The Kite Runner is the first book written by Khaled Hosseini whose writing and story-telling is one of the best. You would end up feeling a lot different after reading his books, and this book was no exception. When I bought this book, I had no idea, that this book will have an ever lasting impact upon me, whose words and quotes will leave me in tears. If I were to pick up one quote from this book that will actually describe the tone of the book, it is this:
“I opened my mouth and almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned our differently if I had.”
Kite Runner is a beautifully-written story about a boy named Amir, how he matures after an incident has an ever-lasting impact on him and how he travels back in time seeking the possibility of redemption.
The novel is divided in three parts: his childhood in Kabul, his life in California and he life again in Kabul.
Amir’s childhood in Kabul is mostly like any other rich boy in Afghanistan, except for the fact that his father (whom he calls Baba) doesn’t seem to like Amir because of his lack of interest in bloodthirsty sports and much regard for poetry. Baba seemed to be more loving towards his servant Hassan, who is almost the same age as Amir. Out of jealousy, Amir decided to win back his father’s appreciation by participating in the kite flying competition, which is taken very seriously in Kabul. With luck and of course, some strategy, Amir wins and Hassan loses. After the competition, as Amir and Hassan run along with their kites, they collide with village bullies whose leader, Assef after putting up a fight, rapes Hassan. This incident makes an ever-lasting impact on Amir, because of the guilt of never standing up for Hassan. What Amir does after the incident is cruel. Instead of telling his father, he cooks up a story about Hassan stealing his money to drive Hassan and his father away.
Around this time, matters worse on the political front and war broke out in Afghanistan. Understanding the dangers of the situation, they sneak across the borders to Pakistan and from there, they fly to California. In California, the rich man gets struck with poverty. Baba worked hard to make their ends meet. His health deteriorates and after a dramatic realization that he has a cancer, Baba dies. Before his death, he makes sure and Amir gets married to the woman he loves, Soraya.
Now, fast forward to 2001, when Amir gets a letter from a friend (almost a second father) Rahim Khan. Rahim asks him to come back to Afghanistan, giving him hopes of redemption. Rahim tells him about what happened after they left for California. Hassan and his wife, Farzana moved into Baba’s house and they had baby named Sohrab. After a cruel turn of events, Hassan and Farzana is executed leaving Sohrab orphaned somewhere in Kabul. Amir also learns a shocking truth about Hassan; he is his half-brother. He does everything to save Sohrab, including fighting the owner of the orphanage where Sohrab stays, who happens to be Assef (the guy who raped Hassan). This time Amir put up a fight and blinded Assef, took Sohrab and ran away.
Amir tries to adopt Sohrab, but since so death certificates exist of Hassan and Farzana, he has a lot of paperwork to do due to which he has to put Sohrab in an orphanage temporarily, much to Sohrab’s disappointment. He tries to commit suicide and luckily, he survives, but doesn’t fully forgive Amir.
The story ends on a happy note, with Amir taking Sohrab to a park where some Afghans are flying kites. They fly a kite together, fight another kite and eventually win. Their love for Hassan and kite-flying and Kabul brought them together.
My rating: 4/5