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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a book review

By Edited Dec 13, 2014 3 6

Exceptional Novel about 1970's Afghanistan

The novel, "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini is a richly embroidered story that covers many aspects of real life … politics, romance, class consciousness, prejudice, love, war, revenge, secrecy, jealousy and redemption. The main character, Amir, matures and grows stronger, although he has to deal with the demons of his past, as well as his complicated relationship with his father.  After moving to America, Amir embraces many aspects of his new life.  Other characters, such as his father-in-law who also imigrated to America, seem stuck in the past. Nearly all of the characters in this novel see their life change dramatically because of events beyond their control, and each of them responds in their own unique way.


This is an unforgetable novel that does not flinch in the face of the real problems that were faced by many Afghans during their nation's past wars and political turmoil.


It is available in both hardcover and paperback, as well as in Kindle and audio format.  If you are interested in seeing the pricing and the different formats that are available, use this direct link to "The Kite Runner" on Amazon.com.


Amazon also sells used copies of the book through this link, so that is another opportunity that is available to you.

"The Kite Runner"

"The Kite Runner" Book Cover
Credit: www.amazon.com


The seniors at the multi-cultural California high school where I work were enthralled with "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. This beautifully written novel tells the story of two boys who grow up in Afghanistan in the 1970's, prior to the Russian invasion, and follows them into their very different adulthoods … one in America and one in an Afghanistan under the tyrannical control of the Taliban. The book does a wonderful job of sympathetically describing the plight of the Afghan people and their culture. It also embroiders a rich and complicated tale of guilt and redemption that would be moving and powerful regardless of the setting.


Warning:  This novel contains several painful and raw passages that may be difficult for some people to read. It certainly is not a story that could be easily shared with young children. It contains descriptions of sexual assault, as well as descriptions of people being stoned to death. However, the author obviously loves his country, and he tries to balance these events by also showing the pride, courage, love and resilience of the Afghan people. Despite the author's sympathetic portrayal of most of the novel's characters, some of our Afghan-American students felt that parts of the novel were insulting. They did not enjoy reading about the darker sides of their country's history, just as many Americans find it difficult to read negative stories about our own country's history.

Overview of "The Kite Runner"

This is a novel which will win the hearts of most people who love a good story in which the main character is able to eventually become a genuine hero by learning to sacrifice his own safety and security for the welfare of someone else. It is beautifully written and a joy to read. At this time, when our own nation is involved in a war in Afghanistan, many will find that this story helps provide them with a fascinating peak at the history and culture of this ancient nation. I enthusiastically encourage adults to read it!


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Order the Book in the Format of Your Choice on Amazon

The Kite Runner
Amazon Price: $14.40 $3.85 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 13, 2014)
This book is available in a variety of formats and at many different prices. To see more, click on the blue title above and you will be taken directly to the Amazon site where you can see more choices.


May 19, 2010 10:41pm
sounds like a variety of contents in this book.tx for the great review.
May 23, 2010 6:13pm
I read the book and saw the film and your review is very accurate!
Sep 15, 2010 10:37pm
"The Kite Runner" is a very moving story about how imperfect people can work to redeem themselves. At the same time, this novel also provides some accurate background information about our war in Afghanistan. A very timely novel.
Oct 9, 2010 11:12pm
Years ago, 1 friend let me borrow "A Thousand Splendid Suns" also written by Khaled. I don't read much novels. That one was excellent. It was really good that I would recommend to everyone. It was the major reason for me to buy The Kite Runner, but I haven't opened it yet. I saw the movie, which was good. It goes to show how great I felt the writing was. His books are worth buying, in my opinion.
Oct 9, 2010 11:22pm
The interesting part about your article was some of the Afghan-American students disliked reading about the darker side. I don't know in which school district you teach, but I'm guessing you have a lot of Persians. If I'm correct, I can how there so many stories regarding their ancestors that doesn't interest them. I'm sure the Persian empire did some beneficial and humane actions for others.
Dec 13, 2014 1:34pm
Thanks for your comments about "The Kite Runner." It is a powerful and very thought-provoking story, although there are parts that are difficult to read.
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