Sunday Afternoon Reads: "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini

This afternoon's read is "The Kite Runner" - while this book has been around for a fair while and topped best-seller lists, it seemed so suitable for the faith-based book series. The novel is written by a Muslim author and absorbs the faith into the background texture of the novel. With society having such fears of fundamental Islam these days, it is nice to see the religion treated with respect and appropriate manner. For most religious people, religion is reflected in their everyday life but not consumed by it and I think that Hosseini demonstrates this very well in his novel and the character Amir.

The novel is set in 1970's Afghanistan, an era and place that I must admit I know very little about. My knowledge of Afghanistan is limited to that it is an area somewhere in the Middle East that New Zealand sends peacekeeping troops. Images of it flick on the news and we picture it as a war-torn wilderness... but it wasn't always this way. "The Kite Runner" gives us a glimpse into the nation that it used to be. This in and of itself is a worthwhile reason to read the book.

The book focuses on class distinctions, following that age old adage that seems to fall across all religions - love your neighbour as yourself. What intrigued me was how the author chased a seemingly meaningless decision that Amir makes as a boy, following it all the way out to the distant conclusion, spanning both continents and decades. It really hits home what we discussed a while back about random acts having dramatic consequences.

Amir, as a character with experiences completely different to mine, was still written as a person with whom one could have great empathy. When we think with the minds of children, we don't often realise how cruel we can be and how deep we wound. The novel is well written with no real lulls in action and the author's description of landscapes make the scenes in which the characters exist burst into life. Without ruining it for those that have not read, the action takes many twists and turns but is none of it unrealistic. An involved but worthwhile read for those of you on a holiday break.
4.5 stars out of 5

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was quite a good book too...I learned a lot from it, and the story was so absorbing, though pretty brutal in parts. And I liked how parts of it were set near my home. :) (San Francisco. Not Kabul. Haha.)