Author: Khaled Hosseini
# of pages: 371
Date Published: 2003
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Kite Runner is a heart-breaking story of betrayal, friendship and atonement of sins. The first chapter is rough; it is hard to understand and there is no context given. However, in the next chapter we meet the main characters Amir, Hassan and Baba. Amir and Hassan are best friends and Baba is Amir’s father. Hassan works as a servant with his father in Amir and Baba’s house. The set up is quite pleasant and they seem happy. However, racial tension arises because Hassan is a Hazara boy, therefore seen as a second-class citizen in Afghanistan. This leads Amir to a sense of superiority. Eventually Amir betrays Hassan. The guilt he deals with becomes a central theme of the story.
This book made me cringe at points because of violence and embarrassment. Amir’s character is well rounded and has a level of depth lacked by some of the supporting characters. However, this lack of depth is caused by the skewed view of them by Amir, the narrator. The author uses foreshadowing to keep interest peaked even during the lulls in the plot. The story crosses boundaries and gives voice to the often-silenced culture of Afghanistan. I read this with a group and it fostered great conversation about duty, patriotism, and our perceptions of the Middle East. Hosseini weaves a beautiful story allowing insight into human nature that transcends races.
Review by Caroline Grindrod, CSOM '17