This is an excellent book that is well written and easy to read. As a Persian woman, I was able to connect with the characters and the difficult experiences they had as young children. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who feel a strong connection with their friends.
Phenomenal novel that nearly every reader will enjoy. Many tears were shed by yours truly by the time I finished this book. One of the best novels I have ever read. Complemented by "A Thousand Splendid Suns," which is written from the "female" perspective. Wow.
One boy is wealthy and privileged, the other is a servant and of the minority religion. It's a familiar story but made all the more interesting for me because of the setting: Afghanistan of 30 years ago.
I loved this book. Rarely do I get to see the people of Afghanastan in their normal lives, rather than in war torn video clips on the news. Heartbreaing story of a childhood friendship. Colorful and profound desciption of the rich culture. I didn't want to put it down.
THE KITE RUNNER is a beautiful story written by Khaled Hosseini (not to mention the first Afghan book to be written in English). The novel follows Amir , a boy living in Afghanistan with his father, Baba. The two have been living by themselves since Amir's mother died during childbirth. Well, not really alone. The servant, Ali, and his son, Hassan, live in a hut in the backyard. While they may be servants, Baba looks to them as family. Hassan and Amir grow up together and became friends.
As a child, Amir was always troubled. He felt that he didn't have his father's love, so he was constantly trying to win that love. Amir easily got jealous of Hassan, because Amir felt his father loved Hassan more, since Hassan was such a great athlete and such an honest person. But one day Amir witnesses an injustice done to Hassan, and although Amir could've stopped it from happening, he didn't.
Shortly afterwards Ali and Hassan leave, even though Baba pleads for them to stay. Amir watches as Hassan and Ali climb into their Mercedes and drive off, never to be seen by them again. Soon after that, Amir and Baba escape to the United States to get away from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
There, Amir graduated high school and went to junior college to become a writer. Amir ended up marrying a nice, pretty woman named Soraya. Shortly after the wedding, Baba dies of cancer. Amir is even more depressed when Soraya and he find out that they can't conceive a child.
Amir and Soraya keep on living life and the years passed. They led normal lives; he as a writer she as a teacher. They lived in a comfortable house with a dog. But one day, Amir's past caught up to him. He received a phone call from an old family friend, Rahim Khan, asking Amir to come to Pakistan.
Amir arrives in Pakistan to see his old friend close to death. But that's not why Khan asked Amir to come. The fact is that Hassan was killed by the Taliban a few months ago, along with his wife. The two left behind their son, Sohrab, who is living in an Afghan orphanage. Khan asks Amir to go find the boy and bring him back to Pakistan so he can live with a nice couple and get away from all of the death and destruction the Taliban has created in Afghanistan.
Amir decides he will go find the son of his late best friend. Only after saving this boy from all the evil in Afghanistan will Amir be saved from the sin he committed so long ago as a child.
This riveting and emotional story catches the readers from page one until the ending. The readers learn about the important history of Afghanistan and the impact of those events on its people. Hosseini wrote a true masterpiece in this novel. It is sure to please all who read it.
I absolutely loved this book.
The writer's powerful descriptions transported me to his home, neighborhood, town and country.
I just wish I could have visited the Afghanistan of Mr Hosseini's story.
Alas that will never be.
I was sorry when the book ended.
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.
I thought this was an absolutely amazing book that made me laugh & cry. This is paperbook though it came up on the system as hardcover.
While I agree with the NY Times in that the book was both powerful and haunting, and that it offered a glimpse into Afghanistan I had never before encountered, I wasn't overly awed by the style, which, to me, is nearly as important as substance, even though I can't use a comma correctly to save my life.
The integration of so many well know themes: rich vs poor, religious and class conflict, good vs. evil and so many more in an exquisitely well written first novel blows one away for about the first 200 hundred pages. Unfortunately, once the two main characters; Baba and Amir flee Afghanistan and eventually end up in California both the poetic beauty of the writing and the complexity of the plot begin to unravel into what so many other reviewers see as a soap opera. It seems that Hosseini has lost his way and can't quite figure out how to reveal Amir's attempt at redemption.
Having said that this is still a book worth reading.