Linda's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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May 29, 07

bookshelves: favorites, fiction
Read in May, 2007

So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time.

Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez Geek one of the 3 new things this week).

The Kite Runner. Must be the most disturbing, haunting book I’ve yet to read. The close seconds would be A Child Called It and Night. They both broke my heart but not in the way Kite Runner did. I was in tears maybe four separate times during the past two days it took me to finish the novel. A coming of age story with pre–war Afganhistan and the post-Taliban arrival as the backdrop of the story.

I tend to take note of books I know my dad will enjoy and as I read them I jot down notes on post its for my dad and flag the relevant pages. I flagged the story about Amir and Hassen tying bumble bees with string and letting them fly a bit before yanking them back. My dad used to do exactly the same thing to dragonflies when he was younger growing up in Vietnam. Then as I got deeper and deeper into the book and found myself tearing up, I started to doubt whether my dad, a vet would enjoy going down memory lane. I took breaks and called Mary Ellen to relay the story and basically to pull me out a little. Relief.

The refugee stories seem to make vivid my parents’ stories post Vietnam.

I kept imagining I was reading about my dad. Funny how war is pretty much the same no matter where it is. I usually don’t read war books so this is somewhat new to me. Before Kite Runner, the only books I’ve read with war in the background were Anne Frank’s diary, The Hiding Place, and Night. All heart breaking in their own respect but I never felt so invested in events unfolding with each turn of the page as I did with Kite Runner.

So aside from making me cry so easily, Hosseini also managed to make me laugh several times out loud. One scene when Amir, in such a detached manner, thinks to himself as someone is experiencing an eye injury, “Oh that’s vitreous fluid.. I read about that, that’s vitreous fluid.” I used to work for an ophthalmologist.

So here are a few quotes I jotted down into my reading journal…

“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft..”

“If there’s a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking Scotch or eating pork.”

“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”

“We plucked the stinger off a bee and tied a string around the poor thing and yanked it back every time it took flight.”

“John Wayne didn’t really speak Farsi and he wasn’t Iranian.”

“And the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced, some no older than five or six. They sat in the laps of their burque-clad mothers alongside gutters at busy street corners… Hardly any of them sat with an adult male- the war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan.”

“Returning to Kabul was like running into an old, forgotten friend, and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him, that he’d become homeless and destitute.”

‘I’m so afraid…. Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening. They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.”

I wrote the last one down because that’s how I feel when I feel very happy. I get extra wary of freak accidents.

“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 t
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new) - added it

Ben Morris This was a powerful novel. One thing I liked about the book was the relationship between the main character, Amir, his father, Agha sahib, Rahim Khan, and Hassan and his father. There is a five point relationship here. Rahim Khan is a connector between Agha sahib and Amir -- one entity -- and Hassan and his father -- the other entity. I liked the way the book took a turn around the meeting between Rahim Khan and Amir. Nor only was this was a turning point in the plot, in Amir beginning his journey back to Afghanistan to rescue Sohrab, it also marks a transformation in Amir. He stands up for something he believes in: the life of a child. This allows him to become a companion to Sohrab, which redeems him for his lack of loyalty to Hassan.


Irene love your review! read this book a few weekends back but still can't write about it. started reading on my bed, went to the sofa in livin room, still gripped it at the dining table... yes, it's funny and moving. reading it was quite a journey in itself.


message 3: by Ben (new) - added it

Ben Morris Thanks! I appreciate the qoutes that Linda pulled out of the story.

The qoute about "the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced...hardly any of them sat with an adult male - the war had made rare fathers in Afghanistan " made me think about how every war has an impact on future generations. Makes me wonder how about the culture and mileu of the future generation of children, born to Iraqi veterans (both living and passed on).


Jerome The plot "turn" that you mention could be seen nearly a mile away. If you have read the book "The Power of One" by Courtenay, seen the movie "8 Mile" or any of a million other sport movies; then you will notice the theme of defeating an old adversary repeated too many times. In fact, it's becoming sort of obvious.

That being said, the periphery of the main character's story is what makes this book any decent and memorable. Don't know how much of it is TRUE, remember it's in the fiction section, but it does seem plausible.

Oh, and congrats on kicking the boys butts above.


Vanessa Arcangel I think "a Child called It" and "Night" are more disturbing than Kite Runner... after all, the first two books are actual reality...


Linda Vanessa wrote: "I think "a Child called It" and "Night" are more disturbing than Kite Runner... after all, the first two books are actual reality..."

Vanessa, I agree but for me personally, Kite Runner echoed my dad's stories from Vietnam which is why it affected me a bit differently.


Vanessa Arcangel Oh I see... lets hope whatever nightmares from vietnam persist in his mind find peace some day.


message 8: by Ryan (new) - added it

Ryan Noel I'm a little surprised by this review. Obviously people have different tastes but I'm about half way through and I find myself struggling to get through it. Is the second half better than the first? It's VERY well written, but it just hasn't lived up to the hype for me. Your thoughts?


message 9: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett I think they beginning half was well portrayed when the soviets attacked and shortly after Amir and his dad had to move to the U.S. from then on the only intense scene was when Sohrab was raped by Assef like his father. And also when Amir gets a letter from Rahim Khan telling him about Hasan's death. To me these were the most emotional parts in the second half. But I still think this book is one of my favorite books.


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