The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

kur9's review against another edition

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My Thoughts
I don't think I felt many emotional into one book before in my life, until I came across the kite runner.I was a little sceptical when I was starting this book. I heard many great things from this author and can be emotionally draining when you read his novels. Now, for me to cry over a novel is almost never the case. However, this novel has broken that barrier.

The novel is told in the perspective of adult Amir in which he recalls back to his childhood.It begins with young Amir who plays a popular sport tournament in Afghanistan, known as: the Kite Runner. He gets help from his best friend Hassan as he's not much of a sport person.His love is more toward creative writing and poetry.However, a certain event changes both their lives forever.

Amir is an interesting character , we see him in the beginning of the novel as a weak, coward and selfish person that you can't help but hate him. However, he goes through such a character development toward the end that you almost think. Is this actually Amir?

Hassan, a true hero and my favourite character. every tear, every laughter was mainly toward this person. Such a strong character, even if he was thrown down the pits of sorrow he always picks himself up. A person that is so brave and so loyal to his friend.

Every page I turned there was a horrific scene that will tore my heart into pieces. when I thought I couldn't take these emotional any more,then came the broken child. This child was the final draw that touched my feelings even deeper then before.

Such a remarkable and beautiful story. If your a fan of historical fiction with huge character development and very emotional scenes then check this novel out.

Plot: ★★★★★
Overall Enjoyment:★★★★★

rory_fitz's review against another edition

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wOW okay this book really ripped my heart out. every single part of it. just. ended me. it was incredibly painful to read, but I am so glad that I did.
anyway, I loved almost every part of it, but if I had to pinpoint what is preventing it from a solid 5 stars, it would have to be the pacing. this book always seemed just a little bit rushed, and I would have loved to see it linger a little bit more on Amir's emotions. I feel like we were always being told how he reacted to things, but not really how he felt, which was unfortunate because his character was so strong and those details could have been so powerful.
however, that was honestly just a minor thing, and this book was amazingly written and deeply touching - I would highly recommend it!

he1enak's review against another edition

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I read this when I was at home with COVID and I absolutely loved it. The story was so captivating and it was so interesting to learn about the war in Afghanistan, especially since it was around the time when there was current conflict in Afghanistan taking place. This made it so much more real and I couldn’t stop crying at the end. The main topics in this book are so important and I was educated about the hardships that millions of people had to deal with.

lpm100's review against another edition

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History, imagined

Reviewed in the United States on March 19, 2020

On the one hand, if you want an idea about some snapshot in time..... biographies / semi-biographical novels are probably the best way to go. They lend character development and humanity in a way that a simple historical book never could.

On the other hand..... I know that most dramatizations of things like this are something like 100% false. I have in mind Alice Walker's "The Color Purple."

There are several telltale signs.

1. The first is that this author left when he was 12 years old, and people don't "see" many things at that age. His memories of the country may have been a bit.....suspect.

2. The second is that there was the tried-and-true Reductio ad Hitlerum. In a country with a literacy rate less than 15% and people who thought that John Wayne was Persian, how many of them could be expected to know about Adolf Hitler? Let alone enough to find a biography in Farsi and present it as a gift.

3. The "dancing boys" (bacha bazi) have been covered in more than one documentary about Afghanistan. As much as the author tried to use the pedophilia of the pedophiles who happened-to-be-Taliban to smear them, this tradition of dancing boys LONG predated them.

Does it really make sense that there would be no pedophilia for however-long Afghanistan-existed, and then in the last few years after the Taliban took over that they would suddenly come out of the woodwork?

Is it a coincidence that the antagonist was 50% German? And then, that that antagonist showed up decades later conveniently for the denouement? (Let me sum it up again, because the plausibility is so low: 1/2 blooded German who happens to be a fan of Adolf Hitler joins the Taliban and provides a biography--in Farsi-- and then he shows up for the final fight.)

In a way (p.232), the author concedes that he may have had a romanticized / incomplete view of his life in Afghanistan. (Let's remember that he lived out of it more years than he lived in it, and he was 12 years old when he left.)

If you talk to the few remaining black people who lived through Jim Crow in the United States, you will find that they lived in a somewhat comfortable modus vivendi with their white neighbors. It is only later authors that made the events much worse than what they likely were, even though they did not live through it. (Mildred Taylor. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" Alice Walker. "The Color Purple")

I'm not sure what reason I have to believe that it would be any different with the Hazara (i.e., they too would have found some way to live with their Pashtun neighbors)

The book had a great deal of (undeveloped) potential:

1. There is the rich tapestry of ethnicities that makes up Afghanistan. (Their theme was not developed; If Hosseini could have just even given us a single paragraph about each of them, we would have come away a lot richer).

I found myself looking up information on Wikipedia that was not offered in the book-- and it should have been. (For instance, did you know that there are actually more Tajiks living in Afghanistan than in Tajikistan proper?)

2. Could he have given us a better picture of Hazara? What does it means for the author to keep stating that Hazara cannot read. (Afghanistan has an illiteracy rate of 68%, and Hazara are only 10~12% of the country.)

3. There was a cursory glance at an extremely middle Eastern culture. But Afghanis are not Arabs, nor are they Persians. Although they did follow and almost identical historical trajectory to the Persians (a relatively moderate Islamic society under a decadent government that fell and was replaced Islamic hardliners) but how were they different?

Could the purpose of this book have been to humanize Muslim refugees? (We see how well that's worked out in Germany and other parts of Europe.)

The book itself has a LOT of, um, feminine overtones:

1. The protagonist is extremely girlish.

Weeping and crying and vomiting all over the place.

As an adult in the book, he does not act particularly manly about approaching his love interest. More like a love-struck junior high school girl.

2. Everything is such a *big* secret. "Big secrets" are the backdrop of a large number of novels written for women.

3. Lots of whinging about the unequal status of Afghani women. Is this something that men really think about? Especially if they're on the winning side of it.

A glossary would really have been nice.

Verdict: $6 and a couple of afternoons of reading time.

And that's about what it was worth.

It was a decent read, but won't be a re-read.

nichis's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes


laramari4's review against another edition

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dark emotional informative sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


stanislavkuban's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


prismaticpages's review against another edition

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challenging emotional


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

dxcr444's review against another edition

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“for you a thousand times over” yeah I’m going to bang my head into a wall

spacestationtrustfund's review against another edition

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La scène date d'il y a longtemps mais, je le sais maintenant, c'est une erreur d'affirmer que l'on peut enterrer le passé : il s'accroche tant et si bien qu'il remonte toujours à la surface.*
Eh, ce roman était un solide « pas très mal ». L'intrigue ressemblait à un feuilleton croisé avec un conte de fées (trop de coïncidences). La prose était éminemment lisible, je crois, parfois même poétique ; les scènes de cerf-volant étaient particulièrement évocatrices pour moi. Dans l'ensemble, il y avait beaucoup de potentiel qui n'a pas été exploité, et ce qui m'a énormément frustré. J'aimerais voir une adaptation cinématographique qui coupe environ 30 % de la longueur afin d'avoir une histoire plus courte et plus vive ; je pense qu'une interprétation plus visuelle ferait bien par l'intrigue plutôt stéréotypée combinée à des images poignantes.

ÉDITÉ: J'ai changé d'avis et j'aime beaucoup moins ce livre après en avoir appris un peu plus sur l'auteur. Normalement, j'essaie de ne pas laisser ma connaissance de l'auteur ternir ma perception de l'écriture elle-même, mais... bon, on verra. La famille de Hosseini vient d'Afghanistan, oui ; son père a travaillé pour diverses entreprises occidentales et en est devenu très riche. De nombreuses personnes en Afghanistan à la même époque ne vivaient pas confortablement, mais Hosseini et sa famille l'étaient certainement. Lorsque la guerre a éclaté et que le peuple était en danger, le père de Hosseini s'est vu offrir un poste sûr, sinécure, en Iran et y a déplacé la famille. Juste avant la révolution en Iran, ils ont déménagé à Paris, où son père a réussi dans un autre emploi bien rémunéré. Enfin, la famille entière a déménagé aux É.-U., continuant à vivre confortablement avec son aisance. Ce fait en soi ne serait pas un problème, mais ce livre est tellement imprégné de culpabilité qu'il est honnêtement insupportable.

Hosseini se sent coupable d'avoir pu fuir le pays grâce à la richesse et au pouvoir de son père, tandis que d'autres ont été laissés pour compte. Rien de tout cela n'était de sa faute, bien sûr, juste de la chance. Mais la chance signifie que vous n'avez pas besoin d'être exceptionnel—il suffit d'avoir les bonnes relations. Hosseini a pu partir pour vivre en toute sécurité et heureux sans mérite propre, en plus d'avoir un père riche et prospère. Et il se sent mal à ce sujet. Le protagoniste de ce roman a étudié l'anglais et publié des livres (au lieu de devenir docteur en médecine comme l'a fait Hosseini) et dépendait de son père aux É.-U. (au lieu d'avoir un père indépendant comme Hosseini). C'est ce que Hosseini souhaite être : un héros au lieu d'un riche expatrié dans une situation stable. Il se sent coupable d'avoir pu échapper à ce que tant d'Afghans n'ont pas pu, alors il a écrit une fanfiction auto-insérée où il est un saint parfait, qui, euh... bon, on verra :
un homme qui accepte son père « déchu », épouse une femme « inappropriée », écoute une voix du passé, sauve le fils de son ami qu'il a vu se faire violer des décennies auparavant (alors qu'il était, dans la vraie vie, trop égoïste pour intervenir !), endure la lapidation à vif de une femme en burka et son amant adultère, se fait tabasser par un ancien ennemi juré (également agresseur d'enfants taliban !), donne 2 mille dollars américains à un pauvre passeur qui essaie de nourrir ses enfants avec seulement 3 dollars américains par semaine, et sauve un enfant de 12 ans du suicide.
C'est ce que Hosseini veut être, mais il ne l'est pas, alors il a écrit ce livre pour faire face à sa culpabilité au lieu de faire quoi que ce soit de significatif. Et maintenant, il est encore plus riche et a plus de succès, et néanmoins, les vrais civils afghans sont... euh, je suis sûr que tous le monde est au courant.

*En anglais : « That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. » Pardon... ?