Friday, August 31, 2012

Book It - The Kite Runner

This week’s featured book:

The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini


"I sat on a bench near a willow tree and watched a pair of kites soaring in the sky. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought, 'There is a way to be good again.'"

Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan's descent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir's father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan's father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras.

This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend's torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household.

When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother.

Compelling, heartrending, and etched with details of a history never before told in fiction, ‘The Kite Runner’ is a story of the ways in which we're damned by our moral failures, and of the extravagant cost of redemption.

My Comments:

When you first begin this story, you’ll be surprised by its simplicity. But don’t be fooled; it will quickly pick up the pace and barrel forward. This treasure of a book is a heartbreaking story of two boyhood friends, and how their relationship evolves over the next 40 years. It is extremely difficult to put down this book about friendship, betrayal and redemption that begins just prior to the Russian invasion and moves forward to a war-torn, Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Don’t miss this one! It is one of the best books I’ve ever had the good fortune to read.