The Kite Runner is a strange, compelling, and wonderfully crafted novel that has become a treasured, one-of-a-kind classic. It is a sweeping story of family, love, and friendship set against the sad backdrop of Afghanistan’s history during the last thirty years.
Hosseini, in this novel, has beautifully portrayed the search for redemption, the intersection between private lives and political events, racism and ethnicity, religion, male friendships, etc. and most of all the captivating and heartbreaking story of a privileged boy’s unexpected bond with the son of his father’s servant.
To help you decide whether the book meets your criteria or not, here, We bring you the most nuanced summary of books.
|Original Title||The Kite Runner|
|First Published||May 29th, 2003|
The Kite Runner is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. It tells the narrative of Amir and his father, Baba, in the Afghan city of Kabul. Amir and his father belong to the major ethnic group called the Pashtuns. Along with them lives Hassan and his father who are the descendants of a minority tribe in Afghanistan called the Hazaras. The two boys, Hassan and Amir are good friends.
In a Kite-flying competition, Amir wins and Hassan goes after the kite but fate takes its toll on Hassan. Assef, a neighborhood bully, ambushes and rapes him. Amir intends to help his friend but cannot due to a lack of courage. Filled with guilt and remorse, Amir frames Hassan of thievery, and soon after Hassan and his father leave Kabul. Following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Amir and his father, Baba compels to flee Afghanistan.
Amir and Baba make their escape to America and eventually settle there. Amir gets admitted into a college with an English major and spends weekends selling goods in the local market with his father. Amir meets a girl named Soraya and eventually marries her but the couple is not able to bear children. Shortly after, Baba dies.
Suddenly, Baba’s friend Rahim contacted Amir and informed him that his friend Hassan lived in Afghanistan. Hassan was married and bore a son named Sohrab, However, Hassan and his wife were killed by the Taliban leaving Sohrab as an orphan. Rahim also informed him that Hassan was his half-brother.
Amir and her wife Soraya decide to adopt Sohrab and they travel to Afghanistan to find Sohrab. Amir looks at her hometown and finds nothing similar to his childhood. Under Taliban rule, Afghanistan is changed, Amir realizes. However, he begins the search for Sohrab and eventually finds him in an orphanage run by Assef.
Assef and Amir fight with each other on past incidents and at one point, Sohrab saves Amir from Assef with a slingshot.
Amir takes Sohrab to Pakistan and with great effort, he manages to get Sohrab into the USA. Amir and his wife can now adopt Sohrab.
In a very short time, the book bagged some important awards. Such as Borders original Voices for Fiction (2003), Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (2004), ALA Alex Award (2004), Puddly Award for Fiction (2006), Lincoln Award Nominee (2006), Humo’s Gouden Bladwijzer (2008), LovelyBooks Leserpreis Nominee for Allgemeine Literature (2009), etc.
Some of the critics and also readers criticized the book on the ground of portrayals of Afghanistan’s history and then-recent situation. The critics have accused Hosseini of being overly melodramatic instead of being a little more informative and concrete.
Some of the critics had claimed that the book is overflowed with unnecessary emotions and doesn’t have any constructive plot, rather the writer tried to fill that void with some description of dramatized violence.
The writer also constructs a hackneyed ‘white devil’ figure as a symbol for the Taliban’s ‘evils,’ a true sociopath (and pedophile). This creates a strange narrative contradiction because one of the key themes is that simple injustices and useless fights are rooted in Afghan heritage. His clumsy inclusion of wealthy, beautiful, white power as a root of religious strife in the Middle East refutes his claim that the disputes are caused by narrow-mindedness.
Even though sometimes criticized harshly, the book was accepted by the mass community. If you don’t go to any in-depth analysis then you will truly enjoy this overwhelmingly emotional story of friendship, love, and compassion.