The Kite Runner

ISBN: 0747588945
ISBN 13: 9780747588948
By: Khaled Hosseini

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About this book

Winter, 1975: Afghanistan, a country on the verge of an internal coup. 12-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father, one of the richest merchants in Kabul. He's failed to do so through academia or brawn but the one area they connect is the annual kite fighting tournament.

Reader's Thoughts


In the wake of the Fraud of Small Things, tons of Asian writers with their impossibly exotic backgrounds and compellingly interesting lives have become all the rage in the publishing world. And of course, it doesn't get more exotic than Afghanistan these days. Khalid Hosseini rides the wave for what its worth churning out a predictable piece of semi-literate garbage — the sort that will appeal only to fellow Afghani nostalgia hounds — the small proportion of whom believe books are better read than burnt — and to the sort of snobs who love regurgitating knowledge picked up second hand from books like this one to show how clued into the world they are. The story remains at least reasonably interesting as long as its located in Afghanistan; but these thinly disguised memoirs of boyhood are a banal cliche of writing; it's only very exceptional ones like Swami & Friends and to a lesser extent Black Swan Green by David Mitchell which have any emotional impact. The book quickly slides into ultra tedium speaking about the sad lives of the once aristocratic Afghanis exiled in America when the Soviets took over their country. And then becomes this 'exotic Afghanistan' guidebook with reams of boring detail about Afghani culture, propriety and mating rituals. I skimmed through this barely reading four lines on every page. Our unloveable hero then returns, to reconnect with his best buddy from childhood who he insulted and vilified for some obtuse emo reason, only to find that the guy is a) his step-brother b)dead tangles with the Taliban, and in a mondo improbable coincidence, meets and gets his ass-whupped by a rabidly homosexual childhood enemy. Who incidentally raped his step brother. And his step brother's son...and oh god, what's the fucking point? You might ask why I persisted with a book I was deriving no joy out of. It wasn't because it was a compulsively readable bad book - but since I was stuck in a hotel room with an unusually severe case of insomnia, brought on, no doubt, by the dozens of cups of coffee i consumed in the course of work-related meetings through the day. Most of the other books I had were actually interesting and I figured I'd have a greater chance of crashing out while reading something that was tiresome and boring.

Lance Greenfield

Shocking, inspiring and tear-jerking!It would be too simple to say that the whole story stems from the boyhood friendship of Amir and Hassan and their teamwork in becoming kite champions of Kabul, but that is the way that it is. However, there are a hundred sub-plots adding complexity which is necessary to complete the picture. The overtone of their fathers' life-long friendship, the changes to their country that come with the Russian invasion and the subsequent dominance of the Taliban, an early lie as one friend betrays the other. There is so much contrast in this book: love and hate, kindness and cruelty, grief, happiness and sadness. It stirs every possible emotion in the reader, and one cannot escape without shedding a few tears. Those who believe that they understand the recent history of Afghanistan, but have formed those opinions around what they have learned from the newspaper and television reports, need to read this book to gain a new perspective. Even if you would not put yourself in that class, you should still read The Kite Runner. A book that cannot be ignored.

Lynne King

This is the third in my top favourite books of all time. If I could give it more than five stars I would.I read this book, and after closing my Kindle, my immediate thought was what a fabulous book. But why did I like it so much? I guess it was a number of things. It has all the ingredients of a great book: loyalty, weakness, betrayal, guilt, lies, sex, secrets, violence, an attempted suicide and finally love coupled with justice.Firstly, it’s a social document covering the period 1975, followed by the first invasion of the Russians in 1979 and the bloodshed that ensued both during their nine year occupancy of Afghanistan, and subsequently the terror and destruction caused by the Taliban in the nineties.The first chapter of the book dated December 2001, which sets the scene for the book, opens with the wording:“I became what I am today at the age of twelve; on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking in the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.”Basically the story is about two boys, Amir (a Pashtun) a rather weak person at the beginning who liked to dream and write short stories; the son of a wealthy Afghan known as Baba, who has a strong, vibrant personality, and excels at whatever he puts his mind to. He’s the complete contrast to his son. In fact Amir always felt that his mother’s death caused by his birth was the reason why he could never get close to his father.On the other hand is his good friend Hassan (a Hazara; a minority group in Afghanistan, that the Afghans consider as inferior), whose father Ali is employed as a servant by Baba and the pair of them live in a mud house near to Baba’s home. In addition Baba cares very much for Hassan much to Amir’s chagrin.Amir and Hassan do everything together even though Amir feels inwardly that his friend is illiterate and basically mocks him. But Hassan is devoted to him and will do everything he can for his friend. They both have this great passion for kite flying in common, with Hassan being the best kite runner. He’s also a great slingshot and when he marries, his son Sohrab is even better. There’s the most unexpected turn of events involved with the slingshot and I was delighted and yet amazed with the outcome there.Everything goes along perfectly with Amir and Hassan until a “psychopathic” adolescent called Assef enters the arena at the time of a kite competition, and a very unfortunate event occurs. Then Amir’s thirteenth birthday follows and still reeling from guilt with regard to his friend, decides there’s only one thing that he can possibly do to rectify the matter.An absolutely wonderful and moving book, with some amazing descriptions and I recommend it to everyone. There were some violent sections that also frightened me no end and I was nervous to turn the page but that’s the beauty of this incredible book. The ending - well, I leave that to the reader to discover.


This novel fascinated me. It's a great example of the power of a good story. The author was a rookie, and he didn't yet have a solid command of the craft, but he certainly had something important to say. There are some big spoilers ahead, so if you're planning to read this one, you might want to stop here.I enjoyed the rich portrait of Afghani culture, both at home and in exile in the US. The story's time-frame before and after the Soviet invasion lets an American reader understand better what's been happening behind the headlines of the past thirty years, and I appreciated a glimpse into a world I know little about.The strongest and most memorable part of the book is the character of the narrator's father, Baba. He's a rich, stubborn, secular Afghani who swigs whiskey and makes his own rules. His strengths and flaws propel the entire acr of the story and dominate the narrator's life. What a complex and vivid force! I would teach this book for no other reason than to share Baba with my students. Beyond the father-son relationship, the story is built upon several other important and complicated male relationships. These involve deep, tangled emotional bonds of a sort rarely explored in contemporary American novels. But this is where the story's strength becomes a weakness. The first two-thirds of the novel reads as realism, but in the final act, when the protagonist returns to war-torn Afghanistan, the narrative demands quickly dominate what had been a character-driven story. There are too many coincidences, too many mirrored events, too many father-son doublings, and the bad guys from childhood return as grown-up forces of evil that can only be read allegorically. The symbolic load becomes too heavy for the individual characters to support. I was especially disturbed by the time I was presented with a second victim of child sexual abuse -- the son whose father had been brutally assaulted in the early part of the book. At that point I realized that the story had shifted into a fable of a country/people who had been systematically raped over two generations. This is a valid story and an important one to tell, but within the aesthetic parameters of this particular novel, the allegorical demands at the end almost crush the carefully constructed story about personal atonement. It doesn't help that the author shouts out to the reader several times, "See! The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons!" In the hands of a more experienced writer, realistic and allegorical threads can strengthen one another, but the human story should be primary, with the symbolic motifs worked into the fabric of the story rather than slapped on top.Where are the damn editors these days? I keep stumbling over fiction that is almost, but not quite, done. Half-baked novels are either exposed on mountainsides or rushed to market with massive promotional expense, and the decisions seem completely arbitrary. Why not spend a little more time and money polishing these works first? This fine book from a first-time novelist would have been far more powerful if the final section had been carefully revised. That said, I still think it's well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to watching the film adaptation.


I found this book a failure of courage and imagination -- all the more upsetting for the author's astute sense of detail and wonderful psychological depth. But ask yourself this: if the Taliban are real humans than why are they not represented as such? No doubt we will all love the movie as well.If you want to read a book on Afghanistan, I recommend Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light.Below is my complete review:I started out loving this book. Hosseini is dead on target in his depiction of children's psychology, the non-contractual relationships between master and servant, and in his weaving of the threads between trauma, memory, and denial.Further, Hosseini captures the feel of life in a Third World country. His depiction of Afghanistan confirms my own short travels in Afghanistan during the 1970s. Indeed, I was becoming ever more excited with the possibility of teaching this book in my new course on Afghanistan. But alas.The book fails exactly where it most needs to succeed - in the depiction of the Taliban. When we do not have an archive, or the possibility of getting at the facts and narratives of a part of history, fiction can be used creatively and responsibly in order to construct something real. Take, for example, the extraordinary slave narrative written by Guy Endore -- Babouk. After years of research, Endore writes a history of a slave engaged in rebellion just prior to the Haitian Revolution.Hosseini has the skills but not the courage nor the empathy/sympathy to portray the Taliban as historical, sociological, economic, modern creations. Discounting and trivializing his own skills, he characterizes the Taliban in the easiest way -- as simple, cartoonish, evil. He thereby does nothing to enlighten us. Worse, he panders to a sleepwalking liberal public who happily accept his vision as a seemingly authentic reflection of their own myopia.Most everyone is satisfied: the U.S. public for having read about a country they destroyed -- feeling all the better at having disposed of evil; the publishers for their timely profit; and Hosseini for having expressed his romantic sense of loss.At least V.S. Niapaul is honest about his hatred for his own people. Hosseini's twist is less forgivable -- he gives aide to the very people whose malice, neglect, ignorance, and misunderstanding of Afghan people is one key factor in the destruction of this beautiful land and vital people.A failure of imagination is often the result of a failure in will, in courage, in politics. Hosseini traps himself in the politics of nostalgia. (For a similar review with a more academic bent, please see:


I became what I am today at the age of twenty-nine, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 2008. What I am about to tell you about what I became is going to be very shocking. It is going to manipulate your emotions. It may include some random words in my native language for no reason whatsoever. It will teach you unnecessary things about my culture. It will not be smarter than a fifth grader. And it will include as many cliches and as much foreshadowing as is humanly possible. You are going to be shocked. I, for one, never saw it coming. So I doubt you will. Get ready. Aren't you so ready to be shocked? You're never going to see this coming.What comes next is the big revelation, so get ready!Wait, I need to ask you something first. Did you know that the Irish like potatoes? Yeah, we really enjoy them. And alcohol too. It's pretty great. Erin Go Bragh! This means Ireland Forever! Unfortunately, you will be very sad to know that my father just died due to an Irish car bomb. Well, about 15 of them to be exact. All on an empty stomach! It makes me sad and you should feel sad too, kind reader.Ok, on to the big reveal. Here it is:On that frigid overcast day, which happened to be the day that I decided to quit reading The Kite Runner, I became a book snob. Because The Kite Runner is adored by most people who read it, I am forced to conclude that most people need to read more. A whole lot more. You should be embarrassed if you like this book. Seriously. The moment I became a book snob (shortly after "The Scene"), I became so embarrassed to be seen reading it that I accused the guy sitting next to me on the subway of putting the book on my lap while I wasn't paying attention. "How dare you, sir! Have you no decency?" I exclaimed excitedly in my native language. Then I noticed a monkey on the platform waiting to board a train. I quickly hopped off my train, ran to him, handed him the book, and said "Top O' the Mornin' to ya! Enjoy!"Later that day, I saw that monkey flying a kite in front of the Washington Monument. I noticed that the glass string wasn't making his hands bloody. Do you know why? He was wearing gloves. ---------------------------------------------------------------Please note that I have absolutely no appreciation for life and reality.**Bart Bondeson, who claims to be "a better person for having read this book," suggested that I make this clarification to my review. Thanks for the suggestion, Bart! Hopefully that clears things up for those who were wondering.

بثينة العيسى

التجلي الغامر لعظمة الأدب.

Jackie Gill

** spoiler alert ** I must admit that although I had heard plenty of people mention The Kite Runner, I hadn’t actually paid much attention to what was said about it other than, “It was wonderful!” So, a few days ago and several years after the book came out, I heard a couple of people discussing the “wonderful” book I decided to read it.The first day, I read about a third of the novel (Hassan is raped, Amir feels bad, well sort of, he feels bad that Hassan is raped yes, but even worse because Hassan’s rape makes him feel bad and, of course, this means he needs to act badly and do bad things, and make more bad stuff happen to Hassan who is not bad at all.) And, I will admit that this portion of the book had me reading as quickly as I could. I flipped from one page to the next, skimmed over the plethora of annoyances, oops, I mean I skimmed over the Farsi vocab sprinkled evenly throughout to, of course, add authenticity and give it that multicultural feel that is sure to make every publisher drool over a manuscript, and I was even forgiving of the somewhat poor writing. Yes, on day one, I liked The Kite Runner. I was into The Kite Runner. And when I decided to continue my read the next day – I had high hopes!The second day, I read to the point where Amir gets a phone call from a man he has not seen in years, abandons his “perfect life” in America (well, almost perfect, there is the infertility and the gap that his wife’s uterus is forming between them, but their sex life is still good – sometimes… WHAT!? Never mind…) so, anyway, Amir hops on a plane to Afghanistan which is being ruled by the Taliban, yet he enters without issue, and follows the yellow brick road and lands at OZ where it turns out that the man behind the glasses is not John Lennon at all – he is Assef – his childhood nemesis, pedophile, and just plain evil guy (and you know he is evil cause he likes Hitler – although he has never heard of ethic cleansing). So, Amir walks right into the Taliban compound and asks to see the wizard, I mean their leader, and is allowed to do so (actually it was more difficult for Dorothy to get in to see the wizard, she should have taken Amir with her) and when he gets in, we find out that Hassan’s son is made to dress like a monkey - GET IT A MONKEY – ya know like the monkey that Amir and Hassan would go see (too bad it wasn’t a flying monkey) – and provide entertainment for the Taliban, and provide sexual services for Assef – the same guy that had sex with Hassan and, now the obviously simple minded reader that Hosseini wrote for, says, “that is so weird the way that all happened, wow, I cant believe the way this is all coming together, this is sooooooo fascinating!” Oh, and for the thinking reader with any literary competence who MAY think that this is too much of a coincidence, don’t be so critical; this issue was already addressed when Amir ran into a beggar that happened to have taught with (and remembered doing so) Amir’s mother. We, the readers, are clearly TOLD that coincidence is VERY common in Afghanistan. Therefore, if the rest of the story seems too contrived, don’t worry, it is realistic for Afghanistan. So, don’t question it, cause he is the expert on Afghanistan and you (the reader) are not, therefore, just accept that this completely ridiculous, unrealistic, obviously contrived series of events, are very realistic in Afghanistan!My third day of reading, I completed the book and instead of placing my hand over my heart, smiling, and thinking about how wonderful the book was, how beautiful the story was, and how it all came so nicely together in the end (apparently the reaction of the masses), I was mad. I was mad because there are so many people out there who think a book this ridiculous and obvious is brilliant. I was mad because this is precisely what is wrong with some multicultural literature and what gives multicultural literature a bad name. There are many pieces out there which are actually beautifully written, provide valuable insight into other cultures, and entertain the reader (i.e. Reading Lolita in Tehran), however, it does nothing for multicultural literature to publish pieces that are poorly written and filled with cliché. I can forgive (to a certain extent) poorer writing when the story is written as a true account and when the purpose of the novel to re-tell actual events. However, when an author decides he is going to write a piece of fiction, his style, diction, and storyline come into question. The final portion of the novel continues throwing out one cliché after another, and throws out one ridiculous coincidence after another. Just the fact that a good portion of the middle of the book was dedicated to pounding it into the readers head that Amir and Soraya could not have children and did not want to adopt, well, that is unless the bloodline is known, is enough to clue the reader in that they will adopt Sohrab waaaay before Amir even knows that he will adopt Sohrab. What a coincidence that Hassan just happened to be his half brother, happened to have a son, and the son happened to have been taken by Assef. And it was even more convenient that even from the grave, once again, Hassan could save Amir. He could provide him with a son and the opportunity to finally fight the big bully who STILL carried his brass knuckles. And more convenient yet, the fact that Sohrab always carried that slingshot (And in case we forgot that he always carried it, Amir remembered for us, as if Hosseini wants to say: see readers how clever I am, I set it up that Sohrab always had the slingshot, and now later in the story, it comes back out. See how clever I am readers, everything in my story has a purpose and is connected). However, what Hosseini needed to do is explain how a kid who has been taken from an orphanage, made to dress and entertain like a monkey, lives with the Taliban, and is a sex slave for the Big Bad Assef, still managed to keep his slingshot – the very weapon used against Assef in the past, and the very weapon that Assef has an issue with! Just how dumb must a reader be to believe that the freakin Taliban NEVER NOTICED!? So, okay, Sohrab saves Amir, they escape and the Taliban does nothing, and then another freaking coincidence – Amir will end up with a scar. And in case the reader does not deduce that Amir will have a scar from his busted lip, the doctor points it out and confirms it. Yes, reader, a scar like Hassan’s – get it? It’s connected – get it?Truth be told, there are so many unbelievable incidents and ridiculous coincidences presented to us in this book that it would take pages to go through them all because they were present from beginning to end: The young Russian soldier who doesn’t shoot Baba and the older Russian soldier who apologizes for him and talks about the young soldiers – YEAH RIGHT! The fact that Amir is an author who is published right away and cranks out novel after novel with great success – YEAH RIGHT! Baba dies of lung cancer and then Rahim Khan seems to have to same issue – does Hosseini think all people who die of natural causes die of lung issues? Raymond Andrews who has a bad attitude because his kid committed suicide, and then the receptionist actually tells Amir that this happened – the way this came out seemed completely fake and contrived because – IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN! Then, of course, Sohrab tries to kill himself, so now we know why Andrews kid had to commit suicide – we needed one more obvious instance of foreshadowing. It is also a little odd how often Amir throws out how he knows about medicine because he is a writer – WHAT? I didn’t know I needed to seek out an author when I was sick. And so on and so on…But one final point that I would like to make is that as soon as Amir picked up a kite it seemed that, much like Jesus, his hands began to bleed; therefore, I am left to wonder: why didn’t Amir know about the invent of gloves? Perhaps that is the biggest tragedy of it all. By the way, I am still giving the novel two stars because there is an interesting story in there, and the glimpse into Afghanistan is valuable. It is just that the author did such a poor job of presenting the story that it actually detracts from the positive aspects of the book and makes the validity of his glimpse into Afghanistan quite questionable. Therefore, my two stars are for the possibilities that could have been if it had been written by a talented author.

Shannon (Giraffe Days)

This is a largely uncritical review, but I found it to be a beautiful, haunting, powerful tale. The Kite Runner is about a young boy, Amir, growing up in a wealthy part of Kabul, Afghanistan, the only son of a popular entrepenuer, who betrays his best friend and later has a chance to redeem himself. As his father's best friend, Kahim, says, "There's a way to be good again." Amir grows up with Hassan, the Hazara servant boy whose father, Ali, grew up with Amir's father. Hassan's mother left as soon as he was born, and he endured taunts and bullying all his life, especially for being a Hazara, which I've never heard of before but I gather it's like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, only with no money or education. So maybe it's more like the black slaves? Anyway, Amir knows he's a coward, he wants to write stories, not fight back against the likes of local, half-German tough boy Assef, who idolises Hitler. He knows his father is disappointed in him, and is jealous when his dad ("Baba") shows affection and preferential treatment toward Hassan.Hassan is also the best kite runner in the city. The boys play a kite-flying game in winter; the strings are coated in tar and cut glass, and they deftly fly them so that their kite cuts the strings of other boys' kites. The winner is the last kite in the air, and extra kudos to you if you run down the last kite to be cut.Amir wins the kite flying tournament one year, and sends Hassan off after the last cut kite. Hassan, devoted and loyal to Amir, runs off, saying over his shoulder, "For you, a thousand times over." Winning the tournament means everything to Amir, for Baba will love him now. But Amir witnesses something horrible horrible horrible, and does nothing, says nothing. Even when he learns that Hassan knows he saw what happened, Amir does nothing. He chooses his father's attention and love over Hassan. Because Hassan's presence reminds Amir of what happened, he can't stand being around him anymore, and finds a way to get rid of both Hassan and Ali.Amir is a very interesting character. As a boy, aware of his own weaknesses, he is not very likeable, though as a literary character his personality is so well written, his first-person voice edged with a touch of snobby, upper-class arrogance. He is embarrassed by Hassan: while he likes to play with him, when Amir's other friends are around Hassan isn't invited to join in, and Amir never calls him his friend. When Amir is older, he knows that Hassan was the better person, the stronger and braver and kinder, more generous soul. But Amir is just a child, and one with high expectations of himself, let alone his father's.There were many things to love about this book. First of all, it wasn't set in the 50s!! It starts out in the 70s, when Amir is about 12, and follows him through to 2002, about a year after 9/11. It is very eye-opening in regards to Afghanistan, a country where, frankly, very few of us know much about. The Kite Runner reveals how relatively modern their lives were before the Russians entered the scene, and how the Taliban were welcomed at first because they got rid of the Russians. After that, Hosseini is very unforgiving towards the Taliban, and paints a very black picture of them. When Amir has to return from America to Afghanistan, the depictions of the Taliban executing adulterers and threatening people for cheering too loudly at sports events, is frightening. What happens to Amir when he encounters an old foe is even scarier. Yet this is not a morbid book. There is a vein of silver running all through it: hope. The book ends with hope, a small nugget of it, a private, personal hope, but important nonetheless.Hosseini shows the human side of Afghanistan, not the poppy-growing, fanatical side. He paints a picture of Kabul full of Mulberry and pomegranate trees, green grass and playing fields and parks, markets full of the spicy aroma of kabobs, and a tightly-knit community no less family-oriented than the Greeks or Italians. I learnt about some Afghan customs, I even learnt the meaning of some words, like Inshallah ("God willing", if my memory serves me correctly - I don't have the book with me).This is a sad tale, for what was lost and what was - and is - endured, but also a warm one, for the colourful characters, the solidarity, the determination. Ultimately a story of survival and redemption, The Kite Runner was thoroughly enjoyable, a quick, not particularly challenging read, but one that challenges our assumptions and prejudices.


WOW!!!!!!!!This book was so beautiful! I loved everything about the story and the way it was written. I LOVED the kite theme and how it demonstrated childhood and happiness. I really enjoyed the character development of Amir and cheered for him throughout this whole book! I think the best word for this novel is: haunting. I will never forget that beautifully written ending or the characters that filled my heart with sadness, childhood memories, and love. Incredible.

Tea Jovanović

Ovo je knjiga koja mi je mozda i najdraza od svih koje sam "otkrila" i urednicki potpisala... A bilo ih je zaista mnogo...


I had serious issues with this book. There might be spoilers below, if you're super-picky. But I'm not going to tell you about how Amir is actually, unbeknownst to the reader, the ghost of the patron saint of Afghanistan the whole time, or anything. Oh, damn.I hated the narrator's guts nearly immediately, and only partially got over that over the course of the novel. I'm fine with narrators I dislike--I LOVE Notes from the Underground, and that guy's the king of skeezes--but only if their voices are interesting enough to counterbalance whatever it is about them I despise.My problem with Amir is that for the boyhood section of the book, he's weak, cowardly, cruel, and dull. He's unapologetic about his really ugly personality, but he also completely fails to take any responsibility for himself. It seemed at times like he was boring himself with his own pettiness. If you're going to be an unpleasant person, I guess, at least take some pride in it. Enjoy your moral decrepitude. Own it. Amir cringes nonstop.Then there were the gratuitous Farsi vocab lessons. No one speaks the way Amir does, first in his native language, then translating for the invisible audience who only knows English. The author used language as a bland condiment instead of allowing for the slightest bit of mystery--part of the book's appeal is that it's about a place and groups of people about which we're woefully ignorant, but I thought allowing for that instead of belaboring every exchange between two Afghani men with explanations for the clueless Americans might have made it a stronger book. I'm OK using context clues once in a while, or wondering what nang and namoos are, besides silly words when I take them out of context.I don't have any complaints about the very moving and human drama that unfolds when Amir goes back to Afghanistan. The story kept me curious enough to keep reading through to the end even when the characters had exasperated me. The parallelism was so heavy-handed, though (GET IT??? His lip was SPLIT IN TWO! That's somehow FAMILIAR!) And I did think Amir managed finally to redeem himself, which is good, because I would have felt a Da Vinci Code sense of betrayal had he not, then thrown the book at the nearest wall.I'm looking forward to the movie. I hadn't realized the same director as Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction was doing it, and I like his work.


Final rating: ★★★★/★★★★★ “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime...” Wow. I have no words to express how exactly i feel now. I feel devastated, happy and angsty. I just loved this book. It certainly was not what i expected, i excepted this to be a heavy love story. In the end, it wasn't. It's about consequences, guilt, redemption and....well, just about everything. I felt like the writer tried to tell that karma is a bitch and that it will eventually screw you in the ways you can't even imagine. Besides, i don't believe in coincidences. First of all, i hated the main character, Amir (and for that, one star less). I just couldn't believe how reckless, annoying, and cowardly he turned out to be in the beginning. He was given a choice, and he ran away from it. If he didn't do that, his life would be different. And so would be a life of his servant-best-friend Hassan. I loved Hassan, he was loyal, brave and honest. He would have done everything for Amir, and i really mean it, but when Amir betrayed that trust, everything went to hell. I don't remember when i felt such anger toward main character, but this one deserved it. Until he redeemed himself, did i finally forgive him. Second, this book is extremely brutal. Like totally. It just felt devastating to read sometimes, and i cried and cried and cried. I thought that life isn't fair, and that it is horrible that horrifying destinies awaited such beautiful souls. In the end, there is a sort of a HEA ending (happily ever after), and when i finished the book, i felt at peace (even though i cried last 30 pages or so, especially because of (view spoiler)[ Sohrab and because of what he had gone through. (hide spoiler)]). There were some plot twist here and there that i didn't expect, and i loved them. Writing was done excellently, and characters felt three dimensional. This is not a book for those who can't read sad stories. But sadness is a part of our lives, and it can't be avoided. Because emotions make us human, and Khaled Hosseini made me feel and cry. Well, that's all folks :) ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


I read this book after it seemed like everyone else around me read it and went on and on about how great it is. It's absolutely one of the most overrated books of all time, right up there with the da vinci code. honestly, i felt i was reading the plot of a (particularly bad) bollywood film the entire time. heavy-handed symbolism, cliches galore, one-dimensional characters, ludicrous situations, melodramatic dialogue, a thoroughly unlikable protagonist, there was no end to the book's flaws. the only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is for the nice details about the bazaars etc he soemetimes put in. if i want that, though, i can just as easily pick up the rough guide to afghanistan, which i bet makes for more intelligent reading.

MJ Nicholls

This is one strain of the virus we call Middlebrow Literature. Issuetastic fiction that turns up-to-date, politically loaded topical material into powerful works of stating the obvious whose aim is to educate the Uninformed or Casually Interested Westerner in the ways of another culture at a time when that culture or nation is under scrutiny, or has the western gaze upon it and needs to answer for itself in an accessible and heart-tugging manner. Now and then we will accept literature from far-off nations if said books reduce complex issues to the level of sentimental manipulation and utilise a stripped-down prose style dripping with enough faux-literariness so that it reads like actual “well-crafted and deeply felt” literature, as opposed to zeitgeist-catching aleatory drivel destined to fester in second hand shops and the shelves of bedtime readers the world over, as though suggesting its owner possesses a well-deep knowledge of the human heart over the unfeeling prick with his comic books and his Vonneguts who could never possibly understand the suffering of another if he doesn’t weep copious buckets at this morally juvenile, cheesy TV-movie atrocity posing as a work of literary art.

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