The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
372 pages
Published by Riverhead Books
Published in April 27th 2004

Review written by Adeselna Davies

The Kite Runner is a fascinating story that conquers us in the end. The plot leaves the reader with a nostalgic taste and the story set in Hosseini’s home country becomes our story. It’s not unexpected that Middle East authors do great in Portugal. Just like the Portuguese people, they also possess a certain nostalgia, a wish that the present was somehow more like their past. Just like the Portuguese rely on their past glories, Hosseini summons the sweetness and joy of Afghanistan without the presence of the Taliban and without the nightmare that the afghan people went through. There is a harmony between The Rooftops of Tehran and The Kite Runner, even if the story takes place in different countries. The narrative style relying on the memories of a pacific childhood goes against a turbulent adolescence and then manhood filled with ghosts.

The Kite Runner characters accompany this decadence. The characters show the beauty of the landscapes at the same time that they describe the destruction of their country and subsequently their memories. Amir and Hassan represent two opposite worlds. Amir comes from a rich family and Hassan, descendent from the Hazara people, serves Amir.
Amir sins and makes the wrong decision when trying to please his father, Baba; trying to be the best and to get some recognition from him. However, his relationship with Hassan often swings between servitude and friendship and we find that in the middle of a ill and destroyed Afghanistan, society does not matter, war does not matter, what matters is keeping the memories of the past and the people who contributed for those memories. Then, suddenly, we read a story of redemption, hope and happiness.

Unlike Portuguese Authors, Middle East authors finish their stories with a message of hope to the future. Maybe because they really believe that one day that future will change their childhood country and innocence will be a reality to their children. They represent the future that deserves to be saved. Our country is always the best, it can be led by corrupts or it can become something we despise so much that we need to seek a new home. But through Amir, Hosseini shows that our country, our home remains in our heart and it does not matter if we are mistreated by it. Our heart is where our home is and no one can steal what is inside our heart, even if our home is not what once used to be and we are many miles away from home.

The Kite Runner is a Bildungsroman that leaves us daydreaming about a place that no longer exists, that is nothing but memories inside our characters that probably did exist.
This is the story of three boys, where each one of them suffered from the change, racism and abandonment. Just like Hosseini, we also dream of a pacific Afghanistan, one where there is no violence on the streets, where children can run with their kites.
The answer for that hope will only come when next generations, those who will return to their homeland despite everything, take their country back to the glories of their past described in these pages.

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land.

Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority.

But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.


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