Rose's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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's review
Nov 20, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: top-20, historical-fiction, read-in-2009
Read in November, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I reread this book in November 2009 because I had loved it so much on my first reading and wanted to remind myself why I loved it so much. Unfortunately, that's probably going to take it down a star or two. I still think it's a great book, but with a few more years under my belt, I am a little more critical of the cliched devices and (oft!)repeated strategies Hosseini uses to drive his point home.

As for the good - I hate that the book gets a bad rap because it's pop lit. The sentence structure is never super-complex, but the man knows how to write a novel. I'm sick of reading novels with no clear point or direction, and The Kite Runner has one. You know what's wrong, and what needs to occur to fix it. The story is damn interesting, as are some of the characters. To use a cliche (sure, I'll be just as shameless as the author) I couldn't put it down. Even this time. The prose in captivating, and there are never too many or too few words to describe a scene.

But the bad(ish?)... beware of...


Every significant event in the book was HEAVILY foreshadowed, which I think is a bit much. I felt like I was reading MadLibs, and this sentence came up way too frequently: "And that was the last time _[action:]_ would happen until _[year:]_." Then the author would go on explaining why that was the case.

Also, there was one point in the story where the author came up with such an interesting plot device: Amir gets a scar in his upper lip that paralleled the one Hassan had had many years ago. How interesting! There are so many ways to consider what that means! But the author spoiled it immediately by explicitly writing that it paralleled Hassan's scar - it was not that tough to figure out, but Hosseini wanted to be sure we caught that! That was so unneccessary, I rolled my eyes while reading.

As for plot holes... why exactly are we supposed to believe that the sociopath-rapist-half Afghan Nazi Talib has allowed his prisoner of many months to keep a deadly weapon in his possession? I guess the sociopath just overlooked that.

There's also a heavy dose of cliche and schmaltz. If Hosseini had written this with a lighter touch, I think it would have been even better. As it stands, it's still a great book that is worth reading, but maybe only once.

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Reading Progress

11/18/2009 page 152

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