The Kite Runner: Book Review

Every year, I decide that I will take Honors English at the high school I go to. For Honors English, we are assigned a book or two and some questions to answer. This year, we had been assigned two different books, Night by: Elie Wiesel and The Kite Runner by: Khaled Hosseini. I finally finished this book and let me tell you, it was amazing.

Image result for the kite runner

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Publisher: Riverhead

Released: May 29, 2003

Pages: 371 (Paperback)

Khaled Hosseini’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Debut
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

Khaled Hosseini

About the Author: Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1970 Hosseini and his family moved to Iran where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973 Hosseini’s family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini’s youngest brother was born in July of that year.
In 1976, when Hosseini was 11 years old, Hosseini’s father obtained a job in Paris, France, and moved the family there. They were unable to return to Afghanistan because of the Saur Revolution in which the PDPA communist party seized power through a bloody coup in April 1978. Instead, a year after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, in 1980 they sought political asylum in the United States and made their residence in San Jose, California.
Hosseini graduated from Independence High School in San Jose in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988. The following year, he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1993. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1996. He practiced medicine for over ten years, until a year and a half after the release of The Kite Runner.
Hosseini is currently a Goodwill Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He has been working to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan through the Khaled Hosseini Foundation. The concept for the foundation was inspired by the trip to Afghanistan that Hosseini made in 2007 with UNHCR.
He lives in Northern California with his wife, Roya, and their two children (Harris and Farah).

Favorite Part:

My favorite part has to be when Amir finds out that him and Hassan are half brothers. Rahim Khan, who was one of Baba’s closest friends, asked Amir to come and visit him before he dies. Amir goes over and finds out that Hassan and his wife was shot in the street. Right before Rahim Khan tells Amir his dying wish, to save Sohrab, Hassan’s son, he reveals that there was a reason why Baba cared so much about Hassan. Hassan’s father was never able to have kids so Baba offered to help him have a kid. Hassan died before he could ever find out the news.

Once this scene occurs, it makes a lot more sense about why Baba cared so much about Hassan.

  1. Every year, Baba was determined to give Hassan a birthday gift. Amir never understood why because Hassan wasn’t his own kid.
  2. When Amir asked if they could get new servants, Baba got mad at him. Baba told him that Hassan is never leaving. Once Hassan and his dad said they were leaving, Baba was really depressed and didn’t want them to leave.
    1. It was during this scene that I sensed something was going to happen. Baba and Ali started to hint something deeper than a friendship.
Biggest Twist:

Assef was a character that wanted nothing to do with Hassan because of him being a Hazara. Assef always beat up Hassan and would get on Amir, asking him why he was still hanging out with Hassan. During the kite competition that Amir won, Hassan took his kite for a run. When Hassan didn’t come back after a while, Amir went after him. He found Assef and his friends beating Hassan up. Amir never tried to stop them, and wanted Hassan gone forever.

Many years later, on Amir’s trip to find Sohrab, he meets with the leader of the Taliban. The leader happened to have Sohrab so Amir wanted to get him. Amir goes and meets him, with having small talk. Amir sees Sohrab and the leader begins to ask about Hassan. The Taliban leader also apologizes for the death of Amir’s dad, and that is when Amir realizes that it is Assef.

You knew that Assef would be in charge of something huge because Assef was always talking about how he would make the land differently and how he would control everything.

During the scene of getting Sohrab, Amir and Assef finish up some old business, which includes a fight. Assef makes Sohrab watch the whole thing, and he places his brass knuckles on and the fight begins. Sohrab stops the whole entire thing by slingshotting a brass ball into Assef’s eye. Amir and Sohrab leave and begin their new life.

Baba VS The Bears:

In the beginning of the book, Amir talks about Baba and his ‘bears’. Not like real bears, but struggles in his life. Baba was told that he was never going to get married, have a good life, and never be successful. Baba showed them that he could marry one of the best women in the whole town, have a son who has a great life, and start and own so many different business.

Because of all of Baba’s bears he fought, Amir got to life such a great life. Amir didn’t have to worry about being hungry or being undereducated. Amir lived in a huge, amazing, house that Baba built for a great life. Amir’s mom died when he was young so he never had a female body with him. Baba made sure that Amir’s life was never affected by that and he did that since he moved the two of them to America when the war in Afghanistan got bad.

Recommendation:

I do believe that everyone should pick up this book and give it a try to read. The book is amazingly written and has a powerful message behind it, just because you might be gone, the connection will never die. Like Night, the book opens your mind and makes you see totally differently in the world today. You begin to see how lucky you are in the world today.

For you, a thousand times over

That had to be my favorite quote from the whole entire book. The book has Amir blame Hassan for something he never did. Hassan lied just to protect Amir, even after everything. Amir realizes why Hassan did that several years later, and he pays Hassan back by saving Sohrab from the terrible life he was having.

My Rating:

On Goodreads, I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars, but in reality, it is more like a 4.2. The book was written amazingly, and it had a flow that I had never really seen in a book. While reading, you can feel the connection between all the characters and you feel like you are part of the book. There were parts where I had no idea what was going on because I had no clue what was going on in history while I was reading. It wasn’t until I found out more about the history of the book that I got more into it. Some of the characters I could have done without including:

  • Soraya, Amir’s wife
  • Assef’s friends

Without these characters, I understand that the book would be totally different but I really didn’t like them.

Movie Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLtavGjAOJY

Have you read this book or want to now? What did you think about the book? Have you seen the movie yet, since I still haven’t, but I own it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Happy Reading,

ann

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