The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


Taylor Jaeger, Spear Reporter

Need a book? Here’s one that you might like.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a great book, even though it took me a while to admit that I liked it. It deals with a common theme of shame and regret and straps you in for a rollercoaster of emotions throughout its 372 pages.

I will warn anyone who wants to read this that this book is extremely emotional and has some intense passages, many terrible things happen to various characters that I do want to warn about without giving too many spoilers.

Before I continue, here is a quick summary of the book:

Amir is a young Pashtun boy who is trying to do anything he can to gain his father, Baba’s, approval. Hassan is a young Hazara boy who, along with his father Ali, works for Baba and Amir.  Amir and Hassan are great friends who enjoy to go kite running together because Hassan always knows where they will land. One day Amir witnesses something that he knows is wrong but does nothing to stop it and pretends that nothing happened. Now he has to deal with the guilt and shame of knowing that it happened and not being able to do anything about it. Watch as Amir grows and acts on his shame as he travels from Kabul, Afghanistan to San Francisco, California in The Kite Runner.

Now, I will do my best to keep spoilers from this review but no promises.

When I first started to read this book I was very against it; I don’t like reading books for school because I feel too rushed to actually enjoy them, but the more I read the more I realized that it was a very emotional book that I could enjoy. The book starts from the point of view of an older Amir thinking back to the mistakes he’s made and how he can ‘find a way to be good again’ and earn his own forgiveness. Right from the start, it shows that Amir is full of regret and it shows how remorseful he is about the things he has done, but it takes the reader some time before they figure out why. The story goes on to show his childhood, how he behaved and how his father treated him to make him desire his approval. The beginning of the book seemed a little slow, not much happens until you get to the reason why Amir is full of regret. From that point on the book starts to get more and more tense because you get to see how he decides to handle his mistakes.  You see the things he will do to get rid of his regret.

A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything

After knowing what Amir did and how he acted afterward I will admit that I very strongly disliked his character; I thought that he was selfish and cruel. But as you read further into the story, more into the chapters of 10-11 when you get to begin seeing a new side of Amir, his character starts to develop into someone who can be redeemed.

Through the story, one of my favorite characters was undoubtedly Baba, Amir’s father. He wasn’t the perfect father, hence the reason Amir seeks his approval so much, but as a man he was an amazing person. He stood up for what he believed in and didn’t care about what he had to do to protect other people. One of my favorite quotes of his is “A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything” (Chapter 3). Baba is a very strong constant throughout the book that I enjoyed very much.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the fact that it has many constants through the entire story, such as the motif of Kites, or the theme of shame and regret. I enjoy books that have solid parts that don’t change in them, things that give off a feeling of familiarity to the reader.

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. After I gave it a chance I was able  to finish it very quickly, even though I did have to read it for a class. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading books that move you emotionally. Good luck to anyone who chooses to read this book, I hope you enjoy.