Stephen's Reviews > The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: tv-and-movies, books-read-in-2012, popular-fiction, literature, 5-star-reads
Read from January 30 to 31, 2012

I liked this book a lot. Due to the uncomfortable nature of the story told, I'll probably never read it again, but I'm glad that I did read it once. I saw it as the story of one not very likeable boy growing up in a soon to be war torn region and his eventual struggle for redemption.

I was quite surprised to see how popular some of the negative reviews of this book were and I'd like to comment on a few of the comments they contained.

One condemnatory critic said "This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly." Ah, if only that were truer. In a study done not long ago, over half of American adult men, when asked, admitted to having read NO books in the last year. Personally, as a white American, this book made me grateful that I grew up where I did, and once again reminded me of how good I've had it, and how little I really know about life outside these insular, isolationist, United States.

Another critic claimed that this book "...portrays Afghanistan as backward" Personally I thought that it portrayed it as a war torn, deeply wounded country that was at one time a bit like our ante-bellum south. It was made quite clear that we saw pre-soviet Afghanistan through the eyes of a doubly privileged class, the rich child.

Another critic claimed "The members of the servant and poorer classes are consistently portrayed as saintly, absurdly self-sacrificing, one-dimensional characters." Yes, that's true. But the viewpoint is a that of an over-privileged, rich, selfish child. Given the ante-bellum south atmosphere that our protagonist sees, it's a wonder that the epithet "uncle Tom" wasn't used.

Finally one critic complained "The book fails exactly where it most needs to succeed - in the depiction of the Taliban." Personally, I felt that while that need may be great, I didn't see that as the purpose of this book.

I saw this book as the story of one man's journey toward redemption against a background of a troubled heritage. I sometimes recall doing things as a child that now makes me wonder about myself, and while I like to think I've become a better human being, I sometimes shudder at the savage, thoughtless child that was once under this skin. For the personal perspective alone, I think this book is a worthwhile, if sometimes uncomfortable, read. If you let it, it may make you a better person.
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Quotes Stephen Liked

Khaled Hosseini
“about clichés. Avoid them like the plague.”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Reading Progress

01/30/2012 page 117
31.0% "I'm awestruck by the nobility of Hassan's sacrifice and bit by the awareness of Amir. The fact that he recognized how cowardly he was being meanth that he was redeemable."

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Great review!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Now you will be able to see the movie which is good too but not as good as the book.

Giok Ping I agree with your review completely.

Shirley Thomas "...I sometimes shudder at the savage, thoughtless child that was once under this skin."

That was what impressed me so much so long after I finished the book. I don't even remember the names of the characters now but I remember the story and the emotion I felt and identify with.

Mayra Cruz Ortega Excellent review. Thanks!

Tweedledum Halfway through the audio version read by the author. This brings a particularly poignant depth to the story. Wholeheartedly endorse your review Stephen. Have been moved to tears several times. The story is also about the way guilt can eat a person up and turn someone against the person wronged. This seems to me to be the cornerstone of the story.

message 7: by Shannon (new)

Shannon I thought your review was GREAT, and I agree! Thank you.

message 8: by Jerry (new)

Jerry Bennett I agree that as you read the book it got better and the beginning wasn't very interesting or attention grabbing. But towards the end I couldn't put the book down because the scene with Sohrab because so intense. I also agree that this book made me really hate the Taliban. But i thought that the idea of putting history along with fiction really complemented each other. This is because the history gave the story a sense of reality and made the story more heart wrenching

Tamara Excellent review !!

Yaxin Due to the same reason, I think i will never read it again either. However, I feel like I will never forget this story.

message 11: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken Wonderful review!! It's weird that I came to this book after reading another great, utterly moving novel that was being sold as "the African Kite Runner," Chigoze Obioma's "The Fishermen." Although both are radically different, I see why, and I'm so glad I read both books. High;y recommended that you do too!!

message 12: by Lady (new) - added it

Lady Lou Thanks dor your review Sir this exactly what i feel.

Tiffany I agree with your review.

Hasham Rasool Stupendous review

message 15: by Rose (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rose R. "I liked this book a lot. Due to the uncomfortable nature of the story told, I'll probably never read it again, but I'm glad that I did read it once."

- I actually feel the same. Though I really love this book, it was painful for me to read too. But I wanted to know how the story ends and it suprised me and I loved it. :)

Indresh Upadhyay every prize has tax. in this book prize was for some and tax was paid by some one else. very emotional

Donja Groves Agreed. Wholeheartedly.

Dipti Roy Just the right words!<3

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