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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. ISBN: 1-57322-245-3

That this is a powerful story there is no doubt. There is also no doubt that the timing of the book, combined with the setting, Afghanistan, has contributed to its success and popularity, but that totally aside, the book is well worthy of whatever acclaim it has received. It is a story that made me uncomfortable at first, a feeling that persisted for much of the way through the book, but is ultimately justified by the ending, I suppose.

Why am I uncomfortable? Because the protagonist behaves badly, in ways he knows to be wrong, even though only a boy at the time. He is unable to deal with his own cowardice, and takes it out on those less fortunate than himself. Years later, now living safely in America, during the height of the Taliban regime, he forces himself to travel back to Afghanistan to try and atone for his deeds by picking up the pieces of a relationship that he had abandoned all those years before. The book ends on a note of hope.

Even without the powerful emotional baggage carried by the tale, the book would be well worth reading just for the setting, and the way it puts us right in the center of a culture alien to our own. Highly recommended.

1 Comments:

  • Thanks Will - maybe this will get me off the dime. This book has been sitting on my end table at home for five months waiting for me to get around to picking it up and starting it.

    By Anonymous Toni, at 11:22 AM  

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