Runner’. All 324 pages cascading together as the hardcover exterior closed its doors. Although the words have been read and the book now finished, this story will never cease to exist in my reading portfolio of a mind. The spine of Khaled Hosseini’s novel had grasped my attention every time I pondered over my next book choice. However, for some baffling reason, it took me over 12 months to finally pull the book from between its two paperback neighbours. The Kite Runner shaped hole on my shelf had been a long time coming. From the first chapter I was mesmerised. A strong thirst for the story developed. I needed to read more. I HAD to read more. Every page came alive in my mind and my imagination burst with vivid images of the characters and the Afghanistan landscape. They say a good author must paint a clear picture for you. If this is the case, then Hosseini is the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci of words.
During my A-Level and University days, I had been introduced to texts that paint a picture of the beauty yet sometimes monstrous evils, that have existed in countries beyond the island of Britain.
I have always opened my mind to engaging with the facts and histories of other cultures across the globe. I believe that nobody could ever say that they have grown up in a world where war, horror and prejudice doesn’t exist. I know it is there. It is prevalent. Very much so today also.
The story of ‘The Kite Runner’ is a captivating story that takes you on a tumultuous journey, impeccably similar to that of a kite soaring against the wind beneath the Afghan skies.
Plot Summary (No spoilers):
The story begins in Kabul with the protagonist Amir and his best friend Hassan. Although many social barriers of prejudice stand in their way, the boys are inseparable. Hassan, a servant of the household, as well as being a Hazara in the stifling Pashtun heavy city of Kabul, holds a dear place in Amir’s life. Hosseini movingly takes you on the course of the boys’ lives and you feel as though you are following their journey in the eyes of an onlooker. In the backdrop of an ever-changing Afghanistan, along with the complexity of father-son relationships, the boys are forced to take paths that they would never have chosen given the choice. From start to finish, the story is never dull. It holds just the right amount of adventure, passion and contextual angst.
The plot offers a small insight into the harsh horrors and monstrous actions occurring in Afghanistan from the late 1970’s and onwards. Although a rough emotional ride at times, this book is worth every tear shed, every page turned and every spare minute of your day.
A captivating quote:
This quote is the most poignant quote of the novel. Originally stated in a joyous context, it later triggers hidden emotions within Amir and leaves your heart feeling slightly heavier when read.
- “I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.”
This quote had to be acknowledged. The novel wouldn’t have taken the course it did if Amir had changed one thing – spoken up. It resonates true to everyday life. Tell people you love them. Pay someone a compliment. Stand up for what you believe in. Support those who need you. Words are ours to speak and we are free to let them loose from our lips.
I cannot express how much each individual character shaped this story. Every character has an incredibly important role in bringing this story together. Even the characters who inhabited only a chapter of the story, added that extra bit of life to the pages. Hosseini has created a book full of intriguing and individual characters that all have complexities and their own internal struggle.