Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Kite Runner

"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975..."

I knew after I read this opening line, I would expect something great from this story. And I wasn't disappointed.

In this debut written by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner is a story about two motherless boys who shared the love of kite running. Growing up in Kabul, they treated each other like brothers. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman while Hassan is the son of the household servant. Amir often takes life for granted while Hassan is a simple and humble boy who always look up to Amir. But Amir isn't really happy, and he wants to win his father's approval badly by proving himself that he has the makings of a man. He figured that by winning the kite-fighting tournament he would be able to gain his father's approval, although deep in his heart he had wondered why his father treated Hassan better than himself.

Amir finally won the tournament, and Hassan ran after the opponent's runaway kite because both of them knew he was good at it (tracking down the kite that is). Unfortunately, the neighbourhood bullies Assef and gang managed to catch up on him, due to an incident that happened some time ago when Hassan had stood up to them. Amir was too terrified to do anything then, and it seemed that history is repeating itself when he witnessed his childhood buddy being bullied and raped by Assef. Thereafter, Hassan and his father decided to leave town and Amir continued to haunt by his cowardice and guilt through his adulthood, where by then he and his father had fled to America and started a new life.

Then Amir received word from Rahim, his father's old business partner from Pakistan that he wanted to meet him, and that there was a way for Amir to make things right. Soon, Amir would learn the truth about what had happened to Hassan throughout the years, and what he would do to redeem himself...

The Kite Runner is beautifully written, filled with memorable characters and an unforgettable story that will have you mesmerized. It is also thought provoking and emotional that will cause a lump in your throat even after you have closed the book. I am looking forward to the movie version which will open end of this month and can't wait to read the next release A Thousand Splendid Suns.

(You can also read this review here).

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