Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Published:  2003
Pages:  391
ISBN:  9780385670968
Genre:  Literary Fiction

Start Date:  Feb. 12, 2011
Finished Date:  Feb. 20, 2011 (9 days)

Where Found:  Chapters-Indigo
Why Read:  On my TBR list, had loads of positive reviews, liked the movie version

Read for:  Back to the Classics challenge (possible 21st century classic) (1/8)

Summary:  In the winter of 1975 in Afghanistan, a young, privileged boy with a tendency for testing the bounds of his friendship with the son of his father's servant witnesses a terrible crime committed against his friend, and the guilt of this knowledge carries with him as he attempts to build a new life in America.


As I read this book, I was initially struck by its simplicity, which becomes a clever deception in that it soon barrels forward, unfolding more and more complicated layers over time and space, as events from the past are carried into the future, affecting every character in profound ways.  It is remarkably coincidental that I had recently read Atonement by Ian McEwan, as the books have strikingly similar themes of redemption for a single error in judgment during childhood that resonates over time, influencing major future decisions, remaining everpresent in the conscience of Amir (in The Kite Runner) and Briony (in Atonement).

What separates the two books is Khaled Hosseini's deep exploration of a meaningful friendship, the kin of brotherhood, and the extent of a person's love over social, political and geographical realms.  A beautiful quotation provides the greatest insight to these themes: "For you, a thousand times over."  Descriptive images of brightly coloured kites, a pasttime that both brings the friends together and tears them apart, provides a perfect metaphor for their relationship: the kites soar to the highest highs, dip to the lowest lows, struggle in complicated tangles, and fight to cut each other down, echoing the trials of a wavering relationship amid jealousy, fear, class, and favourtism deepened by hurtful family secrets.

Khaled Hosseini delights in sharing customs of Afghani culture and Muslim faith, patiently and intricately telling a tale that rings true in both Western and Eastern nations, while attempting to bridge a gap riddled with conflicts of war, tension, racism, cultural & religious persecution, and difference.  Writing for the most part through a lens of childhood creates a gentle, peaceful route to a greater understanding between West and East amidst growing suspicions and misunderstandings in a post-9/11 world.

Rank:  (A+)- Excellent, A Must-Read


  1. I read this book many years ago, and I absolutely loved it. It's fortuitous to come upon your post since I'm reading Atonement now! I wouldn't have thought about the thematic connections if you hadn't mentioned it! Very cool. :) The Kite Runner is one I think I'll re-read one of these days.

  2. I like your comparison to Atonement and how childhood acts can impact one's adult life.

    Nice review -- I think I'll have to re-read The Kite Runner sometime soon.

    (and I highly recommend Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns)

  3. I've been itching to read this book for ages. I read A Thousand Splendid Suns a while ago and it became one of my favourite books.

  4. Excellent review!! --I loved this book too! Now, I've got to read Atonement ..on the tbr list .. so is A Thousand Splendid Suns. :)

    btw, thanks for the comment on my Anne of Green Gables post (still happy!!).

  5. I just skimmed through this review as I haven't read this one yet and want to soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

  6. Great that you enjoyed this one, as it is one of my faves!

  7. I read this book a couple of years ago and watched the movie. This book is precious to me and the ending was so emotional I broke into tears.

    I love your comparison with The Atonement.. yes, I can see some similarities between the two.

    Great review!

  8. I found this very difficult to read, but like you said, it is definitely a must-read.

  9. "For you a thousand times over" never stops making shiver. It's a beautiful line so pregnant with meaning in the book. I like how you've compared the movemnt of the kites to the relationship between Amir and Hassan.

    I also read the Kite Runner recently and thoughts on it can be found here:

  10. The Kite Runner has for it's hero a very flawed human being.....but that's what makes him so believable. Amir the boy does a very cowardly, dastardly deed but Amir the man stands up to the Taliban and even more importantly, he stands up for what is right. This book has forgiveness, redemption and courage for it's main themes. We see how strong the ties of friendship and loyalty can become through the eyes of Amir and a broken little Afghan boy. The setting in Kabul and the culture of the Afghan people make for an interesting backdrop to an unforgettable novel