George V. Reilly

Review: The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hossein
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 401
Keywords: fiction
Reading period: 21–22 November, 2009

Two boys grow up together in Kabul in the 1970s. Amir is the son of Baba, a wealthy merchant; Hassan is the son of Ali, Baba’s servant. Amir betrays Hassan, and his guilt pushes Hassan and Ali away. When the Russians come, Amir and Baba flee to America. Twenty years later, Amir returns to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan to atone.

The Kite Runner is well written and touching. Betrayal and redemption, fathers and sons, love and hatred, cowardice and sac­ri­fice—all against a backdrop of Afghanistan’s horrible modern history.

In the end, I found the story circled around too neatly. I think the author has spent a little too much time in writer’s workshops.

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