This is the sixth book from My Book Bucket List that I’ve finished! Look for next month’s poll post after this one to vote for my next book!
Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary
Publication Date: May 29, 2003
Story Perspective: First-Person
Themes: Friendship, Family, Grief, Loss, War, Social Class, Discrimination, Violence, Betrayal, Guilt, Honor, Redemption
Amir is just an ordinary Afghan boy wanting the approval of his rough-around-the-edges father. He was born higher up and therefore has a servant and son, who are both Hazaras, who do all of the housework. However, the situation is unique because both father and son servants are treated more like family.
The relationship between Amir and Hassan, the young Hazara, is one of love and pure friendship. However, during the annual kite-fighting tournament, one act alters both boys indefinitely.
I’ve had this physical book on my bookshelf for quite some time and was happy to have it chosen as my July 2018 book!
Most of the book is told in Amir’s first-person point-of-view, where the reader follows him from childhood to adulthood. Due to this, we learn about Amir the most, but we still get to know the personalities of other characters. The strong-willed and unsure Baba (Amir’s father) and the sweet and loyal Hassan are the center of Amir’s mind. Though we don’t dig deep into many other characters in the text, I don’t know if it would have added more to the story’s main focus.
My attention was held for most of the storyline. I found Amir’s and Hassan’s childhood captivating for so many reasons. Between Amir’s constant desire for his father’s acceptance, the conflict of having a friend who is a servant in his household, the bullies that tease him and Hassan, and then a tragedy Amir witnesses are all so intriguing. I did find the middle part of the book slower and my interest dwindled some. However, toward the end again, my attention was captured. Even though there could have been more during the ending sequence, I actually liked how the author wrapped things up here.
It was disturbing to read some of the conditions the Afghanistan citizens faced in 2001, the year that some of the story takes place. I won’t go into too much details, but some were gory and definitely unethical. It really touched me and saddened my heart. I feel appreciative toward the author for being open to share this part of his home country’s history.
There was one particular aspect of the book that I found was somewhat confusing. It was the non-English vocabulary words used. This includes the food eaten, labels put upon people, some characters’ names, and some of the traditions that were mentioned. This is mainly due to my lack of knowledge of the Afghanistan culture and the language spoken there. Though I do want to note that these words do not take away from the story’s main message.
Overall, I found The Kite Runner had several merits and found the story was presented reasonably well. Though some of the pacing could have been tightened up, I found myself feeling for Amir and his situation.
I would recommend this to those who enjoy an emotional read about one man looking for redemption for the choice he made as a child.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
36 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!