Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Kite Runner - Review

Khaled Hosseini's 'The Kite Runner' is a beautiful yet tragic account, which brings together themes of kinship, culture, loss and redemption. Set in Kabul, the latterly in Peshwar and America, this is not a medical book, but the subtle references to medical school and the diligently detailed passages set in hospitals or referring to medical conditions make me unsurprised that this book was written by a doctor.
This book chronicles a society in a way crucial to its memory, and its customs, history and characters, and then destructs it through the course of it’s civil war and internal struggles. This has the effect of making those fragments all the more precious, seeing the whole has gone.
'The Kite Runner' is not a happy book, and at times when one feels all is well, heartache is lurking around the corner. Themes of nobility and honour permeate the text giving the book an unpretentious grandness. In a similar vein to the Bookseller of Kabul, the author presents a slice of life in Afghanistan to the western eye; we find familiarity in class divide, religion, war and family. Clearly, we compare these themes to our own experience, which highlights the difference.
We follow Amir, the central character, and his relationship with his father, their servants Ali and Hassan, and his father’s friend Rahim Khan throughout his life, and the secret bond that ties them all together.
‘The Kite Runner’ refers to the Afghani tradition of kite fighting and chasing the fallen kites. This serves as a metaphor: running away, coming back victorious; falls from grace; conflict, struggle, glory, but most of all, the play of children, the wounds of glass, the teamwork required.
This is a deeply moving tale, a sad story, but wonderfully written and told.


Giskin said...

This is one of my all-time favourite books. Embarrassingly, I didn't realise it was written by a doctor, so thank you for pointing this out!

sarah said...

though it's very disturbing and haunting,it's a beautifully written book!!