hosseini: the kite runner
08/03/2010 § 2 Comments
I have just finished The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, and was surprisingly disappointed. For such a long time, I had heard nothing but good things about the book and was rather excited when I found a rustic, used copy lying around the apartment. It was a quick read, painful at times due to the graphic content, but I burned through the book in a couple of days, which is no bragging feat as I am currently “semi-retired”.
Nevertheless, the story was of one man’s cowardly push into atonement, making right from a wrong that he, Amir, did (or did not do) as a pre-pubescent boy. Amir had witnessed a horrific violation of his servant’s son who he also considered a friend. In the end, out of love for his father and fear that that love wasn’t returned, Amir did not report the incident which ignited an unfortunate chain of events. He burned a lot of bridges, or so he thought, leaving a trail of ash forever charred into his brain. In the end, he is given a chance to redeem himself, which he does, which is why this book was made into a Hollywood movie.
Perhaps I am too cynical, but I didn’t believe the ending, although throughout the story I hoped for it. Maybe I am emotionally masochistic, wishing more tears and more rips through my heart. But, it didn’t. The ending made me smile which is why I didn’t believe it. Rohinton Mistry’s, A Fine Balance, or Arundhati Roy’s, The God Of Small Things, hit home harder because they confronted the reality of heartbreak and healing.
Despite the happily-ever-after, the quality of writing is exceptional: simple and structured. I found myself tracing trails of thought and counting alliterations, computing and dissecting how Hosseini had humbly flipped the flow from happiness to fear. It was seamlessly beautiful.
Now onto the other of his stories, A Thousand Splendid Suns. My only hope is that this one ends with my heart on the floor in pieces.