Jackie’s review of The Kite Runner > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Jeffrey (last edited May 21, 2008 04:25PM) (new)

Jeffrey While all your points are valid, I do like the way he creates the relationships in the book, and although he always seemed to make the wrong choices, it is what makes us human, and how important forgiveness is. I admit that by the end of the book I disliked Amir because he was such a weak character, but it's also very interesting to have such a character as your protagonist. The film was able to take what I thought to be a rather unlikable character and to give him a lot more positive traits, making the negatives less aggravating. It's telling that his nephew is the one who has to save his life at the end. But the film does make you feel that he finally becomes a better person for all this in the end. While the book made me feel that he would always continue to be a loser.


La Petite Américaine I wish I could articulate as well as you just how much this book sucked. The first part WAS good, I admit ... but then it all fell apart.

Ugh, SO GLAD I borrowed a copy instead of spending my hard-earned, super-taxed Euros to buy it.


message 3: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill Well, I suppose I am. I write all of the time. I have a few things published (in literary magazines). I have written a masters thesis. I have written MANY theoretical and research papers toward my doctoral degree (then there is the pesky "little" dissertation). I do have a novel in the works (don't most people), although, it is at a half way point and will probably remain there for some time. Why do you ask?


message 4: by Megan (last edited Jul 07, 2008 09:59AM) (new)

Megan "Simple People" ???
Are you a "simple person" or is that your way of thinking you're higher than other people? (no offence, I'm just wondering.) And don't the "coincidential" moments of the book make it what it is? For example, without Amir meeting Assef again near the end and getting beat by him for Sohrab, Amir would never have thought free of what he did to Hassan.


message 5: by Christine (new)

Christine Hair I completely agree with you, Jackie. The foreshadowing was ham-fisted and I could see the story coming a mile away.

He just "happens" to run into his mother's old teaching buddy. The Taliban just "happens" to be run by his old arch-nemesis Assef. (I, like you, laughed that someone who loves Hitler and gives Assef a Hilter BOOK wouldn't know what ethnic cleansing is)

From the first 1/4 of the book it had so much potential... and then it just fell apart. I came to goodreads glad I"m not the only one who felt that way.



message 6: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Can't we just get over ourselves and enjoy a good story now and again?


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill Sure we can, I love a good story, this just doesn’t happen to be one. I suppose for those who know very little about literature and craft this very contrived piece may be viewed as "good;" and, the success of this novel is a sad commentary about literacy. For a reader not to be bothered by the obvious and contrived nature of this book, the reader is either young (which I can understand) and/or lacking in literary education/experience. In reality, this book would be more accurately marketed for the middle school level of reader; but, even if that was the primary market, the fact is, the writing is adequate at best, the plot is less than adequate, and students should really be exposed to better writing and plot. For instance, Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, is a children’s book which shows more literary talent than Hosseini could ever hope to aspire to. Even the Harry Potter novels are a million times better written and plotted out than The Kite Runner; and, Harry Potter is obviously marketed toward the young reader and/or those who “just enjoy a good story.”


La Petite Américaine And I'm going to have to agree with you there. Where the Wild Things Are is a million times better than The Kite Runner. So is Harry Potter. And like you said, those are just good stories, they're not pretending to be a work of literature.

Months have passed, and I still passionately hate this book. Why can't people pick up Reading Lolita in Tehran or Prisoner of Tehran if they want real literature and insight into the Middle East? No, instead, it's stupid people who need to feel their stomachs churn and then have a good cry (one reviewer called books like The Kite Runner "tear-jerker porn") and move on ... without having to use too many big words. UGH.


La Petite Américaine I must say, if I had your gift for writing, I'd catch a lot less crap. :)


message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill Thank you for the compliment! Don’t let em get to you-sometimes "catching crap" and arguing can be fun (especially when you have the upper hand ;-)).


La Petite Américaine The person who left her comments under my review ended up deleting ... sigh....couldn't take the heat I guess ;)


message 12: by Stefan (new)

Stefan Jackie, define your view of a simple person besides the obvious young readers and/or a person who lacks literary education. By saying it was recommended to you by a simple person and saying that you recommend it to a simple person, do you mean that you are a simple person or that you consider yourself superior to pretty much everyone else?


message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill LOL, I think I can best answer your questions by stating:

1. I "get" sarcasm
2. Simple people do not "get" sarcasm


message 14: by Neil (new)

Neil Jackie, would it be possible for you to put together a list of books for me to read?
You obviously have such exquisite taste in literature, I for one can't wait to read your published novel, (when it's finished), it will be a classic I'm sure.


message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill Ya know what Neil, perhaps I was wrong with my last comment, apparently even some simple people can get, or at least attempt to dish out some form of, sarcasm. As for your book list: If you feel that Kite Runner is quality (yet you went searching for negative reviews because I know I didn’t hunt you down), you may just want to go down to your local discount store and load up on some great paperback romance novels. I am pretty sure that the general plots will be the same, but I am also sure it will be a great surprise for you each time! Have fun reading.


message 16: by Neil (new)

Neil Oh dear! That's me put in my place then.


message 17: by Ready (new)

Ready Reader But, where is NO after the question "Like this review?" :)


message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris This review is way better than mine.


message 19: by Ready (new)

Ready Reader Well Jackie, if you wanted to show people you read the book you've made your point, clearly and thoroughly :)
The book wasn't such a torment for me to read. It's a nice read and I recommend reading it to anyone looking for a book to read in these summer days.

Regards


message 20: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill Are you the same "Ready" who on 5/10/2009 said, "But, where is NO after the question "Like this review?" :)" ?? I am so flattered that you keep coming back to my review. Perhaps a deeper part of your conscious recognizes the truth in my review and is just trying to get you to wake up and stop subjecting it to poor excuses for literature.



message 21: by Ready (last edited Jul 22, 2009 01:09PM) (new)

Ready Reader Yes Jackie, I'm the same witty guy who wrote that famous line. Congratulations, you've got a personal stalker :)
I'm joking, don't take that so seriously.
I've received an email from the site noticing me that someone has posted in the thread, so I've added my thought on this.
I liked your review actually, it's thorough and I could agree on many parts of it, but in general, I think you were pretty harsh in your critics. I liked a book, and I didn't feel that the plot is so corny a story as you did, but there's a room for any opinion, it's a literature finally not math :)
Your answer made me take a look (a quick though,I don't have time at the moment for more reading)at your other reviews and books you've read. Two brief observation, I hope you won't mind.
"Crime and punishment" is a masterpiece of world's literature and I really love that book.I've read many other Dostoeyvski's books and along with "Idiot" and "The insulted and the injured", that's my favourite book. Three stars is not much for this book in my opinion.
"Moby Dick" was the book I tried to read. One of the rare books I couldn't finish.I had had great expectation about this book when I started with reading and I was dissapointed to say at least.My hope that the book gets better lasted until I read less than a half of a book and I stopped there. I never knew what happened with Captain Ahab in the end. I learned a lot about the whale species though, and that fact would make me give the book a half of a star if I wrote a review of the book myself.
Sorry for writing in length here Jackie, I tried to make it as short as I could :)
I liked your review in fact, and although I do not entirely share your opinion, after reading the review I didn't have any doubt that it was written by a well-read person, and someone who is knowledgeable of fiction literature.

P.S I'm still learning english and I apologize for the grammatical slips I possibly made writing this comment

Best regards


message 22: by Erica (new)

Erica I can not agree with you more on this review I felt exactly the same way about the entire book


message 23: by Minhazul (new)

Minhazul Hoque Hassan's rape was a very gross part in the story but it was also very sad. I made a connection with Afghanistan and the United States of America. In the United States raping someone would lead to jail and especially if your a male and you rape a male then your considered gay. But in Afghanistan it was not considered gay, That's what happened in the street of Afghanistan. Seeing and hearing these events were part of a normal everyday Afghan life.


message 24: by Lisette (new)

Lisette Wow, Jackie. I would've just seen this review as personal tastes' diverging since I think this book is pretty evocative and powerful in its examinations of relationships and personal responsibility. And you apparently don't. But when you started calling those of us who enjoy this book as "simple minded" and unable to understand sarcasm and then proceeded to "prove" this by waving your degrees and assorted writings as if anyone with a comparable resume to yours would agree, I got pissed. I'd wager I have a comparable amount of (if not more) formal education (including degrees) from top-tier universities and more writing, both academic (yes, I've written more than one graduate thesis because I have more than one graduate degree) and creative writing that appears in literary journals and I still can appreciate this novel. And not insult those with differing tastes.


message 25: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I am so happy to read this review xD I think it suits it well. It's claimed to be a foriegn, cultural story that my Global teacher acctually REALLY encouraged us to read-- but it was so soft, flat, predictable, and, ironically enough, Americanised for us live-under-a-rock easy entertainment seekers. I'd like to read a book with a foriegn edge to learn more about unfamiliar places and have a different taste but, sadly, this book cannot offer that. It can't offer anything more than an interesting tragedy with a somewhat less-tragic ending. Rock on.


message 26: by Whitney ♥ (new)

Whitney ♥ Ell Perfect review.


message 27: by Pete (new)

Pete wow thank you for open my eyes how could i like this book i guess im "simple" thank you for you are beyond us comon folk you are so great


message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Gill No Problem :-)


message 29: by Perlis (new)

Perlis J. I think most of us bring a little bit of our egos into the reading and reviewing of what we read. When the reviews become contests of who understand what more or less of what we read, how does that help each other? ACKNOWLEDGEMENT then becomes the topic, not book reviewing. A true teacher in my humble opinion, knows how to get his readers/students to ask their OWN questions not supply ready answers when the reading material is subjective. Everyone brings what they have to the library. The interpretation is always PERSONAL no matter how many degrees the reader has. The writer knows he will not appeal to everyone...he writes for one reason..to inform, to educate yes, but mostly to satisfy his own personal creative urges and passions. Hang in there Jackie, find where your passions lie and finish your damned book! Then,your anger will dissipate and you will be more tolerant of ALL writers, even ones who don't match your presumed skill. Then, when you are published, we can all review your book. Objectively, of course!


message 30: by Sonja (new)

Sonja Trbojevic Well put!


message 31: by Adam (new)

Adam Gottbetter This is a fair, fearless and insightful review. I had similar thoughts when reading The Kite Runner. - Adam Gottbetter


message 32: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Perada My best friend and I started reading literary fiction as young teenagers, and both in our mid-sixties now, we continue to let literature enhance our lives. Years ago when this book came out, she told me how much she loved it. Fearing I was losing her to popular culture, since she watches way too many of those "reality" crime shows, I said, "Yes, but did you think it was a great novel, or even a good novel?" She said, "No, of course not, but who cares?" I think this is the only intelligent response to this novel. I too enjoyed part of the book, particularly the first half, although after reading it I did feel a bit of that "Well, I'll never get those hours of my life back," feeling that one gets after watching a trashy movie.
Unfortunately, most of America didn't share this response, and here is one truly unfortunate consequence. I currently tutor an extremely intelligent young woman who is taking a 12th grade advanced placement English class. You guessed it - she was assigned KITE RUNNER! It's just such a waste of her and other students' precious time.
I am sharing your review with this student, as I know she will enjoy your humor and observations. Thanks for your literacy!


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