Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Kite Runner

"The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is an unforgettable, heartbreaking story."

Something to this effect was what I had heard before reading the novel, which, I now confess, wasn't really enough to make me want to read it. I remember I had exams going on and I had started reading the book to take a break from my studies, and a few pages down the realization that my "10 minutes break" was going to extend to a few hours had completely dawned upon me. Nevertheless, since that was a regular habit, I continued reading, untroubled. 150 pages done, and I shut the book, put it back on the shelf and vowed not to touch it till I was done with my exams. And ten minutes later, I had the book in my hand, and the next time I put it down was only after I had finished reading it completely.
Book Cover
So yes, that is how the book is - captivating, intriguing, enthralling. I cannot help overdoing the appreciation, I might even sound biased here, but the book, by all means, deserves it.

'The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel about the unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies.'

The storyline (I don't have the book with me right now, so this is the best I could come up with):
It is the story of Amir, the son of a wealthy Pashtun merchant in Afghanistan, and his friend Hassan, who is his father's young servant. The two of them are the best of friends, until a series of unfortunate events takes place and Hassan and his father leave Amir's home. As the living conditions in Afghanistan worsen, Amir and his father escape to California and lead a peaceful life there. Amir is married and has become a successful writer,and a few years later his father passes away due to cancer. And one fine day, Amir is called to Afghanistan with 'an opportunity for redemption'. He finds out that Hassan's father has been killed in a landmine, and Hassan and his wife have been brutally murdered by the Talibans. It is also revealed now, that Hassan's father had been sterile and that Hassan had actually been Amir's half-brother. Amir is asked to rescue Hassan's son, which he does and then returns to his home in California.

Poster of the movie based on the book
The book had left me in a pensive mood, that day and a few more days that followed, and made me feel extremely lucky being the person I was. Basically, it gave me a successful and justified digression from my studies. A piece of advice - do not read this book if you're in one of those extremely happy phases of your life, this book will in no way let that be! But there is a reason I write such a positive review, a reason why the book is a best-seller, a reason why the author strikes a chord with his readers - enough to make you read the book. Well, at least I hope it does!

-- Contributed by Anukriti Chaudhari.