Zee's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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's review
Apr 07, 2012

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bookshelves: booksread2012, contemporary, curriculumtext, eastern, historicalfiction
Read from February 18 to March 12, 2012

Normally I would not have picked this as a read, but as it's part of the A-level curriculum it was required reading, and it is from that viewpoint that I will be writing this review.

Critically speaking the story is well-structured, but there is a certain divide in the narrative that seemed to also cut my interest level in half which comes precisely at the moment when war erupts in Afghanistan and Amir has to leave for America. The excitement and tension that Hosseini had built up and managed to sustain suddenly lost it's fizz.

It's cruel to say, but I suddenly stopped caring about the characters. I would have loved it if the narrative had gone for a complete change at that precise moment and swapped over to Hassan's POV. The moment would have been ripe for such a switch, and we would have also seen evrything that goes on in Afghanistan after Amir and his father run away. It would have been interesting to have stayed in the line of fire and to have witnessed some of Hassan's/ Rahim-Khan's feelings as I still have a lot of unanswered questions about those characters.

However, it is a good text to study at A-level, as there are a lot of bridges between concepts, ideas, symbolism etc that makes it a fertile text to use in that respect. I was instantly struck by the references to trees and decided to do a little googling. To my surprise quite a few people also picked up on the messages Hosseini was giving through his strategic use of trees in the text. There was also the concept of sacrifice that married well with the custom of the 'Qurban'. Hosseini explored the theme carefully and I was very impressed with how he was trying to explain the subtle complexities of this Islamic tradition by making it a focal point.

Despite its' failings as a story, I can't wait to teach this text from a critical perspective. We all have our biased views on Afghanistan, so it'll be wonderful to step outside 'known' suthors and experience the literary re-birth of a country ravaged by war and censored by religion that can barely be called 'Islam'. 'The Kite Runner' is an important text on many levels and I believe Hosseini has better stories to tell in the time to come.
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Reading Progress

02/18/2012 page 37
02/19/2012 page 65
20.0% "Annotating as I go along... I think I'm going to have to make a glossary of terms for the kids. I'm not happy with the ones on the web."
03/12/2012 page 256
79.0% "Gonna finish this one today..."
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