Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Author: Khaled Hosseini
ISBN # 1594480001

Publisher: Riverhead Books

First Published: 2003

371 pages

Rating: 9/10

(Olympic Challenge – Afghanistan)

The Blurb:
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting toumament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him? for he always helps Amir? but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.

The Review:
It’s rare to come across such a captivating book by pure chance, but that’s exactly what happened to me: I was approached by a woman at work whom I’d never previously set eyes upon – she had seen me constantly reading and wanted to lend me a book she thought I might enjoy.

She couldn’t have been more right!

I had heard of The Kite Runner before, but for some reason it had never appealed to me enough to actually pick up a copy for myself, however, when someone is kind enough to lend me a book, I feel obliged to at least give it a try, and this was no exception. Within a few pages, I found myself completely engrossed in a world totally alien to my own. Growing up in Afghanistan in the 70s (and even nowadays) is so unlike my own experiences of youth that I was fascinated. What unfolded was an epic story, a coming-of-age, and a quest for redemption that was completely unexpected.

The writing was sublime and I found myself transported directly into the heart of Kabul, identifying and sympathising with the people and transfixed by this heartrending story whish is, in parts, deeply disturbing and utterly real. I was moved to tears on several occasions.

It’s peppered with Afghan words, which helps draw the reader into the story, and on a personal note, I was struck by the similarities in language to Turkish (I spent a fair bit of time in Turkey a few years back and loved the people, the culture and the language), which again acted as a draw to me on another level.

If you haven’t yet read this book, please do. And if you’ve never tried a foreign author, Hosseini is a wonderful example of the abundant wealth of writers from different countries and will surely make the prospect of adventuring further with others an enticing and exciting one!

2 Comments:

Blogger booklogged said...

Kite Runner is one of my favorite books. Glad you enjoyed it.

9:59 pm  
Blogger Marcail said...

I couldn't agree more. This is a book that will stay with me. It interested me on many levels and the storytelling was stellar and captivating until the end.

4:15 am  

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