Book Review: The Kite Runner

This is the very first book I’ve read from my very first book challenge and I think it's a pretty good start to the world of challenges.

The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a child of an affluent business man and Hassan, a servant of the family and their life-long friendship set in a changing Afghanistan. The book details their lives, their love and loyalty, deceit and ultimate redemption.

The subject matter for this challenge (Expanding Horizons, link to the right) was daunting, which is why I chose it. I want to expand my knowledge of places completely foreign from my own. What better way to do this than to immerse yourself in a good yarn? However, would I fully grasp tales from different lands, about different cultures? To Hosseini’s credit, The Kite Runner’s foreign terms, concepts and customs were very well-defined and assessable. The historical content was set as a back drop to the compelling human drama, allowing me to fully grasp the details of the country’s political upheaval enhancing what I’d learned about Afghanistan while watching the news over the years.

I have a few complaints that have been shared with the book’s detractors. Some of the plot seemed to be a little contrived, making it feel a slightly like a soap opera at times. But, honestly, as I looked at some of the ironic and heartbreaking nightmares of my own life, I guess Kite’s turns could be possible, so I was able to push that minor quibble aside. Also, the main characters, especially Hassan, are portrayed in morally black and white terms, which isn’t always realistic, but again, the story was well-written enough to overlook this as well.

In the end I found myself drawn to the characters and their stories. My heart ached and I cared about their outcomes. I also learned more about a culture that was previously mysterious to me and my horizon was expanded by this great book.

3.5 out of 5 Iggystars.

Next book….I Am Legend by Richard Matheson


kookiejar said...

I still have to read this one. Most people seemed to like it better than you did, which is interesting. I wonder how I will feel about it.

Are you going to read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" eventually?

iggystar said...

Yes, I bought "A Thousand Splendid Suns" along with "Kite Runner". I'm looking forward to reading it.

I know, most people give this book a more glowing review probably along the lines of 5 stars. But, with my couple of issues I feel I had to mark it down a star. Still it was wonderful and easy to read, which I was also apprehensive of and I can't wait to see the movie.

I wonder how you'll feel about it too. :)

Melissa said...

I can see your points about it, both good and bad. There were some very powerful moments in it. I just couldn't get past the very disturbing violence. I still cringe to think of it. I am curious to see what you think of A Thousand Splendid Suns, though.

Corinne said...

I've never read this one either, but it seems like everyone is always talking about it. Last night a friend was telling me about the movie, which she enjoyed (I think as much as the book.) Sounds like you found it worthwhile - I should just try it :)