Reviews

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Bloomsbury

Mark Haddon

"It's remarkable.  It's like a condensed history of Afghanistan, mixed with a Shakespearean tale of friendship and love...brilliant"

Ben Fogle, Daily Express

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Having read Hosseini's most recent novel, 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' (also reviewed on Revado), I wanted to read his first novel 'The Kite Runner'.  As with my first experience of his writing, I was in no way disappointed.  'The Kite Runner' is a beautiful, saddening and heart warming story of the beauty of kinship contrasted against the distruction caused by race, by war and, also, friendship.

The protaganist Amir talks of his life growing up in pre-war Kabul; of the wonderful fun he has with his best-friend Hassan.  Sadly, this friendship is both a gift a curse to them both because Hassan is the son of Amir's family servant Ali.  Whilst Ali and Hassan are all but family within Amir's home, to the outside they are just mere servants and Amir is torn between his loyalty to his friend and his pride - which is actual fact fuelled by his cowardice to go confront the bullies in his life.

As a contrast to Amir, Hassan is loyal to the end.  He will do absolutely anything for Amir, including summoning the courage to stand-up against anyone who dares to torment them.  Sadly, it is this courage and loyalty that lead to Hassan suffering at the hands of others whilst Amir is too fearful to help.  The most distressing thing, I found, was that Hassan wanted nothing more than to move on, despite knowing Amir's betrayal.  Yet Amir, unable to admit the truth or accept the guilt, destroys their life-long friendship.

The plot is in many places driven by the terrible events that happened in Kabul during the 1970s / 80s, but the war is by no means the main focus.  The plot is solely focused around the eternal link between Hassan and Amir.  This story just goes to show that some bonds cannot be broken by time and distance and that the past will ultimately come back to you.

 

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Reviewed on 30/04/2008 by Angela

 

Reviewed item details

ISBN: 0747594880

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