The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s bestseller, which interweaves a personal story of guilt and atonement with a historic portrait of the upheavals in Afghanistan over a quarter of a century. A gripping and emotional story of betrayal and redemption, The Kite Runner had me thrilled and moved, both at the same time. It tells the story of Amir and Hassan, the closest of friends, as good as brothers, and also experts in the art of kite flying. The two young boys live in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and this year they are going to try harder than ever to win the local kite-fighting tournament—a popular Afghan pastime, and this is Amir’s one hope of winning his father’s love. But just like the kites battling in the sky, war comes to Afghanistan, and the country becomes an extremely dangerous place. It is told by Amir, an Afghan refugee living in California and looking back on a childhood incident that shaped his life. Coming from a privileged, Pashtun background, Amir enjoyed a comfortable existence before he and his widowed father, Baba, were forced to flee after the Soviet invasion of their country. Amir’s memories, however, are dominated by his inseparable boyhood chum, Hassan, who seemed his opposite in every way: poor, illiterate, the son of the family servant and an expert in the art of kite retrieval. It is Amir’s childhood betrayal of Hassan that haunts his later life and that leads to a quest for redemption. The story is fast-paced and hardly ever dull, and introduced me to a world – the world of Afghan life – which is strange, fascinating and yet oddly familiar all at the same time. Hosseini’s writing finds a great balance between being clear and yet powerful, and not only is the story itself brilliantly constructed, but the book also explores the very art of storytelling. Amir himself becomes a writer, and he reflects on his experiences in the story as though his life itself were a piece of fiction. But I think the best bit about the kite runner is its sense of fate and justice, of good overcoming evil in the end, despite all odds. The message behind the very ending could be interpreted differently by different readers, but personally I feel that it offers a small sense of hope for both the future of its characters, and perhaps for war-torn Afghanistan as well.
Read More – The Guardian