Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book Review: The Kite Runner


"For you, a thousand times over".


Thats the phrase that caught my mind after I read the book "Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately thats probably the only thing that I m going to remember from the book. The book starts with the childhood stories of a rich but lonely , devoid of parental attention,child, and his camaraderie with the son of their servant. Initial part of the bok speaks well about the mid-60 early 70s Kabul, Afghanistan, the traditions, the winters, the small little smells and details that will help you to fall in love with a place you havenot seen. It speaks about the loyalty of the servant's son, Hassan to his malik's son, Amir. But slowly as the story progresses, it more or less turns out to be a series of melodramatic events.


Author tries to provide a picture depicting the rise and fall of Afghanistan, but in the end it turned out to be a story of Amir's own life, how he escaped from Afghanistan and settled in America. One important aspect that was never highlighted enough in the book is the civil war in 90s in Afghanistan, where pashthuns and hazara's fought each other. That was the backdrop of the story, starting from the early days, it was pashthuns vs hazara's.Emotions are good, but you need to put emotions in rihht place. Just sketching dreams, past moments, creating a hollow surrealistic feeling does not create a great literary piece. Thats what I felt happened with this book. There are lot of places in the book where the author tried to create sympathy by showing the ugly face of life. He has drawn lot of blood shedding, and in the process marred the main objective of the story he started with. Hassan's character is a strong character, but thats the only character that stands out in the book, thats the only character that you ponder upon after finishing the book. The book do inflict a blurred image of Afganistan, the good and bad one, in your mind, but I think it fails to blend that image in your mind alongside with the characters. I believe it fails to do justice to the title of the book as well. The initial part of the book was sound, but as soon as the part with soviet attack on Afghanistan starts, the plot is lost somewhere in between reality description and story telling. I would give this book 6/10.

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