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The Kite Runner Paperback – March 5, 2013
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In his debut novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini accomplishes what very few contemporary novelists are able to do. He manages to provide an educational and eye-opening account of a country's political turmoil--in this case, Afghanistan--while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over. And he does this on his first try.
The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")
Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Hosseini's stunning debut novel starts as an eloquent Afghan version of the American immigrant experience in the late 20th century, but betrayal and redemption come to the forefront when the narrator, a writer, returns to his ravaged homeland to rescue the son of his childhood friend after the boy's parents are shot during the Taliban takeover in the mid '90s. Amir, the son of a well-to-do Kabul merchant, is the first-person narrator, who marries, moves to California and becomes a successful novelist. But he remains haunted by a childhood incident in which he betrayed the trust of his best friend, a Hazara boy named Hassan, who receives a brutal beating from some local bullies. After establishing himself in America, Amir learns that the Taliban have murdered Hassan and his wife, raising questions about the fate of his son, Sohrab. Spurred on by childhood guilt, Amir makes the difficult journey to Kabul, only to learn the boy has been enslaved by a former childhood bully who has become a prominent Taliban official. The price Amir must pay to recover the boy is just one of several brilliant, startling plot twists that make this book memorable both as a political chronicle and a deeply personal tale about how childhood choices affect our adult lives. The character studies alone would make this a noteworthy debut, from the portrait of the sensitive, insecure Amir to the multilayered development of his father, Baba, whose sacrifices and scandalous behavior are fully revealed only when Amir returns to Afghanistan and learns the true nature of his relationship to Hassan. Add an incisive, perceptive examination of recent Afghan history and its ramifications in both America and the Middle East, and the result is a complete work of literature that succeeds in exploring the culture of a previously obscure nation that has become a pivot point in the global politics of the new millennium.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
That story is layered over another story about a country that went from relative freedom and prosperity to unimaginable terror and poverty, and this second story is every bit as powerful as the primary plot. Afghanistan provides a unique and powerful setting for THE KITE RUNNER. Hosseini turns this novel into an emotionally-charged look at the forces at work in his native country, an topic that he obviously feels strongly about. This historical backstory gives the novel some much-needed grounding in the real world. Amir and Hassan are unforgettable, and their heart-wrenching story is worthy of your time. Highly recommended.
I say- For excellence a thousand times over! This book is an unforgettable story worth reading again and again.
I bought this book because of the excellent reviews i read about it and it did not let me down. In fact, it gave me unexpectedly more.
Khaled Hosseini is one of those few writers who have this uncanny skill of ciphering the deepest of meanings in the simplest of sentences. The story is so beautifully told, the words so carefully used, sentences so precisely aligned, that you cannot but be swayed to read till the end.
Hosseini, by using words and phrases from his native language, has made this novel even more personal and heart-touching. He maintains a clear balance between all the themes of love, friendship, expectations, betrayals, hopelessness, jealousy, guilt and redemption.
He describes the acts involving violence with utmost care, using words and phrases that may disturb the reader, but never in a gross way, Like the one with Assef and Hassan.
I will recommend this book for people of ALL ages starting from 13-15 years in the Highest degree possible.
This book made me cry tears of hopelessness and smile from the deepest layer of my heart!
Read it guys, It's more than worthy of your time!