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Topic: Not a gem for me

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Subject: Not a gem for me
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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(Wasn't sure where to post this). I just finished reading Kite Runner and I am so annoyed and frustrated. I struggled thru this whole book. I did not like the main character and never liked him, not even at the end. I was frustrated with the way the story played out and started/stopped in jerks. I am feeling frustrated that I actually made myself finish the book and wasted that time. I guess I just kept hoping that it would get better for me as the storyline progressed. All my reading friends at work just raved about it. Did I miss something while reading it or is it just a personal thing? I kept wanting to find out what happened with the honorary uncle who had the cancer. I know he went off to die, but how about some wrapping up there??? I probably will not be picking up any other books by this author unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 4,449
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I couldn't get through more than 50 pages of that book. I felt no compassion for the main character.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Oneof the ladies in my reading group read 2 books by that author:  Kite Runner and 1000 Splendid Suns.  She said Splendid Suns was great and we are going to add that to our reading group list to discuss.  She said Kite Runner was VERY disappointing and she was glad she had read Splendid Suns first because if she had read Kite Runner first, she might not have read Splendid Suns.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,544
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It's so interesting to me how people's opinions can very so much.  I absoutely loved The Kite Runner, could not put it down once I started it.  It's been a while since I read it, so I don't remember all the nuances, but I remember feeling terrible right along with Amir as he was tormented throughout his life following that one fateful day.  Was he just weak, or selfish, too?    I haven't read 1000 Spledid Suns yet but it is definitely on my must-read list.

Subject: The Kite Runner
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2006
Posts: 131
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I am an extremely slow reader and I read The Kite Runner in under 24 hours....only got up to eat and go to the bathroom.  A Thousand Splendid Suns took me about 3 or 4 days, loved it as well.  Khaled Hosseini is on my "must buy" list....I won't wait to find a used copy.  I'd say it is just a matter of personal taste.  When I picked it up I thought it was going to be a boring political novel about Afghanistan and what I got was a stunning human interest story.  I find that I most enjoy books where there is a moral dilemma and The Kite Runner is full of them.  That's why I love Jodi Picoult also, there is no black and white, only shades of gray and no "neat as a pin" happy endings.  I like my novels to be believable, like real life.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2007
Posts: 15
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I wasn't a fan either.  I found the story to be bland and agree with the lack of connection with the main character.  I also felt the writing style was lacking a lot... very short choppy sentences.  I think that's what turned me off the most.

Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 2/21/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
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I loved the Kite Runner, and loved A Thousand Splendid Suns even more. It must be just personal reading tastes.

I know that so many absolutely loved Water For Elephants and I just labored through it. Never really liking it much at all.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 951
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I loved The Kite Runner, too.  1,000 Splendid Suns, not so much...too brutal, but I finished it.  Will I read this author again?  Probably, but I will wait my turn on the list at the Library.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I'm not a fan of any of this authors works.  Did not finish either book and am happy I didnt.

A very dry and boring book and the characters did not entertain me in the least. They all could die and I would not have been moved.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,743
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I loved The Kite Runner too but I can see where it would not be everyone's cuppa tea.....it made me very sad.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2005
Posts: 22
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I loved the Kite Runner.  It's one of my all time favorite books.  And I never would have picked it up had it not been recommended to me.  I also liked A Thousand Splendid Suns, but I did find it to be very depressing.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I think I read about 50 pages of both books too. I felt like they were books I "should" read because they are important literature but they were boring and dull. I have a degree in Literature too so I usually read anything and take something from it. I couldn't with Kite or Thousand.

Date Posted: 2/21/2008 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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Everyone was raving about it so I looked through it at the book store and didn't see it as an interest to me so I left it on the shelf.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 215
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you know i have to say i didn't care for it much either so didn't buy after looking at it. I did however start a forum here on who is the best authors & books of fantasy cuz I was tired of buying books to discover didn't care much for them; i had labored thru a Jeffery Deaver book (not Rhyme lincoln series) & kept thinking it has to get better, repeatedly. It never did; i was so upset with myself for wasting time on this dumb book & while I fully understand other people have other tastes, I have to confess that particular book I put in the garbage. I didn't even put out for free for another person to have to waste time waiting for it to get better cuz it never did! only book in my life I have ever thrown away! The good news is: there has been tremendous responses to the forum & i actualy started it as a last resort cuz I didn't know anyone who could give me ideas on authors! I have found some great books & great authors & the people here have been so extremely helpful & nice that it is just wonderful beyond words! Thanks a bunch! You are are great people!

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,535
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Another one who loved it.  I read it in a weekend.  I couldn't not put it down.  I thought 1000 Splendid Suns was very good.  There are hard to read though with all the tragedy (or maybe hard to forget)

But everyone has their own tastes and sometimes a book just hits you wrong.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I didn't care for it.  It didn't seem that well written to me, and the main character was shallow and unevolved.   I can see the allure of reading about a culture we're unfamiliar with, but I know plenty of real people who have more interesting moral dilemmas and emotional turning points.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I have both books and have not read either one.  I now know to read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" first.  Maybe I should just post "The Kite Runner" since the reviews haven't been so great.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Reviews haven't been that great about The Kite Runner?   Maybe not in this thread, but in general the reviews for Kite Runner are very good.  There are over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5*.

Of course, not everyone is going to like every book.  That's just the way it is.   But I wouldn't give up on Kite Runner without at least giving it 50 to 100 pages.

Date Posted: 3/3/2008 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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I loved TKR.  I thought ATSS was just okay.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 6
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I loved both books and have recommended them to friends. No, they aren't everyone's cup of tea because they are tough subjects. BTW, I would read Kite Runner first. Splendid Suns is, IMO, the better of the two, but you can certainly see his progression as an author by reading Kite Runner first. It's funny, I loved those books so much that I'm perplexed by people who hated them. I have to remind myself that there are a lot of best sellers that I really hated that people just adored. "The Corrections", this is directed at you. LOL
Date Posted: 3/4/2008 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
Posts: 296
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I liked The Kite Runner and it's the only book I've ever read with that one event in it in which I felt a character completely redeemed himself for what he did (or neglected to do). I never thought I'd say that, and maybe I wouldn't if it was real life, but in a book this perfectly exemplifies redemption. I enjoyed it very much.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/29/2008
Posts: 20
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I couldn't get into it either.  I was listening to an audiobook but I thought I'd try the book.  Now that I've read this thread I probably won't give it a try since I couldn't get into the audiobook.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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I don't mind tough subjects- the meatier the better. I really got into Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper", but TKR just turned me off somehow. I tried hard to read it with an open mind about difference of cultures; I wanted to like it because I saw recommendations here and elsewhere. It just didn't do it for me. I ended up thinking that the main character still "missed the boat" on life.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,743
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Carol, I wouldn't post it without giving it a try first.  You might love it.  I was surprised at how much I liked it.  I only read it because the county I live in chose it for a county-wide book discussion and bought a gajillion copies of it.  I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a go.  I'm glad I did....now I'm just waiting for the movie to come out on DVD so I can watch it with my husband, who did not read the book.

I've read plenty of books that the masses loved that I hated though.  One that stands out in my mind is The Lovely Bones.  I just hated it.  I never expected it to be a happy story, but it was so gloomy and depressing....the only reason I stuck with it is because I thought maybe it would redeem itself at the end.  Now that's going to be a movie.  I might watch it just to see how someone else interpreted it, because I really disliked it, and I'm wondering what other people saw in it that I didn't.  In the end, it just comes down to personal reading taste though, I guess.

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I'm sure we all look for different things in what we consider "good books."  For me, if the author can't make me feel a connection of some kind to the main character, then he's failed as an author.  That doesn't mean I have to like him.  I just have to feel something.  I felt absolutely no connection to the protagonist in TKR.  Of course, I don't feel like he particularly redeemed himself either.  I had the impression at the end of the book, that he'd try for a while then give up when it got in the way of his life again.  That he learned his lesson only in a shallow sense.