The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel. It is a gripping and emotional story of betrayal and redemption. The Kite Runner had moved me as it tells the story of two close friends, Amir and Hassan, who are more like brothers and are also experts in flying kites.
The two young boys live in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and this year they aim to try harder than ever to win the local kite-fighting tournament, a popular Afghan pastime, and this is Amir’s one hope of winning his father’s love and admiration.
But everything turns around when war comes knocking on Afghanistan’s door and the country becomes a place of constant danger. Despite this political sub plot, Amir commits an act of betrayal towards Hassan, which will haunt him for the rest of his life. Amir and his father are forced to flee Afghanistan for America, and The Kite Runner becomes the story of Amir’s quest for redemption – righting the wrongs he had committed as a young boy, all those years ago in Kabul.
The story has a sense of urgency and there is never a dull moment. It helped expand on my knowledge of Afghan culture, which continues to fascinate me. Hosseini is a superb writing, finding a balance between being concise and yet powerful. Amir himself becomes a writer, and he reflects on his experiences in the story as though his life itself were a piece of fiction.
Without giving the juicy bits away, I was pleased that Hosseini chose to send Amir back to Afghanistan to and makes a very different set of sacrifices in order to do the morally right thing.
Hosseini expresses a strong message through The Kite Runner, and I think that is: good will always out win evil.
The Kite Runner was published in 2003 by Bloomsbury.