Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.


Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

1970s Afghanistan: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what would happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is 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 an Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.

Book Details

Format: 371 pages, Paperback

Published: May 1, 2004 by Riverhead Books

Language: English

Literary awards

Borders Original Voices Award for Fiction (2003)Humo’s Gouden Bladwijzer (2008)Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (2004)ALA Alex Award (2004)Puddly Award for Fiction (2006)Lincoln Award Nominee (2006)Prix des libraires du Québec for Lauréats hors Québec (2006)LovelyBooks Leserpreis Nominee for Allgemeine Literatur (2009)

Original title: The Kite Runner

Setting: Kabul (Afghanistan), Fremont, California (United States), AfghanistanThe United States of America.

My Review of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

This book follows the life of a young Afghan boy, Amir, and how he, and his father would live their lives in the 1970’s Kabul, Afghanistan.

Told from the perspective of the protagonist, Amir, we would learn how it feels to live your entire life seeking validation from a father who treats you with as much affection as he would, a slave.

The book starts with the reminiscence of the now adult Amir, about his childhood and when in the winter of 1975, he becomes what he would never be proud of, twenty six years later.

Amir is the son of a wealthy man, Baba, and they live with their servant, Ali, and his son, Hassan. Ali is Baba’s childhood friend too, and they have stayed loyal friends for over forty years.

Ali belongs to a class of people in Afghanistan known as the Hazaras. They are the poor, classless, and the most persecuted people who make up the servants and other impoverished ones in the society.

We would learn that Amir and Hassan are best friends and while Amir’s first word is ‘Baba,’ Hassan’s is ‘Amir.’

This shows how much he loves and cherishes his young master. Even though Amir would tease Hassan for being a Hazara and an illiterate, it doesn’t take away a thing from Hassan’s love for him.

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

But Amir is not a happy boy. He has lived all his life in Hassan’s shadows, irrespective of being his father’s only child.

It is as if Baba does not even love him at all, and is only managing him just because of the fact that he is his son. He has never done anything that pleased Baba.

If Baba is not constantly reminding him of his weakness, he is ignoring him flatly. But with Hassan, he is a different person. He loves his servant’s son more than his own flesh and blood, and acknowledges and praises him for every little thing he does.

Naturally, this would spring up jealousy in anybody. And so Amir becomes so jealous of Hassan that he wants him out so that his father will finally see him. It is even more unbearable because Hassan is a sweet, hardworking boy who does no bad. But he is stealing his father’s love and his hatred towards him multiplies.

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

On the day for the kite running tournament in their city, Amir tries his best to win it. It is his dream, to win the highly prestigious kite running tournament, and then make his father proud, and make him look at him again lovingly.

He eventually wins, and is satisfied that finally, he would win his place in his father’s life once more.

But something bad would happen and he would choose to ignore the situation. In a bid to defend him from bullies, Hassan would get raped, while Amir just stands and watches without doing a thing.

That singular act of his would plunge him into a life of guilt, regret and hate. But Hassan still loves him as always, and that kills Amir a thousand times over.

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Why won’t Hassan get angry and report him or fight him, anything at all? Why would he pretend like nothing happened, when in fact, something so hugely evil happened, but Hassan is choosing to sweep it under the carpet?

He becomes so guilt-ridden that he does everything within his power to get rid of Hassan and his father from their house.

Yes, winning the tournament would make him win his father’s love and respect again, but he would not enjoy it because of guilt, because of the few seconds of inactions.

Fast forward to many years later, when the Russians take over Afghanistan government and start their tyrannical rule, many Afghans would seek asylums to different countries for safety, and Amir and Baba would flee to America to start a new life there.

Amir becomes a writer, and gets married to a beautiful Afghan girl, but when the past comes calling, he would answer.

He would finally confront his terrible past, because no one truly runs away from their shadows. He must go back to Afghanistan under the Taliban rule to settle the scores of his past.

This book is filled with so many twists and turns you wouldn’t envisage. And of course it is heart-wrenching too. If you an emotional person, this book will break your heart into a million fragments.

You will learn how Afghans suffer in the hands of Taliban, and how they manage to navigate through this oppression.

This book also explores the theme of the danger of parental love. The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.

Because Baba treats Amir like an outsider, and leaves him longing for crumbs of affection, seeking for validation every single day of his life, he would turn into a villain, ridden with hatred and jealousy, and taking actions and inactions he would deeply regret later.

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As a parent, it is your responsibility to love and appreciate your children. Make them feel loved and they would unlock their full potentials.

But if you continue to treat them like they don’t matter, it would mess up with their minds, and they become the monsters you made.

I love the book and the themes it explores. I love how developed the characters are, and how the descriptions are vivid, and the narration, top-notch. I will rate it as 4.8/5. And I am definitely recommending it to you all.

Have you read the book? What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section, and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on all social media platforms.

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.”

  1. A story of redemption! This book reminds me of the possibility of redemption for even the worst of all humans.

    There are certain understanding, revelations, moments, memories, books, that stay with “you” forever. This is one of them!

    And I won’t forget the statement, “…no matter what anyone teaches, there is only ONE sin, only one. And that is THEFT. Every other sin is a variation of theft.”

    Sad stories indeed make good books.

  2. I have read the book but I ended up angry. Amir deserved to be devoured by guilt for real for real. I wondered where people like Hassan got power to love from! Can’t be me. Thank you for the review


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