Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: The Kite Runner

How many of you have heard of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini? How many of you have actually read it? Okay, that's a trick questions because many of my friends actually HAVE read it, but many others claim to know what all it's about without ever having read it. Yes, there is also a movie, and no, I have not seen it (yet).

The Kite Runner was published in 2003, and I bought the book in 2005. It sat on my shelf. And it sat and sat and sat. I just never could gather the courage to read it even though I had heard GREAT things about it. I knew that it was about Afghanistan, and two things bothered me about that. At the beginning, I didn't want to read it because it sounded boring to me. Isn't that awful? And secondly, after I started dating Dan (yes, I know, not until 2009), the thought of anything related to Afghanistan simply scared me. Naive, yes? 

Well, let me tell you all that when I finally decided to read The Kite Runner, I was pleasantly surprised. I could not put it down. Dan was in Salina, KS for a Flying Team event, and I spent the first two days he was gone starting AND finishing this book while sitting on my balcony drinking wine. Never EVER have I been so captivated by a book from the very beginning.

Amir, the narrator, tells the story of his childhood in rural Afghanistan with his best friend, Hassan. Amir is well off because of his father, while Hassan is not. Hassan's father works for Amir's father, but readers learn more about that relationship later into the book. (I don't want to spoil!). The bok spans the time of the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy, and it also goes through the Soviet invasion of the country. If history doesn't interest you, fear not: Amir's story is so captivating that you'll keep reading just to find out what he has to say. 

After the Soviet Invasion in 1979, Amir and his father are able to escape Afghanistan, and they head to Pakistan and later to the United States. They go from a mansion in Afghanistan to a small apartment in San Francisco, but Amir tries to make the most of the situation. 

Many things happen (that I won't spoil) that lead Amir back to Afghanistan and back to Hassan after all those years. By this time, it has been 20-ish years, and the Taliban is taking a stand in Afghanistan. It's not safe, my Amir is called to go back.

Without ruining anything, I would rate this book 10 out of 5 if I could. It was THAT good. Yes, I love to read, and yes, I enjoy ALMOST every book I pick up. However, it takes a rare book to REALLY make me think. The last time that happened  to me was in January of 2011 when I read Markus Zusak's The Book Thief (also highly recommended by me). If you have not yet read The Kite Runner, PLEASE do so as soon as you can. 

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