The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner, Khaled Housseini, fiction, books, afghanistan

9.5 / 10

This first work from Khaled Housseini is definitely one of the best titles out there today. The Kite Runner is one astonishing novel that is written with no highfaluting words and simple writing technique, and yet an impactful masterpiece.

I find The Kite Runner as a representation of Afghanistan and its people. Particularly through Amir, the Pashtun main character who betrayed Hassan, his bestfriend, then finding out on the latter part of the story, as his half Hazara brother. Kite Running is also a symbolism of how the Afghans, including the Housseini, misses their good old times of their country, the years wherein war and violence is unknown to the contented and prosperous cities of Afghanistan.

Like what Afghanistan was before the desolating invasion and war, Amir’s lifestyle was affluent thanks to his rich father who is a well-respected Afghan in Kabul. Baba, Ali’s father, by the way I think characterizes the country’s last king Mohammed Zahir Shah, who is also a person that is deemed also with reverence by his countrymen. He is also called as Baba by Afghanis, as father of the Afghan Nation. He is given much veneration by the author as much as most people reminisce of the old Afghanistan in his rule. Obviously, Baba’s son, Amir, has a name similar to an English translation of “prince”, son of the king.

The pivotal point of the story came when Amir betrayed Hassan of their friendship with cowardice and selfish reasons. Then the incidents that destroyed Afghanistan and its people started. But even fleeing the war-bruised land and having a comfortable life in the U.S., the unpleasant occurrences in his country were nothing compared to what teared down Amir’s conscience. After years of leaving the scourged country of Afghanistan, he made a choice to go back and then to find a way to make up for his mistakes with the help of his father’s closest friend, Rahim Khan.

Rahim Khan, a gentle and compassionate friend of both Baba and Amir, is a bit of a mystery in the story. His character was utilized by the author as a guide and advisor for the father and son characters. The author not saying much of his history and how the friendship with Baba started, the character’s background still remains a mystery to me, even to his very end.

Sohrab, Hassan’s only son has been orphaned by the Taliban and was held captive by Assef, depicted the bruised and tired Afghan people–especially its children, by the unnecessary violence and abuse of the Taliban and the other throbbing episodes that made Afghanistan a battered country.

I can go on and mention all the grief and touching message that I have perceived from the author in the story, but he already succeeded in placing Afghanistan’s story onto my plateau of interest. I felt the cruelty his country and his fellow countrymen experienced, such disturbing reality he has displayed to the world.

The book is going to get you hooked from the very first paragraphs up till the end, you won’t be able to put it down. Though the part that goes to the last chapters a bit slowed my interest, but its not that bad at all.

I wished my reading of this magnificent book didn’t end so soon. I now see myself wanting more of Afghanistan’s story, that’s why I ended up buying Khaled Housseini’s second book: A Thousand Splendid Suns and tuning in to Al Jazeera for the current Afghanistan elections. Like what most Afghans in the world, I too pray that this election be the turning point of change for the country, a change for the better.

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