Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Kite Runner

Honestly, despite all the rave and hype about the Kite Runner, I was really reluctant to read the book. Why? I did not really want to go through all the poignant tragedies which are synonymous with books about Afghanistan, be it 'true story' or fiction. The theme is almost always without a doubt just all things sad and sorry. I am not heartless, I really can be quite compassionate, and sensitive without a doubt, which is why stories like these are so intense and always get me emotionally involved.

Anyway, the Kite Runner is a story set in Afghanistan, written by Khaled Hosseini; the tale takes us through a few phases of the country, from it's glorious days to it's current war-torn state. Essentially, this is a story about 2 young friends from very different backgrounds. They grew up together like brothers and various events transpire along the way to test their friendship, loyalty and integrity.

Basic book facts:

  • This is apparently the first Afghan fictional novel published / written in English by an Afghani physician and resident of California.
  • The Kite Runner has already been made into a movie which for some reasons has not reached our shores.

What this book did for me:

  • I see that guilt has potential to be a disease more malignant than cancer and more crippling than paralysis.
  • People all over the world believe that you reap what you sow; there's always payback ... perhaps in a strange mystical way, God will always make a way for us to atone for our sins and wrong doing, not because He needs our rectifying works to earn His forgiveness, but because He knows we need it to save our own sanity.
  • I have a better understanding on the historical atmosphere of Afghanistan.
  • It opened up a way for me to feel and experience the struggles of a refugee, an alien lost and isolated in another land.
  • The world is a fallen and cruel place which compels people to do drastic things to survive
  • It reaffirmed me again that you can be somebody today but tomorrow, tomorrow ... even the roof over your head could be no more; just with a blink of an eye.
  • It made my heart go out to Afghanistan, which I believe is the true intention of the author, to lend another voice to the people of Afghanistan.
  • This offered a different perspective after reading The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad) which exposes the treatment of women in Kabul.

Why I recommend this:
It's a seriously moving and engaging book, very easy-reading, pretty straightforward, no complicated plots and complex literary mumbo-jumbo. Get it, read it, be entertained and you'll learn a few important things about life and history along the way. It's worth the read.

For details of plot, characters and details on the author, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kite_Runner but please do not do it if you intend to read the book, unless you are book-suicidal and enjoy killing your books before you even begin to read them!

The author's website: http://www.khaledhosseini.com/


4 comments:

Mrs Top Monkey said...

My bro also gave good reviews of the book. I've been interested in the problems of Afghans since I saw this film set in Afghanistan some two years back. What annoys me is that I can't remember the name of the film now (foreign lang mah...), so I can't look it up anywhere!

Mrs Top Monkey said...

Hey, I found the film!!! It's called Osama, you can check it out here.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040126-578957,00.html

Shortcake said...

Heya Mrs Top Monkey ... thanks ...cool, will check it out... and guess what, my hubby just got me a copy of the movie "The Kite Runner", I can't wait to watch it!

thenomadGourmand said...

thks for the reviews of the books.
I love to read too, and alws borrow my books frm the rental shop in Bangsar, behind TMC..or i go Borders ;p