May 04, 2007

May's Book: The Kite Runner

If you're like me, you've heard about this book and have been meaning to pick it up and just haven't got around to it yet. Well, maybe now is the time.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

"...the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places
and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ('...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.')"

And so on.



Here's a blurb from Its a pretty good lead in for discussions...

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

wynne said...

I just got to page 67 and don't know if I can go on. I'm heartbroken. Please, does it get better?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but it gets worse and better. I'll have to write more later b/c I'm at work, but definitely worth reading.

I ended up liking this book quite a bit. I didn't think I would after reading the first few paragraphs. They seemed heavy handed to me. But after the first real chapter, I didn't really think so anymore. I thought it was actually refreshingly linear, story-like and un-cynical/banal for a new memoir-style novel. It was exciting. There was right and wrong, big things happened and meant something, and yet it was very thought-filled and not Tom Clancy.

Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie said...

Sharon's right that it does get better, but it's a novel about Afghanistan, land of endless pain, so...don't expect an Austen double wedding at the end. I thought it was a lovely and yet honest ending. Tears all around.

I have more to post later, but wanted to note that I actually finished the book by the end of the month. I hereby pat myself on the back for not getting sidetracked by less depressing fare.

It's a very good book -- for anyone out there mired in the pain and wondering whether to stick it out -- I think you should. The journey was difficult, with each new opportunity being dashed (just like the modern history of Afghanistan), but the end offers a hope that's remarkable in that it doesn't seem artificial.

Anonymous said...

So I can't say I actually read the book in May...I think I read it about a year ago. but i remember it being one of the most deeply moving I've read, and though heartwrenching, I was grateful I'd read it. But it isn't one I recommend to just anyone. While I think most people should read it, I don't think it's for everyone.


Belladonna said...

I struggled through this book. I'd heard several people I knew rave about it so I was determined to get it done, but now that I've finished it I can't say I feel better off. So much anguish. So much harm. Granted, the book has beauty as well, but the images that will stick with me from this are ones I could do without.

wynne said...

I finally took it back to the library. I think that this is a book that ordinarily I would have loved, but for whatever reason I was too tender to read it right now.

And if I ever see a pair of brown corduroy pants, I may puke.