Book Review: The Kite Runner (Khaled Hossieni)

Book:  The Kite Runner
Writer:  Khaled Hossieni
ISBN:     1408217295
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Number of Pages: 336

A novel set mostly in Afghanistan. The introverted and insecure afghan narrator, Amir, grows up in Afghanistan in the closing years of the monarchy and the first years of the short-lived republic. His best and most faithful friend, Hassan, is the son of a servant. Amir feels he betrays Hassan by not coming to his aid when Hassan is set on by bullies and furthermore forces Hassan and his father Ali to leave his father´s service. Amir´s relatively privileged life in Kabul comes to an end when the communist regime comes to power and his extrovert father, Baba emigrates with him to the U.S. There Amir meets his future afghan wife and marries her. Amir´s father dies in the U.S. and Amir receives a letter from his father´s most trusted business partner and, for a time, Amir´s surrogate father, which makes Amir return, alone, to a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan in search of the truth about himself and his family, and finally, a sort of redemption.

This is a beautiful story of Amir, an Afghan boy, and his closest friend Hassan. Amir betrays Hassan, when they are just twelve-year old. He resumes his live with guilt of stabbing the friendship for many years, paying deeply in pain and suffering, always wanting to redeem himself for his betrayal. Whereas, Amir is son of a wealthy and powerful man; living a lavish life.
Initially, Amir and Hassan seem inseparable, but as story precedes, caste, creed, and religions change Amir’s perspective towards Hassan and his tribe. However, his father never accentuated this fact and considered Ali, Hassan’s father, his brother. After a lot of twists and turns the tragedy of politics and war in Afghanistan enters the picture, and Amir and his father flee Afghanistan to settle in Fremont, California. Ali and Hassan had no such options and hence remained in Afghanistan. After more than 20 years, Amir receives a call from Pakistan, and realizes that this call is his chance for redemption. So another journey starts from here.
‘The Kite Runner’ has a graphic sense, that makes the reader See everything. Not many writers are capable of making their words speak for themselves, but Mr. Hosseini is one such writer, who plays with words, moulds them to a finer horizon, and narrates a story that takes you to another world, world of words. Mr. Hossieni’s narration is complex, and events are closely interwoven with a detailed description of Afghani culture. There is no place where I felt narration is losing its grip. Every page is written with same depth, and keeps the mind engrossed in the story.
Mr. Hosseini has drawn a line between cultural clashes within his own culture, and gave a fairly clear picture of it. There are times, when I could feel the intensity of the pain that Hassan and Amir had, or the moment when a wealthy Afghan man lives a meager life in California. It tells us that life is full of hardships, and nothing is unexpected.
To conclude my review, I would say, it’s my third read of ‘The Kite Runner’ by ‘Khaled Hosseini’, and I’m still finding it one of the best books I have read in years. With a complex cast of characters and situations that would evoke your thoughts, ‘The Kite Runner’ is truly an absorbing read. Every time I read it; I think hard about relations, friendship, good and evil, treachery, and salvation. It’s a story of hope, betrayal, hardships, love, tragedy and a million ironies. Mr. Hosseini wrote an intense story, which not only gives you a clear view of Afghan culture, but takes you to a journey to a place where you have never been before. It’s a page turning and heart-rending read, and you won’t regret reading it over and over again.

 Happy Reading :)


  1. Nice review... I loved the book too and especially the friendship between Amir and Hassan.. that's the heart of the book.

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