I enjoyed “The Kite Runner” and am genuinely surprised there is such a wide range of criticism. I certainly wouldn’t consider the book to be a favorit...moreI enjoyed “The Kite Runner” and am genuinely surprised there is such a wide range of criticism. I certainly wouldn’t consider the book to be a favorite but it doesn’t elicit any type of anger from me or lead me to label it as “trash.” In fact, I think Hosseini did a brilliant job in introducing me to another country and culture.
The novel was very much hyped when it was published (I’ve only just read it in order to distance myself from any possible alliances of love and hate). I’ve gathered from reading reviews that some people felt that Amir was an awful person who never truly redeemed himself. This brings back such strong memories of the criticisms of Briony from Atonement. I liken this reaction to how people feel when watching a film in which the villain is so awful they can barely stand it. When this occurs, the actor/writer/director achieves their goal and the effect is momentous. I think that it’s extremely important that readers who are critical of the book based on Amir, understand that Hosseini created a character that couldn’t be painted as either black or white. Amir was a complex human who had a misunderstood past and present. He was a flawed human being who was representative of who we actually are – imperfect. If readers were looking for a strong and perfect hero that could do no wrong, then they should have picked up a Grimms fairy tale book.
That being said, while I thought several characters were a rich addition to the book (especially Hassan whose loyalty both annoyed and made me love him even more), the story was flawed. Hosseini glazes over the story with over sentimentality and a rather cheapened way to avenge wrongs. The good guys/heroes in the book are written well in that they are complex and everyone has some kind of defect. However, the villains in the book are much too simple. The bad are bad and there’s no ifs ands or buts. It seemed so easy to paint Aseef as not only a racist but a rapist, child molester and sociopath. I found it cartoonish that Amir’s return to Afghanistan leads him directly back to Aseef which seems like far too much of a coincidence. Readers are moving along with Amir who is experiencing nostalgia and heartache over the changed Afghanistan, to meeting with Aseef once more. I understand that Hosseini means to take the story full circle but this is much too simplified.
In the end, I can understand the criticism that people have but I don’t think that it merits labeling this book as awful. (less)
I took a class with Dr. Wolf who used “Beyond Anne Frank” as one of our course books. The Scoiology course was “Jewish Family.” The book was very well...moreI took a class with Dr. Wolf who used “Beyond Anne Frank” as one of our course books. The Scoiology course was “Jewish Family.” The book was very well written and Dr. Wolf did a fantastic job studying how survivors coped after the war. However, I agree with other posters in that it certainly left one wanting more than just snippets of each person’s experiences. Yet, I can hardly criticize Dr. Wolf seeing as how the book’s objective was to provide insight and details into her study. (less)