Msmeemee's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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's review
Oct 02, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: classic-lit
Recommended for: tear-jerking saps


so, it starts off strong. it almost feels like a biography, that's how real it felt to me. i actually looked on the back of the cover to see if it was based on a true story or something.

one thing i noticed off the bat was hosseini's style of writing. it was an extremely easy read. i wasn't sure if this was so it would be accessible to a wider audience or so we could concentrate more on the story rather than the prose or what. what's ironic is that the narrator and protagonist is supposed to be a gifted writer. anyway, the writing wasn't the book's strongest point. honestly, the author of the inner elvis had much better descriptive writing.

however, his simplistic writing style didn't take away from the emotions triggered in the story. i was practically bawling at every emotional scene. i have to say, though, that the rape scene, which is the first dramatic scene in the novel, was the best one. i know that sounds horrible, but it's timing and significance was on point.

and that's where things kinda went downhill for me. even though i was caught up in the story, things became really cliche. amir and hassan are the two protagonists in the story. amir is the son of baba, a wealthy and admired male widower while hassan is the hare-lipped hazara, people who are regarded as scum of the earth according to afghani history. anyway, hassan and his father, ali, are servants for baba and amir, but they are viewed as family. it's a refreshing departure from what could easily be a cinderlla-type plot.

anyway, amir is this really smart, well-educated pansy who can't stand up for himself for shit and hassan always backs him up, even taking on 3 guys on his own. there's a little rivalry between the two boys, with amir constantly testing hassan's loyalty and scoffing at him for seeming to be such a sucker. but when shit turns serious, amir doesn't return the sentiment.

the year that amir won a kite flying competition, hassan takes off for the last kite and ends up being cornered by child-sociopath, assef, and his cronies. when hassan refuses to give up the fallen kite, assef rapes him in an alley and amir watches the whole thing from a hiding place because he's too afraid to jump in and protect his friend.

as i kept reading, cliches and implausible coincidences start popping up everywhere. it turns out that amir and hassan are half-brothers. (i think i saw that plot-twist in days of our lives once.) when amir goes back to afghanistan to save hassan's now-orphan son, that son is held captive by --guess who?-- none other than assef who has become part of the taliban. the novel climaxes with assef kicking amir's ass. and who saves amir? hassan's son! with a fucking slingshot! (hassan was skilled at that, too.) amir gets reconstructive surgery and ends up with a scar down his lip like hassan had when he had surgery for his hare-lip. good lord. then there was this brief encounter where amir comes across an old homeless guy who just happened to know amir's mother before she died giving birth to amir. how would that ever happen?

to be fair, it had a really good storyline. i still maintain that the first third was well executed. the beginning of the book stands its ground well, but that may have just made the rest of the book pale in comparison even more so. it almost felt like the author was desperately reaching for the audience's acceptance (it's his first novel). or he hurried through the rest of the book and needed to increase the tear-jerker factor exponentially by making me cry at every page to cover up the fact that he was running out of quality ideas. on a positive note, it might add more depth to an already mysterious and often feared culture in light of 9/11.

but when all is said and done, it's still an interesting read.

final word on the kite runner: i can't wait for the movie adaptation. hollywood would eat that shit up.
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Reading Progress

10/20/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Joe (new) - rated it 1 star

Joe Liked your review. I feel the same way. The first half was amazing, emotional and heartwrenching but the second half was such crap that it took away from the first half. I ended up absolutely hating the novel and feeling a bit insulted. This is deemed best selling novel material? Sheesh. I guess I should pump out a hackneyed cliched ridden soap opera novel so I can join the ranks of so called best selling authors too.

Kelsey I completely agree with you and Joe. This novel really manages to be both predictable and condescending, which is all the more disappointing since it starts out so well.

La Petite Américaine Great review.

Tammi Morgan Really good review. You managed to articulate my thoughts perfectly. Much better than I managed to do. Bravo! Couldn't agree more with your points on the Kite Runner.

Sonja U said everything that I thing about this book.

Destinee Gant Your review was funny and very on point. I however felt the book went downhill after he went to America. I didn't understand why that long stay in America was necessary and why Amir was such a freaking wimp. I did like how the ending wasn't rainbows and unicorns but it was so much devastation before something good happened it was hard to bear.

message 7: by Elena (new)

Elena Brown-soler I agree that the book had a couple cliches, towards the end of the book I was able to guess what was going to happen based on previous events. One being where Hassan's son would go after Amir brought him back to Pakistan. I thought that the small events,obstacles, or details that connected people and the story together was one of the reasons why I enjoyed the book. The ending of the book was a little disappointed to me, but it made sense that Amir and Sohrab would bond over the same thing that Amir and Hassan did when they were Sohrab's age.

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