The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is considered to be one of the finest contemporary fiction ever written. An Afghan born writer, Khaled Hosseini has written the most disturbing and devastating tale of relationships against the background of a shattering Afghanistan something with which we Indian could easily connect to.
The story is about Amir, born in an affluent family of Kabul. He lives with his father, loyal servant Ali and Ali’s son Hassan. Amir is always troubled by his father’s indifferent attitude and yearns for his father’s love and attention. But he shares a great rapport with Hassan and they are partner in crime. There is a strange friendship of master-servant between the two.
But one winter an incident occurs after a kite competition which changes things between Amir and Hassan. Amir start living in guilt. It ultimately results in Hassan and Ali leaving. Amir and his father became refugee after Russian attack on Afghanistan and settles in America. Amir gets married and becomes a famous writer. But one day he receives a call from Pakistan to rescue Hassan’s son Sohrab from Taliban infested Afghanistan.
All the characters in the novel are either black or white. But the author has kept the protagonist’s character grey shaded in which white and black cells fights to dominate. Amir possesses a sensitive heart who longs for his father but he is coward by nature. One who doesn’t stand up for himself or for his loved ones. He lives most of his life in guilt due to this but finally he finds redemption and peace.
It is Hassan’s character which will touch any reader’s heart. He was the most purist character with whom readers will cry and laugh. Author has used fewer words to describe Hassan’s state of mind, his emotions but whenever he did the effect was profound. He is warm and caring in spite being hit by a personal tragedy. Personally my heart goes out for Hassan and tears welled up when Ali and Hassan leaves Amir’s father’s house. That entire scene was heartbreaking. There are many heart wrenching scenes in the book which I read with misty eye and bated breath.
Khaled Hosseini has done a remarkable job in portraying the complex relation between Amir and Hussan. They were besties for each other yet the master-servant status kept infecting their friendship. There were plethora of emotions described intricately between the unusual bonding of a wealthy boy and a servant’s son which will leave readers feeling devastated and disturb for days. The guilt and regret for not standing for your loved ones in need is a killing feeling which doesn’t allow peace of mind. Amir was dealing with such a situation and author has done full justice in penning it.
The story of Amir was beautifully crafted in the backdrop of disturbed Afghanistan. Khaled starts with happy days when things were not so bad in Afghanistan though there were caste differences but women were educated and independent. Things gradually start changing from bad to worst to intolerably inhumane with the onset of Russian attacks and later under the tyranny of Taliban rule. Afghanistan becomes the victim of international politics and millions of Afghans became refugees and those who stayed back lived at the mercy of brutal Talibs.
The author’s writing is impeccable. It is lucid and vivid throughout the story both with description and emotions. Khaled is master of plotting. He has introduced twist and surprises in the story at the right time and moment whenever needed which provided an excellent pace to the book and refrained the book from becoming a heavy dose of emotion.
The language of the book is exemplary. One doesn’t need heavy words or abusive language to leave effect. Khaled has used simple language but his simple words were moving and tug at heartstrings. Like for example,”There is a way to be good again”, “Better to get hurt by truth then comforted by lies”. And many other.
“For you, a thousand times over”. These words are so beautiful. I will remember them all my life. They are perfectly etched in my memory so is the character of Hassan who say them.
It’s a masterpiece no doubt that’s why considered as classic. Highly recommended.
When we read one good novel. We all crave for more. Reading book similar to it is the only solution. Recently I have read a book similar to The Kite Runner. It is The Tree With a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta.