Monday, 7 April 2014

The Kite Runner

From the Book Blurb
December 2001
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn't just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. After I hung up, I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassan's voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.

I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.


Author
Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan born American, writer and physician. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1965. As the son of a diplomat, Hosseini’s family relocated to Paris in 1976 and later sought political asylum in the U.S, due to the political turmoil in Afghanistan during the 1980s. He completed his education in the US and later graduated from San Diego Medical School and practiced medicine until 2004.

Characters
Amir – He is the protagonist through whom the story is narrated. He is a selfish and timid young boy who pines for his father’s love. He is rich and has a gift of story-telling. He makes some grim choices and struggle all his life to redeem the same.

Hassan – He is the goodness that is still remaining in our hearts. His tenderness, loyalty and friendship steal our hearts. We fall in love with him instantly and our heart would ache for someone like him in our lives.

Assef – He is the antagonist and the one who is responsible for bringing all the twists and turns to the story. He is ruthless and unapologetic.

Baba as a stern yet understanding father... Rahim Khan as a perfect God Father and who leads Amri towrsd the right path...Ali as a loyal servant who never stands against his master... Soraya as devoted wife...

Sohrab proves that blood is thicker than water. He fits into his father Hassan’s shoes when a necessity arises. And thus, he steals our hearts.


What I think
The book is an assured page-turner. Though the book about father-son relationship, it also delves into other relationships like friendship... marital relationships... and brotherhood.

I loved the fact that protagonist carries shades of grey with him. The author has not tried to draw a hero image out of him. Amir errs and tries to redeem his mistakes.

The evolution of the characters like Amir and Hassan is drawn like a beautiful picture. They stick in our memories and refuse to leave.

The plight of Afghan people and the pain endured by Hazara are narrated in an extensive manner. The author has painstakingly given minute of minute details thereby making this a book that is simply un-put-down-able.


But...
I am unable to come up with any loophole in this saga. It is perfect and every touchy.


Should you read it?
Very much...
It touches your heart and caresses it with love...
It tickles a strange joy within that only love in the purest form can give!

The Kite Runner is an experience...
Don’t miss it!


Rating
4/5


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