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.


§ 2 Responses to hosseini: the kite runner

  • mom85 says:

    I’m reading Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress, the re-educating of 2 young Chinese during the Cultural revolution, just started it, it’s a thin book, but written with humor & beautiful simplicity. Written by a Chinese in French, translated in English & soon to be a movie. I’m hoping this is as wonderfully written as others that have turned the English language into a thing of beauty and learn a little more about a time shrouded in propaganda.

  • Sammy says:

    Sometimes real life does give you happily ever afters, sometimes it gives the chance for redemption, sometimes it even lets us be happy for one glimmering moment. It’s sad that the majority of the world believes that it wants Happily Ever Afters, but does nothing to seize them. It’s a constantly vicious circle. Life does have hardships, I mean it’d be kind of boring if it didn’t, but then the sun is shining, the sky is clear, the heart is free to sing. Even on the cloudiest day, with the rain pouring down, drenching through your clothes, you are being washed away. It’s about taking the moments that are given and turning them into what you can. ❤

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