15
Oct08

The Kite Runner

Posted by: Danny Chen

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Anyone still remember the days of high school summer reading? Back then reading was about as much fun as watching paint dry…twice. But that wasn’t even the worst part. Perhaps what made reading even more painful was that teachers had a knack for finding the most mundane and obscure piece of literature to give us. We had to read things by people we never heard of. And occasionally, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to read novels by people who were famous. But again, the teachers always pick some piece of literature that no one ever heard of, even though it was by a famous author, to give to us. It was in this desolate mindset that I encountered Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner.  I didn’t have high hopes for it. After all, it was summer reading. But Hosseini’s novel definitely has a little bit of magic in it. Because by the end I found myself thinking summer reading can be fun. Weird.

Humor aside, I would like to start again. Ahem.

Rape! Betrayal! Murder! All of them are poignant words that seem more suitable for an adult crime fiction drenching in sleazy characters and vicious crooks than anything else. But instead of dealing with gangsters and double agents, we are dealing with the life journey of one man, Amir, as he traverses the span of not only time but space as well. It all starts in the wealthy suburb of Wazir Akbar Khan, just outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir was living the life that many of us wish we could. Big house, a few servants, and a leisurely childhood spent reading books and flying kites with his best friend and protector, Hassan. It seemed like paradise.

But all is not well in paradise. Hosseini takes us for an exhilarating ride through emotional highs and devastating lows with his unforgettable cast and intense scenes. In case you are not compelled to read this book yet, I would like to show you a bit of what Kite Runner has to offer. I’ll give you a hint; it’s not just about some rich kid flying kites. A point of interest in the book is Amir’s conflicting feelings for Hassan. Although there was a strong brotherly love between them, Amir felt compelled to patronize him from time to time just because he was a Hazara, a type of second class citizen. Will Amir ever find the right balance between dominance and brotherly love? Only by reading will you find out. But I know there are still skeptics out there. Let’s just say that it’s so good that they made a movie out of it. Plus, you’ll find a little bit of everything in this book. If you want action, there’s plenty of it. If you want drama, again, there is plenty of it. Perhaps the only thing you won’t find is a box of Kleenex when you need it most.

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch

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