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Gjuetari i balonave PDF, ePub eBook “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime." Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amid “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime." Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies. A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

30 review for Gjuetari i balonave

  1. 4 out of 5

    فرشاد

    In 2012, when I was Mathematics teacher at a private high school in Iran, I had an Afghan student in my class. Sometimes, I discussed with my students about literature, and I told them of novels and poem. I found it very strange that my students had no interest in literature and even sometimes looked with hostility to this discussion. Days passed and much time was left to the end of school year. One day I saw Ali, Afghan student, came to me and had a booklet in his hand and I saw in his eyes sev In 2012, when I was Mathematics teacher at a private high school in Iran, I had an Afghan student in my class. Sometimes, I discussed with my students about literature, and I told them of novels and poem. I found it very strange that my students had no interest in literature and even sometimes looked with hostility to this discussion. Days passed and much time was left to the end of school year. One day I saw Ali, Afghan student, came to me and had a booklet in his hand and I saw in his eyes several times as if he wanted to say something, but he was quiet. I waited for a little, and after a few moments, I began to speak. He smiled, and with a special Afghan accent, he said " I have written a story, sir " and became quiet again. I said "it's excellent! ", and I asked, "do you read books? ". Yes, sir, he replied. I asked, "what kind of books do you like? ". Mark Twain and John Steinbeck and Jules Verne, he answered. I asked what you have written? He replied I wrote a story about a 13 years old Afghan boy who immigrated to Iran. I got his booklet, and I read it in a week. It was a dark story. A week later, we discussed again after class. Ali invited me to go his house at night for reading books. I was pleased, and I greeted this plan. When night arrived, I took the kite runner and went to Ali's home. When I entered the house, I saw a house with mud walls that has no rooms, except a small hull that there was a table in the middle of it and almost nine children were dining. Of clothes of Ali's father, it was obvious that he was a building worker and he welcomed me very sincerely. I thanked him, and I went to the storehouse in the corner of the yard that Ali had made it, a place to be alone. Ali took the book and with incredible passion began to read. This process was repeated almost every night for a week, and we have read half of the Kite Runner. Among pages of the book, Ali informed me about Afghanistan, explained of how twenty people, entered Iran with a small car, illegally and secretly. Of how his classmates ridiculed him because of his Afghan accent, of how he was forced to work in a brick burner factory all days after the school, of how his dad has forced him to marry at the age of 13 in the summer. Then Ali proceeded to speak that he wants to be a writer and prizes the Nobel award. I saw in his room that he had Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyam, Hafiz and Rumi's book poem. When I looked at his face, I saw an unusual man who was ahead of his time and situation. Ali said, because Afghans have been banned of the registration in public schools in Tehran, he is forced to register in a private school, and now he and his mother must work hard to pay school charges. The next week, I went to class, but I didn't see Ali. When I asked the guys about him, they replied that because his father hadn't citizenship card and passport, he was arrested, and all of them have deported to Afghanistan. I was agitated that I couldn't continue reading Kite Runner never. Even I felt so depressed and sad when I saw the book in bookstores. Until this spring, after three years, I got a message in WhatsApp messenger from Ali, that congratulated teachers day to me. He was written that he married to a girl who was in love with her and they have a two months old girl baby. He was written he is working at a bookstore in Kabul and he has read almost thousand books in three years. He was written they have the 4G Internet in Kabul and I replied him, it's supposed to we have 4G in Tehran as well, soon! When I received the message, I could reread the Kite Runner. It was a great book, especially for me, recall nostalgia of tired immigrants and unfavorable circumstances. ************************************* سال 1391 زمانی که معلم ریاضی حق التدریس یه دبیرستان خصوصی شده بودم یه دانش اموز افغان هم سر کلاس داشتم ..هرازگاهی به بهونه های مختلف بحث رو به ادبیات میکشوندم و از رمان و شعر برای بچه ها میگفتم .. برام خیلی عجیب بود که بچه های کلاس هیچ علاقه ای به ادبیات نشون نمیدادن و گاهی حتی با دید تمسخر هم به قضیه نگاه میکردن.. روزها میگذشت و زمان زیادی به پایان سال تحصیلی باقی نمونده بود.. یک روز بعد از پایان کلاس دیدم علی محصل افغان , اومد کنار میز من و تووی دستش یه دفترچه داشت و تووی چشاش دیدم که چندبار انگار میخواست حرفی بزنه اما سکوت کرد.. کمی صبر کردم و بعد از چند لحظه سر صحبت رو باز کردم.. لبخند زد و با لهجه افغانی خاصش گفت "اقا من یه داستان نوشتم ".و سکوت کرد.. گفتم خیلی عالیه.. پرسیدم. کتاب هم میخونی? گفت اقا بله..گفتم چی میخونی? جواب داد مارک تواین و جان اشتاین بک و ژول ورن.. گفتم چی مینویسی ..جواب داد یه رمان نوشتم درباره یه پسر سیزده ساله افغان که به ایران مهاجرت کرده. دفترچه رو از علی گرفتم و تووی یک هفته خوندم. داستان غمگین بود. یک هفته بعد دوباره بعد از کلاس با هم صحبت کردیم. علی من رو دعوت کرد که شبها به خونه شون برم و کتاب بخونیم. خب خیلی از این پیشنهاد خوشحال شدم و استقبال کردم. شب کتاب بادبادک باز رو برداشتم و رفتم . وارد خونه که شدم دیدم یه خونه با دیوارهای کاهگلی که هیچ اتاقی نداره بجز یه پذیرایی که وسطش یه سفره انداخته بودن و هشت نه تا بچه کوچیک داشتن غذا می خوردن. پدر علی که از لباسهاش مشخص بود یه کارگر ساختمونی هست با گرمی خاصی از من استقبال کرد. من تشکر کردم و با علی رفتیم به سمت انباری کوچیکی که گوشه حیاط بود و علی از اون یه جایی برای تنها بودنش درست کرده بود. علی کتاب رو از من گرفت و با شعف خاصی مشغول خوندن شد.. تقریبا یک هفته هر شب این جریان تکرار می شد و ما نیمی از بادبادک باز رو خونده بودیم. علی لابلای صفحه های کتاب برام از افغانستان میگفت از این که چطور بیست نفر با یه سواری وارد ایران شدن ازینکه چطور بچه های کلاس اون رو بخاطر لهجه افغانی مسخره میکنن از این که عصرها بعد از مدرسه مجبوره تووی کارگاه اجر پزی کار کنه. از اینکه پدرش مجبورش میکنه که تابستون تووی سیزده سالگی ازدواج کنه.. بعد علی ادامه داد دلش میخواد نویسنده بشه و جایزه نوبل بگیره. توی اون انباری کوچیک دیدم که شاهنامه و خیام و حافظ و مولوی هم داره.. میگفت حافظ رو از بر داره و خیام رو هم.. و من توی اون نگاهش یه پسر شریف رو می دیدم که خیلی از زمان و محیط خودش جلوتر رفته بود. علی گفت چون توی مدارس دولتی نامنویسی افغانها ممنوعه مجبور شده توی یه دبیرستان خصوصی درس بخونه و حالا خودش و مادرش برای تامین این هزینه مجبورن کار کنن.. هفته بعد که باز سر کلاس رفتم علی رو ندیدم. وقتی پرسیدم بچه ها گفتن که چون پدرش کارت نداشته گرفتنش و همشون رو فرستادن افغانستان. اونقدر ناراحت شدم که دیگه سمت بادبادک باز نرفتم. حتی دیدن کتاب تووی شهرکتابا غمگینم میکرد.. تا اینکه بهار امسال بعد از سه سال پیامی از علی تووی وایبر رسید که روز معلم رو تبریک گفته بود.. نوشته بود با دختری که دوستش داره ازدواج کرده و یک دختر دوماهه داره. نوشته بود حالا در یه کتابفروشی توی کابل کار میکنه و توی این سه سال هزارتا کتاب خونده.نوشته بود ما اینجا تووی کابل اینترنت نسل چهارم داریم. براش نوشتم قراره نسل چهارم بزودی به ایران هم برسه! با رسیدن پیام علی باز تونستم به بادبادک باز نزدیک بشم .کتاب خوبی بود.. مخصوصا برای من یاداور غربت مهاجرای خسته و ناسازگاری روزگار...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Britta

    "For you, a thousand times over." "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." "...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun." "But even when he wasn't around, he was." "When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing." "...she ha "For you, a thousand times over." "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." "...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun." "But even when he wasn't around, he was." "When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing." "...she had a voice that made me think of warm milk and honey." "My heart stuttered at the thought of her." "...and I would walk by, pretending not to know her, but dying to." "It turned out that, like satan, cancer had many names." "Every woman needed a husband, even if he did silence the song in her." "The first time I saw the Pacific, I almost cried." "Proud. His eyes gleamed when he said that and I liked being on the receiving end of that look." "Make morning into a key and throw it into the well, Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly. Let the morning sun forget to rise in the East, Go slowly, lovely moon, go slowly." "Men are easy,... a man's plumbing is like his mind: simple, very few surprises. You ladies, on the other hand... well, God put a lot of thought into making you." "All my life, I'd been around men. That night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman." "And I could almost feel the emptiness in [her] womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from [her] and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child." "America was a river, roaring along unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that I embraced America." "...and every day I thank [God] that I am alive, not because I fear death, but because my wife has a husband and my son is not an orphan." "...lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty." "...sometimes the dead are luckier." "He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints. He moved as if not to stir the air around him." "...and when she locked her arms around my neck, when I smelled apples in her hair, I realized how much I had missed her. 'You're still the morning sun to me...' I whispered." "...there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eys of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I became what I am today at the age of twenty-nine, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 2008. What I am about to tell you about what I became is going to be very shocking. It is going to manipulate your emotions. It may include some random words in my native language for no reason whatsoever. It will teach you unnecessary things about my culture. It will not be smarter than a fifth grader. And it will include as many cliches and as much foreshadowing as is humanly possible. You are going t I became what I am today at the age of twenty-nine, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 2008. What I am about to tell you about what I became is going to be very shocking. It is going to manipulate your emotions. It may include some random words in my native language for no reason whatsoever. It will teach you unnecessary things about my culture. It will not be smarter than a fifth grader. And it will include as many cliches and as much foreshadowing as is humanly possible. You are going to be shocked. I, for one, never saw it coming. So I doubt you will. Get ready. Aren't you so ready to be shocked? You're never going to see this coming. What comes next is the big revelation, so get ready! Wait, I need to ask you something first. Did you know that the Irish like potatoes? Yeah, we really enjoy them. And alcohol too. It's pretty great. Erin Go Bragh! This means Ireland Forever! Unfortunately, you will be very sad to know that my father just died due to an Irish car bomb. Well, about 15 of them to be exact. All on an empty stomach! It makes me sad and you should feel sad too, kind reader. Ok, on to the big reveal. Here it is: On that frigid overcast day, which happened to be the day that I decided to quit reading The Kite Runner, I became a book snob. Because The Kite Runner is adored by most people who read it, I am forced to conclude that most people need to read more. A whole lot more. You should be embarrassed if you like this book. Seriously. The moment I became a book snob (shortly after "The Scene"), I became so embarrassed to be seen reading it that I accused the guy sitting next to me on the subway of putting the book on my lap while I wasn't paying attention. "How dare you, sir! Have you no decency?" I exclaimed excitedly in my native language. Then I noticed a monkey on the platform waiting to board a train. I quickly hopped off my train, ran to him, handed him the book, and said "Top O' the Mornin' to ya! Enjoy!" Later that day, I saw that monkey flying a kite in front of the Washington Monument. I noticed that the glass string wasn't making his hands bloody. Do you know why? He was wearing gloves. --------------------------------------------------------------- Please note that I have absolutely no appreciation for life and reality.* *Bart Bondeson, who claims to be "a better person for having read this book," suggested that I make this clarification to my review. Thanks for the suggestion, Bart! Hopefully that clears things up for those who were wondering.

  4. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly. Just like the spate of Native American pop fiction in the late eighties, this is overwhelmingly colonized literature, in that it pretends to reveal some aspect of the 'other' culture, but on closer inspection (aside from the occasional tidbit) it is a thoroughly western story, firmly ensconced in the western tradition. Even those tidbits Hosseini gives are of such a vague degree that to be impressed by them, one would have to have alm This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly. Just like the spate of Native American pop fiction in the late eighties, this is overwhelmingly colonized literature, in that it pretends to reveal some aspect of the 'other' culture, but on closer inspection (aside from the occasional tidbit) it is a thoroughly western story, firmly ensconced in the western tradition. Even those tidbits Hosseini gives are of such a vague degree that to be impressed by them, one would have to have almost no knowledge of the history of Afghanistan, nor the cultural conflicts raging there between the Shia and Sunni Muslims, or how it formed a surrogate battleground for Russia and the United States in the Cold War, or for Colonial conflicts in the centuries before. Sadly, for all the daily news reports about Afghanistan, most people know very little of its history. Hosseini's story is thickly foreshadowed and wraps up so neatly in the end that the reader will never have to worry about being surprised. Every convenient coincidence that could happen, does happen. He does attempt to bring some excitement to the story with dramatized violence, but that's hardly a replacement for a well-constructed plot. He is also fond of forcing tension by creating a small conflict between two characters and then having them agonize over it for years, despite the fact that it would be easy to fix and the characters have no reason to maintain the conflict. And since the conflict does not grow or change over time, everything is quickly reduced to petty and repetitive reactions. He even creates a cliched 'white devil' character, a literal sociopath (and pedophile) as the symbol for the 'evils' of the Taliban. This creates an odd conflict in the narrative, since one of the main themes is that simple inequalities and pointless conflicts stem from Afghan tradition, itself. His indelicate inclusion of wealthy, beautiful, white power as the source of religious turmoil in the mid-east negates his assertion that the conflicts are caused by small-mindedness. The fact that this character seems to have the depth of motivation of a Disney villain also means that he does not work as a representation of the fundamental causes of colonial inequality, which tend to be economic, not personal. The various mixed messages about the contributors to the ongoing Afghan conflict suggest that Hosseini does not have anything insightful to say about it. Perhaps the worst part about this book is how much it caters to the ignorance of White America. It will allow naive readers to feel better about themselves for feeling sympathy with the larger mid-east conflict, but is also lets them retain a sense of superiority over the Muslims for their 'backwards, classicist, warlike' ways. In short, it supports the condescending, parental view that many Americans already have about the rest of the world. And it does all this without revealing any understanding of the vast and vital economic concerns which make the greater mid-east so vitally important to the future of the world. It is unfortunate that nowhere amongst this book's artfully dramatized violence and alternative praising and demonizing of the West is there the underlying sense of why this conflict is happening, of what put it all into place, and of why it will continue to drag us all down. The point where it could turn sympathy into indignation or realization is simply absent. There is a bad joke on the internet showing a map of the world with the mid-east replaced by a sea-filled crater with the comment 'problem solved'. What this map fails to represent is that there is a reason the West keeps meddling in the affairs of the mid-east, and that every time we do, it creates another conflict--because almost every group who we decry as terrorists now were originally trained and armed by the US and Western powers to serve our economic interests. As long as we see extremists as faceless sociopaths, we can do nothing against them. We must recognize that normal people fall down these paths, and that everyone sees himself as being 'in the right'. Who is more right: the Westerner whose careless bomb kills a child, or the Muslim's that does? The point shouldn't be to separate the 'good Muslims' from the 'bad Muslims', because people aren't fundamentally good or bad. They are fundamentally people. Almost without exception, they are looking out for their future, their children, and their communities. Calling someone 'evil' merely means you have ceased to try understanding their point of view, and decided instead to merely hate because it's easier to remain ignorant than to try to understand. This book isn't particularly insightful or well-written, but that is in no way unusual in bestsellers. The problem is that Americans are going to use this book to justify their ignorance about the problems in the east. This book will make people feel better about themselves, instead of helping them to think better about the world. For an actually insightful, touching view of the Afghan conflict, I would suggest avoiding this bit of naive melodrama and looking up Emmanuel Guibert's 'The Photographer'.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Finished this book about a month ago but it's taken me this long to write a review about it because I have such mixed feelings about it. It was a deeply affecting novel, but mostly not in a good way. I really wanted to like it, but the more I think about what I didn't like about the book, the more it bothers me. I even downgraded this review from two stars to one from the time I started writing it to the time I finished. Let's start off with the good, shall we? The writing itself was pretty good Finished this book about a month ago but it's taken me this long to write a review about it because I have such mixed feelings about it. It was a deeply affecting novel, but mostly not in a good way. I really wanted to like it, but the more I think about what I didn't like about the book, the more it bothers me. I even downgraded this review from two stars to one from the time I started writing it to the time I finished. Let's start off with the good, shall we? The writing itself was pretty good when it comes to description, in that I really felt the author's descriptions of scenes, and in terms of moving the story forward. That said, it's not particularly challenging writing to read. The very best part of the novel is its warm depiction of the mixed culture of Afghanistan, and how it conveys the picture of a real Afghanistan as a living place, before the coup, the Soviet invasion, and above all, the Taliban and the aftermath of September 11th created a fossilized image in the US of a failed state, petrified in "backwardness" and locked in the role of a villain from central casting. Now for the not so good. == Spoiler Alert == ... because I don't think I'm going to be able to complain about what I didn't like about the book without revealing major plot points. (Not to mention, some of what follows will only make sense to someone who has read the book.) So if you don't want to spoil it for yourself, read no further, here be spoilers: My overwhelming emotion throughout the book is feeling entirely manipulated. Of course, one major reason for this is that the author's attempts at metaphor, allegory, and forshadowing are utterly ham-fisted. When he wants to make a point, he hits you over the head with it, hard -- Amir's split lip / Hassan's cleft palate comes immediately, resoundingly to mind. But I feel manipulated beyond that. The members of the servant class in this story suffer tragic, unspeakable calamities, sometimes at the hands of our fine hero, and yet the novel seems to expect the reader to reserve her sympathies for the "wronged" privileged child, beating his breast over the emotional pain of living with the wounds he has selfishly inflicted upon others. How, why, am I supposed to feel worse for him as he feels bad about what he has done to others? Rather than feeling most sympathy and kinship for those who, through absolutely no fault of their own, must suffer, not just once or twice, but again and again? Of course this elevation of / identification with the "wounded"/flawed hero goes hand in hand with an absolutely detestable portrayal of the members of the servant class as being at their utmost happiest when they are being their most servile and utterly subjugating their own needs, wants, desires, pleasures -- their own selves, in fact -- to the needs of their masters. (Even when they are protecting their masters from their own arrogance, heartlessness, or downright stupidity.) I don't see how the main character, Amir, could possibly be likeable. Amir's battle with Assef, momentous as it is, is not so much him taking a stand because he feels driven to do so or feels that he must. Rather, he acts with very little self-agency at all -- he is more or less merely carried forward into events. (And, moreover, in the end it is Sohrab (Hassan again) who saves him.) I finished the novel resenting Amir, and even more intensely resenting the author for trying to make the reader think she's supposed to care about Amir, more than about anyone else in the story. A couple other points: I'm wondering if one theme of the novel is that there are no definitive happy endings, no single immutable moments of epiphany or redemption. Because Amir's moral "triumph", such as it is, over Assef, is so short-lived. He manages to crash horrifically only a week or two later, when he goes back on his word to Sohrab about his promise not to send him to an orphanage. And lastly, I don't understand why Baba's hypocrisy is not more of a theme. He makes such a point of drilling into his son's head that a lie is a theft of one's right to the truth. His own hipocrisy there is a profound thing, and it's a shame the author doesn't do more with it. Nevertheless, after all the bad things I had to say about it, I do have a couple quotes worth keeping: "Every woman needed a husband. Even if he did silence the song in her." (p.178) "'That's the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib. That's the Afghanistan I know. You? You've always been a tourist here, you just didn't know it.'" (p. 232) === UPDATE === I originally posted my review The Kite Runner in February 2008. Since then, my review has generated a very robust response from other Goodreads members. I have responded a couple of times in the comments section, but I realize that by now, the comments section has gotten long enough that some folks may not realize that I have added some clarifications to my review. So, although the extended reply that I posted in the comments section in October 2008 is still available in the comments section, I am re-posting it here, so people don't miss it. I also want to offer my continued thanks to those who have read, liked, and/or comment on my review of The Kite Runner. This kind of back-and-forth conversation on books is exactly why I signed on to Goodreads! I appreciate the feedback, and look forward to engaging in more such discussion. Finally, one more quick reply. One recent commenter asked how I could have given this book only a 1 star rating, if I was so affected by it. As I replied in the comments, the short answer is that I am guided by Goodread's prompts when I rate a book. Two stars is "It was OK;" 1 star is "I didn't like it." While I have praised a few things about the book, the bottom line is, overall, I didn't like it. -- Linda, 22 July 2011 Posted 24 October 2008: There have been many comments to my review since I first wrote it, and I thought it might be about time for me to weigh in for a moment. Before I get into my response, I must start off with a great thank you for all those who have felt sufficiently moved (positively or negatively) by my review to comment and respond. I appreciate all the comments, whether I agree with them or not. First of all, I'd like to address the question of whether we're "supposed" to like Amir or not. Yes, I do realize that sometimes writers create and/or focus on a character that the reader is not meant to like. Here, though, the story is clearly meant to be about some kind of redemption -- but I found Amir so distasteful, that I simply wasn't interested in his redemption. The focus of the story was entirely on how Amir's life had been corrupted by the despicable things he'd done - when the things he'd done were entirely part and parcel of the position of power and privilege he occupied over Hassan. Which brings me to my second point, the insufferable current of paternalism that runs throughout the story. The members of the servant and poorer classes are consistently portrayed as saintly, absurdly self-sacrificing, one-dimensional characters. Regardless of what terrible things befall them, they are shown to have nothing but their masters' interests at heart. Granted, it may be unlikely that the powerless would be overtly talking back and setting their masters straight; however, the novel gives no indication that they even have any private wishes of recrimination, or much of a private life, for that matter. Given this portrayal, it is even more difficult for me to muster any interest in Amir's suffering. But to suggest that perhaps we're misinterpreting the servants' subservient attitudes because we approach the story from a different time, place, or culture, is simply to engage in a cultural relativism borne out of -- and perpetuating -- the very same paternalism. To clarify my point, let's look at some comparable examples from US culture. Consider any one of a huge number of films such as Driving Miss Daisy, Clara's Heart, Bagger Vance, or Ghost (all simply continuing a tradition that reaches back to Shirley Temple's days) in which noble servants or similar helpers have absolutely no concern in their lives other than making sure the wealthy people they are serving have happy, fulfilled lives -- while they themselves never seem to have any of their own personal hopes, desires, triumphs, tragedies, or even any hint of a home, family, personal, or romantic life at all. Their total happiness is bound up entirely with serving the lives of their rich counterparts. It is this quality, present throughout Hosseini's book, that bothers me most. In the end, however, a beautifully written story could have overcome these criticisms -- or at the very least, I would have been able to temper or counter my points above with lavish praise for the writing. However, here, again, the novel falls flat. It is not particularly well-written. As some other commenters have also pointed out, the storytelling is quite heavy-handed, and the narrative suffers from implausible plot twists and uncanny coincidences, and a writing style that relies far too heavily on cliches and obvious literary devices. I wish that I could say I liked the book more. To answer [another commenter's] question, I haven't read A Thousand Splendid Suns; I'm afraid I wasn't particularly motivated to do so after my reaction to this one. However, I do believe, as that commenter also suggests, that there is something to be gained from the debate and discussion that the book has inspired.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The kite runner, 2003, Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban reg The kite runner, 2003, Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. عنوانها: بادبادک باز؛ بادبادک پران؛ نویسنده: خالد حسینی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در ماه مارس سال 2005 میلادی عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ نویسنده: خالد حسینی؛ مترجم: زیبا گنجی؛ پریسا سلیمانزاده اردبیلی، مشخصات نشر: تهران، مروارید، 1383، در 422 ص؛ شابک: 9645881927؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 21 م عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: مهدی غبرائی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر همراه، 1384، در 456 ص؛ عنوان: بادبادک پران؛ مترجم: منیژه شیخ جوادی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، پیکان، 1385، در 383 ص؛ شابک: 9789643284953؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: مهدی غبرائی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نیلوفر، 1386، در 368 ص؛ شابک: 9644482972؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: صدیقه ابراهیمی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، دایره، 1387، در 393 ص؛ شابک: 9789646939694؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: مژگان احمدی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، بهزاد، 1388، در 331 ص؛ شابک: 9789642569410؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: پیمان اشراقی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نگارستان کتاب، 1389، در 508 ص؛ شابک: 9786005541557؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: سمیه یداللهی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، شهرزاد، 1389، در 376 ص؛ شابک: 9786001710421؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: رقیه فیروزی؛ مشخصات نشر: قم، رخ مهتاب راتا، 1392، در 338 ص؛ شابک: 9786007076026؛ عنوان: بادبادک باز؛ مترجم: حسین بخشی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، آوای مکتوب، 1393، در 368 ص؛ شابک: 9786007364055؛ داستان از زبان امیر روایت می‌شود، امیر نویسنده ای اهل افغانستان و از تبار ایل پشتون و ساکن کالیفرنیا هستند، که برای نجات یک بچه، راهی افغانستان می‌شوند؛ افغانستانی که در تحت حاکمیت طالبان است، و یکی از دشوارترین دورانهای تاریخ چند هزار ساله‌ ی خویش را سپری می‌کند، و به بهانه ی همین سفر امیر به افغانستان، ایشان داستان زندگی‌ خویش را نیز برای خوانشگر می‌گویند نقل از متن کتاب: ناراحت شدن از یک حقیقت بهتر از تسکین یافتن با یک دروغ است ** حسن اینطوری بود. لعنتی آن قدر بی غل و غش بود که پیش او آدم همیشه حس میکرد ریاکار است ** بابا گفت: «خوبه.» اما نگاهش حیران بود. «خب هرچی ملا یادت داده ول کن، فقط یک گناه وجود دارد والسلام. آن هم دزدی ست (البته برخی هم آن یک گناه را دروغگویی میدانند). هر گناه دیگری هم نوعی دزدی است. میفهمی چی میگویم؟» مایوسانه آرزو کردم و گفتم: کاش میفهمیدم؛ و گفتم: «نه بابا جون». نمی‌خواستم دوباره ناامیدش کنم. بابا با بی حوصلگی آهی کشید. با این کار دوباره دلم را سوزاند، چون او اصلاً آدم بی حوصله ای نبود. یادم آمد که تا هوا تاریک نمیشد، هیچ وقت به خانه نمیآمد، همیشه ی خدا تنهایی شام میخوردم. وقتی میآمد خانه، از علی میپرسیدم: بابا کجا بوده؟ هرچند خودم خوب میدانستم که سر ساختمان بوده، سرکشی به این، نظارت به آن. مگر این کارها حال و حوصله نمیخواست؟ از تمام آن بچه هایی که داشت برایشان پرورشگاه میساخت متنفر بودم؛ گاهی وقتها آرزو میکردم کاش همه ی آنها با پدر و مادرهایشان مرده بودند. بابا گفت: «اگر مردی را بکشی، یک زندگی را میدزدی. حق زنش را از داشتن شوهر میدزدی، جق بچه هایش را از داشتن پدر میدزدی. وقتی دروغ میگویی، حق کسی را از دانستن حقیقت میدزدی. وقتی تقلب میکنی، حق را از انصاف میدزدی، میفهمی؟ پایان نقل از متن کتاب. ا. شربیانی

  7. 5 out of 5

    Catriona (LittleBookOwl)

    4.5 stars! Oh, my heart. This was heartbreaking and beautifully written!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com 'The Kite Runner' had been sitting on my TBR list for years. I kept putting it off because while I was sure that it would be a fantastic book, it isn't the type of smutty romance that I usually read. I knew that I'd have to be in the right kind of mood to read it. Finally, I found myself wanting to read something a little different to break me out of a reading rut and I downloaded the Audible version of 'The Kite Runner' and started listenin Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com 'The Kite Runner' had been sitting on my TBR list for years. I kept putting it off because while I was sure that it would be a fantastic book, it isn't the type of smutty romance that I usually read. I knew that I'd have to be in the right kind of mood to read it. Finally, I found myself wanting to read something a little different to break me out of a reading rut and I downloaded the Audible version of 'The Kite Runner' and started listening. As expected, this book was nothing like my usual love stories. This book is the type of book that makes you think about your life and reevaluate your values and what you think you know. It is the type of book that makes you question what you'd do in a given situation if the tables were turned. If you're like me, and have always been blessed to live in a country where you've never experienced the brutality and terror of warfare firsthand, this book serves as a reminder of how lucky you truly are. As a woman, and a mother of two daughters, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that I was born in a country where women are treated as equals. Sure, there are still some inequalities. However, when I think of how women are treated in many other regions of the world, I am incredibly thankful to have the freedoms that I do. I won't rehash this story, because it's been done a million times already and I don't think there's anything I could say that hasn't been said already. However, I will say that this was a wonderful book. It was grim, brutal and depressing, but also beautiful at times. It was emotional and infuriating, but you can't say that you didn't "feel" while reading this one. I experienced a full range of emotions. In the end, it grounded me and put all of my petty gripes into perspective. We all need to be reminded of how blessed we are at times. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for an emotional and enlightening story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.” I’m going to be honest with you. To read this book was a constant struggle, not because I didn’t like the writing style, not because it was bad and not because it was boring. No, if anything “The Kite Runner” was so hard to read becau ”When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.” I’m going to be honest with you. To read this book was a constant struggle, not because I didn’t like the writing style, not because it was bad and not because it was boring. No, if anything “The Kite Runner” was so hard to read because it was so exceptionally painful. This book made me so sad! I felt helpless and angry and there were times I actually was more than just tempted to stop reading. Some of the chapters were just too hard to bear and the book touched me in a way I can’t even describe. It did something with me… and I’m still not sure whether this was good or bad. All I know is that the injustice in this book made me furious and that I just have to think about it and already feel sick to my stomach again. There were so many serious topics in this book but I think what really got to me was the central theme of violence, injustice and abuse. To read “The Kite Runner” was so devastating and nerve-racking I actually couldn’t read more than two chapters a day. It was so upsetting that I found it difficult to motivate myself to read it and even though this was such a painful read, I still wanted to know what would happen next. Amir’s and Hassan’s story was so horrible, appalling, powerful and beautiful at the same time. It left me completely broken and raw and I think my emotions are still all over the place. So if my review sounds a little incoherent and illogical you can blame it on the book hangover I'm currently suffering from. XD ”But we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either. The plot: Amir and Hassan are best friends who grew up together and live in Kabul. They do almost everything together and one of their favourite hobbies is kite running. One day there is a local kite-fighting tournament Amir is determined to win and with the help of Hassan he is even able to achieve his goal. The victory of the tournament comes with a high price though and in the end their moment of happiness isn’t only short lived but also comes to an abrupt end. What happens after the competition destroys their lifelong friendship and shakes the foundations of their trust, the course of their lives changing as they try to deal with the repercussions of a single day. ”It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime, Amir," he said. The characters: Beware there are plenty of spoilers lying ahead of you!!! Amir: ”I pretended I was reading from the book, flipping pages regularly, but I had abandoned the text altogether, taken over the story, and made up my own. Hassan, of course, was oblivious to this. To him, the words on the page were a scramble of codes, indecipherable, mysterious. Words were secret doorways and I held all the keys.” Puh, what to say about him? I think I never disliked a protagonist as much as I disliked the narrator of this story. I just couldn’t stand his younger self and I thought he wasn’t just egoistic but also spoiled and more than just unethical. The way Amir treated Hassan made me sick and his betrayal towards his best friend hurt so much! I mean how could he let this happen? How could he stand aside without intervening? How could he even think that Hassan is “just a Hazara”?! I don’t understand it and if I’m entirely honest I really think that it was good he felt bad throughout the entire book! His past haunted him and in the end it actually made him a better person. A person that stood up to bad people and a person I was finally able to forgive. It was a long journey for Amir but he eventually did the right thing and when I read the finial sentences of this book I was even proud of him. XD ”It’s all right.” I turned to the general. “You see, General Sahib, my father slept with his servant’s wife. She bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask.” They were all staring at me. “And one more thing, General Sahib,” I said. “You will never again refer to him as a ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab.” I waited 331 pages for that to happen!!! XD Hassan: ”Then Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. He walked toward me. He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. ‘There,’ he croaked, red dipping down his face like blood. ‘Are you satisfied? Do you feel better?’ He turned around and started down the hill.” God bless his kind and innocent soul!!! This boy was an angel and I don’t even know how he was able to forgive Amir. As it seems he managed to do it though and my deep respect and love for his character will never cease. I loved Hassan with all my heart and I think his only flaw was that he was just too good to live in this sick and violent world. He would have deserved so much more than life gave him and when I found out about Sohrab’s ordeal I was more than just heartbroken. I was devastated!!! I know Hassan must have turned over in his grave and I felt so, so, so damn sorry for what happened to both of them. Baba: ”The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. You can’t love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little. Baba definitely was a very flawed character but I still couldn’t help but had to love him for it. There was so much good in him, yet he also had his bad sides. For a person that was described as seeing the world in black and white he actually was all different kinds of grey and in some way that made him extremely likeable and disagreeable at the same time. *lol* I think he was a very contradictory person and after finding out about his secret I was finally able to understand why. Still, I loved that despite everything he tried to be a righteous man and when it comes down to it he certainly had his heart in the right place. ”Ask him where his shame is.” They spoke. “He says this is war. There is no shame in war.” “Tell him he’s wrong. War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.” ”And now, fifteen years after I’d buried him, I was learning that Baba had been a thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he’d stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor. His nang. His namoos.” Sohrab: This boy B.R.O.K.E my heart and I don’t even know how I’m supposed to pick up the pieces. He was just ten!! Damn it!! I don’t understand how people can hurt children and I can’t even… *argharghsdfjklmno* I hate what Assef did to him and I’m so glad Sohrab got away from his clutches! Chapter 22 was so horrible to read… It made me sick to my stomach and I swear I was tempted to throw the book against a wall… Urgh… just to think about his hands on Sohrab… My heart aches so much for that little boy!!! He deserved a better childhood than that! Damn no!! He actually deserved a childhood to begin with!!!! ”I miss Father, and Mother too,” he croaked. “And I miss Sasa and Rahim Khan sahib. But sometimes I’m glad they’re not … they’re not here anymore.” “Why?” I touched his arm. He drew back. “Because –“ he said, gasping and hitching between sobs, “because I don’t want them to see me… I’m so dirty.” He sucked in his breath and let it out in a long, wheezy cry. “I’m so dirty and full of sin.” And OMG that beautiful ending! That hopeful, amazing and beautiful ending! It killed me, it was the death of me, it was the final nail in my coffin!!! That sweet and gentle and shy boy!!!! XD I already get emotional just thinking about it! *blinking away tears* The bottom line: I hated the book! I loved the book! I hated the injustice, the pain Ali, Hassan and Sohrab had to go through, I hated the way the Taliban treated everyone they considered to be wrong and different, I hated to read about the destruction of Amir’s hometown, I hated the violence, I hated the war, I hated to read about the many orphans, the hungry children on the street. I hated the way Amir acted when he was younger!!! ”She had a large purple bruise on her leg for days but what could I do except stand and watch my wife get beaten? If I fought, that dog would have surely put a bullet in me, and gladly! Then what would have happened to my Sohrab?” But I loved the details about Afghan culture, I admired the bravery of Hassan and Baba, my heart sang whenever they tried to be righteous and good. In a world that had gone to hell they still tried to be decent, they still tried everything possible to stand up for their people, to do the right thing. They still had values and they didn’t just believe in them, they also acted according to them!!! So yes, for me “The Kite Runner” was a very powerful book. It pushed my boundaries and forced me to fight through it! It made me think about unpleasant things, it forced me to see the bad and ugly things our world is made of, but it also showed me the good in people and their kindness! If you can live with a broken heart and are able to deal with the pain, this book his highly recommended. If you’re one of the faint-hearted you better give it a wide berth. As for me, I definitely will never re-read this book ever again! I’m kind of proud that I accomplished to read it though! XD ”For you, a thousand times over.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    I'm really mad at myself for taking so long to read this. SUCH a good book, and while it may not be worthy of 5 stars for me, I really did love it and it broke my heart a hundred times. I look forward to reading Hosseini's other books, most likely this year.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    i really wanted to like this novel. judging from its thousands of 'five-star reviews' hailing it as the one of the 'best books ever written,' i'm in the minority when i state that this novel, while well-intentioned, just left a little bit of sour taste in my mouth. my problems with the novel are as follows: first of all the writing itself is so ham-fistened, heavy-handed, distracting and otherwise puzzling that by the midway point, i seriously considered chucking the book against the wall. each i really wanted to like this novel. judging from its thousands of 'five-star reviews' hailing it as the one of the 'best books ever written,' i'm in the minority when i state that this novel, while well-intentioned, just left a little bit of sour taste in my mouth. my problems with the novel are as follows: first of all the writing itself is so ham-fistened, heavy-handed, distracting and otherwise puzzling that by the midway point, i seriously considered chucking the book against the wall. each page of the novel has at least 5-10 incomplete sentences. i'm all for experimental and fractered prose--but it's important for authors to use it judiciously. hosseini, unfortunately, beats it to death. a lot of his language is cliched, too, which is funny considering there's a passage in the book about a writing teacher who warns the narrator, amir, about using cliches. i don't know if that was supposed to be funny or not, but it made me laugh (and what was worse was the san francisco's chronicle's glowing review on the book's cover and the san francisco chronicle's glowing review of amir's novel--coincidence?). the author's use of farsi--especially in the dialogue--was equally distracting. my point is that no one speaks the way his characters speak. people don't switch back and forth between languages while speaking, and if they do, they certainly don't speak 1/2 the sentence in english, say one word in farsi, then traslate the farsi word to english, then finish the sentence in english, when they're presumably speaking farsi to begin with. i didn't pick up this book for a crash course in colloquial farsi. after 370 pages, i was frustrated--and annoyed. hosseini's plot often borders on the ridiculous. the'twists' are just TOO coincidental--and not surprising at all (except in how contrived they are). for example, in a devasted kabul, amir sees a homeless man in the street. the homeless man, of course, was a former university professor who just happened to teach with amir's long deceased mother. what a coincidence! what makes it worse, is that the narrator, amir then explains that while that may, in fact, seem like a coincidence, it happens in afghanistan happens all the time. of course it does. in another example, amir's former nemesis, assaf (now a taliban crony), beats up amir and amir ends up with a scar above his lip, just like his dear friend hassan, who was born with cleft-pallet. oh, the coincidence! (and the fact that amir even runs into assef again is ridiculous). another example: amir and his wife aren't able to have children, and of course they find an orphan boy who happens to be extended family and they adopt him. what a coincidence! and after amir returns to afghanistan he doesn't call home to his dutiful wife for over a month. i kept wondering 'when's he gonna call home?' and any plot advanced by a series of 'tragedies,' (and in this book they are legion) shows little more than the writer's inability to craft a meaningful and interesting plot. not only is it pretty poor form, it's also highly manipulative and condescending. i found myself continually frustrated by hosseini's apparent distrust of the reader. we don't have to be told how and when to interpret metaphors. and if i read one more book where the protagonist is a writer or professor, i'm gonna ram my head into a metal post. i don't want to sound like a misanthrope or jaded literature reader because i'm certainly not. this novel just left me wanting so much more in terms of plot and characterization. having said that, however, the novel could be important in that shows the cruelty of the taliban. much of what hosseini writes about is important, especially for us westerners unfamiliar with the breadth and scope of the afghani tragedy. in the end, it was worth the $2.00 i paid for it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I liked this book a lot. Due to the uncomfortable nature of the story told, I'll probably never read it again, but I'm glad that I did read it once. I saw it as the story of one not very likeable boy growing up in a soon to be war torn region and his eventual struggle for redemption. I was quite surprised to see how popular some of the negative reviews of this book were and I'd like to comment on a few of the comments they contained. One condemnatory critic said "This is the sort of book White A I liked this book a lot. Due to the uncomfortable nature of the story told, I'll probably never read it again, but I'm glad that I did read it once. I saw it as the story of one not very likeable boy growing up in a soon to be war torn region and his eventual struggle for redemption. I was quite surprised to see how popular some of the negative reviews of this book were and I'd like to comment on a few of the comments they contained. One condemnatory critic said "This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly." Ah, if only that were truer. In a study done not long ago, over half of American adult men, when asked, admitted to having read NO books in the last year. Personally, as a white American, this book made me grateful that I grew up where I did, and once again reminded me of how good I've had it, and how little I really know about life outside these insular, isolationist, United States. Another critic claimed that this book "...portrays Afghanistan as backward" Personally I thought that it portrayed it as a war torn, deeply wounded country that was at one time a bit like our ante-bellum south. It was made quite clear that we saw pre-soviet Afghanistan through the eyes of a doubly privileged class, the rich child. Another critic claimed "The members of the servant and poorer classes are consistently portrayed as saintly, absurdly self-sacrificing, one-dimensional characters." Yes, that's true. But the viewpoint is a that of an over-privileged, rich, selfish child. Given the ante-bellum south atmosphere that our protagonist sees, it's a wonder that the epithet "uncle Tom" wasn't used. Finally one critic complained "The book fails exactly where it most needs to succeed - in the depiction of the Taliban." Personally, I felt that while that need may be great, I didn't see that as the purpose of this book. I saw this book as the story of one man's journey toward redemption against a background of a troubled heritage. I sometimes recall doing things as a child that now makes me wonder about myself, and while I like to think I've become a better human being, I sometimes shudder at the savage, thoughtless child that was once under this skin. For the personal perspective alone, I think this book is a worthwhile, if sometimes uncomfortable, read. If you let it, it may make you a better person.

  13. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ‘for you, a thousand times over.’ no words can describe the heaviness i am feeling in my heart right now. i will never re-read this as it is too emotionally devastating (i genuinely cant remember the last time a book made me cry so much), but i know it is a story that will stay will me for the rest of my life. of that, i have no doubt. also, john, thanks for recommending this book, but i will be sending you my bill for all the therapy i will need after this. ↠ 5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    La Petite Américaine

    After pondering long and hard, I'm going to try now to articulate just what it was about this book that sucked so much, why it has offended me so greatly, and why its popularity has enraged me even more. This book blew so much that I've been inspired to start my own website of book reviews for non-morons. So let us explore why. First, let's deal with the writer himself. Hosseini's father worked for Western companies while in Afghasnistan. While daddy (who I am guessing, from Hosseini's tragic ac After pondering long and hard, I'm going to try now to articulate just what it was about this book that sucked so much, why it has offended me so greatly, and why its popularity has enraged me even more. This book blew so much that I've been inspired to start my own website of book reviews for non-morons. So let us explore why. First, let's deal with the writer himself. Hosseini's father worked for Western companies while in Afghasnistan. While daddy (who I am guessing, from Hosseini's tragic account of the "fictional" father, never accepts his son) worked and got wealthy, normal Afghans lived their lives. When war broke out, Hosseini's father was offered a safe position in Iran. Just before the revolution in Iran, his father was offered another job in Paris, before finally taking the family to the USA. That's fine ... some of us are lucky in life. Others are not. What bothers me, though, is that The Kite Runner is so obviously what Hosseini WISHES had happened. There is no doubt in my mind that the Hassan character really did exist in some form or another. Surely Hosseini had a friend/sometimes playmate/servant who was left behind while Hosseini's powerful family escaped. Surely, Hosseini feels guilty for leaving his homeland by simple privilege while the less fortunate were left behind to fight the Soviets, the Mujahideen, and then the Taliban. And surely, Hosseini wishes he were some flawed hero that didn't simply get lucky. He wishes he'd majored in English, as the protagonist does, and published fiction books instead of becoming a run-of-the-mill doctor; he wishes his father had depended upon him in the USA as happens in the book, instead of getting by just fine as a rich exile with a daddy-doesn't-love-me complex; he wishes he could go back to Afghanistan, risking his life to make ammends for his shitty and cowardly past, instead of remaining a wealthy outsider living happily in the USA. Hosseini is simply some guy who feels guilty about having escaped what so many of his fellow countrymen couldn't, and he makes up for it in fantasy in a million ways: accepting his fallen father, marrying an "unsuitable" woman, listening to a voice from the past, saving the son of his friend he watched being raped decades before (when he was too selfish to intervene), stomaching the live stoning of a burka-clad woman and her adulterous lover, taking a beating from an old enemy/Taliban child molestor, giving $2000 to a poor smuggler who tries to feed his kids on $3 a week, and saving a 12 year-old from suicide. If Hosseini REALLY did all this, what a hero he would be. Instead, he just makes it up and calles it a novel ... and people devour this shit with tears, labeling it as "inspirational" and "moving." What really bothers me? Besides all of the contrived and predictable plot twists?? What really disturbs me is that people not only eat this shit up, but they also call it "literature," award it, and give this guy money and license to write another book. For lack of better words ... WTF?!!!??! Has everyone just gone STUPID?!!?!? I could go on about how the writing sucks, especially when the author admits to using cliches (elephant in the room, dark as night, thin as a rake, et fucking c) but I won't. Why? A couple of reasons: 1) If you liked this book, a part of you is sick, and a larger part of you is an idiot 2) I could write a 100-page thesis about how much this book blew monkey chunks, but it's not worth my time 3) This shit sells, and Hosseini, between his stupid book and movie deals, is an even richer man than he was before ... which in the end, makes him smarter than you, me, and everyone else .... He understands the market and fed it back to us. We probably deserve it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Amir, a little boy growing up in the early 1970's in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has the idyllic life, a wealthy father Baba, a widower, the mother died giving birth to Amir, he believes, the father hates him for that, in the most beautiful house some say in the city, a great friend Hassan, the son of Ali, a servant and loyal to the family. Baba and Ali had been friends too in childhood, strange since Hassan's father is just a Hazara (Mongol), Hassan's promiscuous mother, had left them to Amir, a little boy growing up in the early 1970's in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has the idyllic life, a wealthy father Baba, a widower, the mother died giving birth to Amir, he believes, the father hates him for that, in the most beautiful house some say in the city, a great friend Hassan, the son of Ali, a servant and loyal to the family. Baba and Ali had been friends too in childhood, strange since Hassan's father is just a Hazara (Mongol), Hassan's promiscuous mother, had left them to join a group of dancers , a detested minority in the country , hated and persecuted, by the dominant Pashtuns, they call themselves the real Afghans...But the world never stays the same, always moving forward for better or worse and it gets much, much worse, King Zahir Shah, peaceful, forty year reign is ended , overthrown, by his disloyal cousin, Daoud Khan, making himself the President of the Republic, whatever that is ...The communist kill the usurper, the Russians invade and forty bloody years later the wars continue... Amir and Hassan are inseparable, constantly playing together , walking to the top of the nearby hill, as Baba's son reads to Hassan, an illiterate, making up stories also, to trick his friend, he does that often to the always amiable boy, flying kites, in the blue skies, their great passion, together. Hassan saves the cowardly Amir from the local bully Assef, half - German, with blond hair and evil eyes , brass knuckles in his pocket, a crazed sadist, he enjoys inflicting major damage to his victims , but will not challenge the Hazaras powerful slingshot. Pahim Khan is Baba's, wise, best friend and business partner, frequent visitor and knows all the dark secrets that even Amir doesn't. Kind to the lonely boy, while the disappointed, cold father, at six foot five, strong as an ox, too brave, sometimes, during bad situations, he wrestled a bear once and lived to boast about his victory, sees his child, a weak boy, a bookworm, can he really be his son ? In the neighborhood kite contest, Amir with the help of Hassan wins, defeats dozens of opponents, the proud father looks glowingly from above, on his rooftop , with Pahim Khan, this is his son, at last. But while the incomparable kite runner, Hassan, follows the last blue kite, slowly falling (a symbol of an era soon gone) , that was downed by Amir to insure victory, and get the souvenir, a horrible event occurs, in a dirty alley, witnessed by timid Amir , it will ensure a lifetime of pain, remorse and unforeseen consequences. A terrific tale of redemption, a child's view of the world turned sideways, shattered into many pieces that will never be the same, but still life must go on, people are complicated, and reality is hidden from most of us .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Naeem

    I found this book a failure of courage and imagination -- all the more upsetting for the author's astute sense of detail and wonderful psychological depth. But ask yourself this: if the Taliban are real humans than why are they not represented as such? No doubt we will all love the movie as well. If you want to read a book on Afghanistan, I recommend Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light. Below is my complete review: I started out loving this book. Hosseini is dead on target in his depiction of childr I found this book a failure of courage and imagination -- all the more upsetting for the author's astute sense of detail and wonderful psychological depth. But ask yourself this: if the Taliban are real humans than why are they not represented as such? No doubt we will all love the movie as well. If you want to read a book on Afghanistan, I recommend Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light. Below is my complete review: I started out loving this book. Hosseini is dead on target in his depiction of children's psychology, the non-contractual relationships between master and servant, and in his weaving of the threads between trauma, memory, and denial. Further, Hosseini captures the feel of life in a Third World country. His depiction of Afghanistan confirms my own short travels in Afghanistan during the 1970s. Indeed, I was becoming ever more excited with the possibility of teaching this book in my new course on Afghanistan. But alas. The book fails exactly where it most needs to succeed - in the depiction of the Taliban. When we do not have an archive, or the possibility of getting at the facts and narratives of a part of history, fiction can be used creatively and responsibly in order to construct something real. Take, for example, the extraordinary slave narrative written by Guy Endore -- Babouk. After years of research, Endore writes a history of a slave engaged in rebellion just prior to the Haitian Revolution. Hosseini has the skills but not the courage nor the empathy/sympathy to portray the Taliban as historical, sociological, economic, modern creations. Discounting and trivializing his own skills, he characterizes the Taliban in the easiest way -- as simple, cartoonish, evil. He thereby does nothing to enlighten us. Worse, he panders to a sleepwalking liberal public who happily accept his vision as a seemingly authentic reflection of their own myopia. Most everyone is satisfied: the U.S. public for having read about a country they destroyed -- feeling all the better at having disposed of evil; the publishers for their timely profit; and Hosseini for having expressed his romantic sense of loss. At least V.S. Niapaul is honest about his hatred for his own people. Hosseini's twist is less forgivable -- he gives aide to the very people whose malice, neglect, ignorance, and misunderstanding of Afghan people is one key factor in the destruction of this beautiful land and vital people. A failure of imagination is often the result of a failure in will, in courage, in politics. Hosseini traps himself in the politics of nostalgia. (For a similar review with a more academic bent, please see: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2...

  17. 5 out of 5

    ❄️Nani❄️

    ”For you, a thousand times over.” We are currently experiencing some expressional difficulties. Should be back in business once emotions are in full functioning mode.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Agir(آگِر)

    آرامش پیچاندن پیچ زندگی در پایین ترین حد است سکوت خاموش کردن آن پیچ است.بستن آن است،بستن تمام آن تمام ستارگان آسمان برای کتاب هایی مثل بادبادک باز ، همسایه ها و ... که از واقعیات زندگی مردم و دردهایشان می گویند کم است و توهین آمیز این پنج ستاره هم به سرنوشت من دچار شده اند و از پس تعریف بادبادک باز بر نمی آیند در آغاز جملاتی از کتاب می آورم و بعد به چیزهایی که هنگام خواندن کتاب فکرم را مشغول می کردند خواهم پرداخت اولین بار در این کتاب بود که اسم هزاره رو از سربازی افغانی شنیدم و اول فکر کردم حتما نا آرامش پیچاندن پیچ زندگی در پایین ترین حد است سکوت خاموش کردن آن پیچ است.بستن آن است،بستن تمام آن تمام ستارگان آسمان برای کتاب هایی مثل بادبادک باز ، همسایه ها و ... که از واقعیات زندگی مردم و دردهایشان می گویند کم است و توهین آمیز این پنج ستاره هم به سرنوشت من دچار شده اند و از پس تعریف بادبادک باز بر نمی آیند در آغاز جملاتی از کتاب می آورم و بعد به چیزهایی که هنگام خواندن کتاب فکرم را مشغول می کردند خواهم پرداخت اولین بار در این کتاب بود که اسم هزاره رو از سربازی افغانی شنیدم و اول فکر کردم حتما ناسزا یا فحشی خیلی زشتی است که او با تمسخر حسن را با این اسم صدا میزند با خودم می گفتم اگر این واقعیت داشته باشد هزاره ها چطور تونستن در چنین فضای تحقیرآمیزی زندگی کنن جایی که حتی کودکان را هم بخاطر نژادشان تمسخر می کنند میراث افغانستان بیا فرض کنیم که پدر و مادر بچه زنده نمانده اند.حتی در این حال اداره - مهاجرت فکر می کند بهتر است بچه را به کسی بدهد که مقیم کشور زادگاه اوست.تا میراثش پامال نشود کدام میراث؟ طالبان هر میراثی را که افغانستان داشته از - بین برده.دیدید که با مجسمه عظیم بودا در بامیان چه کردند؟ از این عکس وحشتناک تر جمله زیر بود مین.آیا راه بهتری از این برای مرگ افغان ها هست؟ اما چیزایی که فکرم را مشغول کردند :شیعه بودن هزاره ها و سنی بودن پشتو ها یادمه تو ویکی پدیا و خود کتاب خواندم که پشتوها سنی و هزاره ها شیعه هستند و حتی طالبان در شهر مزار شریف، هزاره ها را به جرم مذهبشون قتل عام کردند اما در کتاب "امیر" که پشتو بود از گذاشتن مهر در نماز می گفت و "حسن" که هزاره بود نمی گذاشت پنج نمازش قضا شود حسن هيچوقت پنج وعده نمازش قضا نمي شد،حتي وقتي بازي مي كرديم،عذرخواهي ميكرد،از چاه حياط آب مي كشيد،وضو مي گرفت و توي كلبه ناپديد ميشد امیر هم با خود می گوید:در حقیقت یادم نمی آمد که آخرین بار کی سر به مُهر گذاشته ام همانطور که می دانید سنی ها مهر نمی گذارد و شیعیان هم فقط سه نماز را بصورت حاضره می خوانند نمیدانم نویسنده از این تضاد میخواست نکته ای بگوید یا فقط اشتباهی مرتکب شده بود :چشمان سبز هزاره ها دوستی می گفت چشمان سبز یکی از مشخصات ظاهری بیشتر آریایی ها بوده خالد حسینی علاقه زیادی به گفتن درباره چشمان سبز هزاره ها داشت ...از مادر حسن گرفته تا زن حسن و می گویند هزاره ها بخاطر چشمان بادامی شاید از نسل مغول ها باشند اما شاید همین چشمان سبز دلیل بر رد این نظریه باشد و نشان بدهد که این مردمان جزو کهن ترین مردمان سرزمین افغانستان باشند حالا اصلا حساب کنیم قدمتشان به 100 سال هم نرسد و مذهبشان هم متفاوت با دیگران باشد آیا به این دلایل مسخره، باید نسل آنها را نابود کرد!؟ چون مثه ما نماز نمی خوانند و خون ملتی بیگانه در رگ هایشان در گردش است؟

  19. 4 out of 5

    Basuhi

    Before I started this book, I distinctively remember running my hands over the cover, over the embossed letters that read, The Kite Runner, with not a thought spared but just a sense of hope and anticipation. Now, after I've finished it, I'm once again running my hands over them. Those letters that read, The Kite Runner. Those letters that mean a lot more than what they seemed to a few days ago. Yes. Oh. No. Yes. Oh. Oh. This is just a tiny fraction of "Oh"s that I felt during my journey through this Before I started this book, I distinctively remember running my hands over the cover, over the embossed letters that read, The Kite Runner, with not a thought spared but just a sense of hope and anticipation. Now, after I've finished it, I'm once again running my hands over them. Those letters that read, The Kite Runner. Those letters that mean a lot more than what they seemed to a few days ago. Yes. Oh. No. Yes. Oh. Oh. This is just a tiny fraction of "Oh"s that I felt during my journey through this beauty and beast of a book. And each of these differ in what they incited, invoked, in me. Yet all so powerful and painful and grudgingly piquant. If you want a psychoanalysis of the characters and a dissection of the plot lines, with a thousand different adjectives for the mesmerizingly written prose, you're at the wrong place. Seriously. This is just going to be me, and my flailing traitorous emotions. So, What do I feel ? Beauty. Yes, I feel beauty. Marred with reality, with the wonder and ugliness, with all of it. And I feel love. Love towards this book. Amir and Hassan, the Sultans of Kabul. Towards everything that should not have gone wrong. And I feel hatred. Hatred against what happened. What shouldn't have happened. No. And at everything that did go wrong. I feel horror , that is not macabre, but so vicious, so cruel, it hurts. An undercurrent of anguish that haunts you wherever you go. And I feel love again , with all it's highs and lows and everything in between. For you, A thousand times over. And I feel a lot more. That I'm just not able to articulate. And I didn't cry. Maybe because, in order to cry there must be frissons of lachrymosity rocking me. But when even happiness forecasts heartbreak, when the whole book is a shadow of melancholy cloaking me, wistfulness following me, crying is a reprieve that I feel this book has denied me. Why ? Even though there are no tears, I know that I'm as close to crying, bawling and sobbing inconsolably all at once than I've ever been for I'm a turmoil inside.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    This is a wonderful, moving novel set in the Afghanistan of the early 70’s and of today, about a young boy and his friend growing up in Kabul. Amir desperately wants his father’s approval, but Baba is not quick to give it. He is a rich man, brimming with macho vibrancy, while his son is a different sort altogether. Amir is fast friends with Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. They are as close as brothers. But, beset by bullies, an event occurs that changes Amir’s life. There is much death This is a wonderful, moving novel set in the Afghanistan of the early 70’s and of today, about a young boy and his friend growing up in Kabul. Amir desperately wants his father’s approval, but Baba is not quick to give it. He is a rich man, brimming with macho vibrancy, while his son is a different sort altogether. Amir is fast friends with Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. They are as close as brothers. But, beset by bullies, an event occurs that changes Amir’s life. There is much death and horror in this portrait of a tortured country. But there is also emotional richness, and a look into the inner life. By the end of the book there was not a dry eye in the house. It is recommended unreservedly. A wonderful tale, movingly told.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Ibrahim

    هل تعلم يا صديقى هذا النوع من الروايات التى لا تستطيع الفرار منها ؟ .. كلما حاولت الابتعاد ، تدنو هى منك .. تحاول نسيانها ، فتتدافع كل تفاصيلها فى ذاكرتك ، كما قرأتها . " إنها قصة لا تنسى ، تظل معك لسنوات .. إنها قوية لحد جعل كل ما قرأته بعدها ، ولفترة طويلة ، يبدو بلا طعم " إزابيل ألليندى هل تعرفه ؟ الحقيقة أنك لم تعرفه بعد ولن تعرفه ما لم تقرأ هذه الرائعة . " لأجلك ألف مرة ومرة " إحساس غريب ينتابنى عند قراءة هذه الجملة، حاله من الفرح، ورغبة فى البكاء .. الحقيقة لا أعرف ما هو شعورى حينها الجزء ا هل تعلم يا صديقى هذا النوع من الروايات التى لا تستطيع الفرار منها ؟ .. كلما حاولت الابتعاد ، تدنو هى منك .. تحاول نسيانها ، فتتدافع كل تفاصيلها فى ذاكرتك ، كما قرأتها . " إنها قصة لا تنسى ، تظل معك لسنوات .. إنها قوية لحد جعل كل ما قرأته بعدها ، ولفترة طويلة ، يبدو بلا طعم " إزابيل ألليندى هل تعرفه ؟ الحقيقة أنك لم تعرفه بعد ولن تعرفه ما لم تقرأ هذه الرائعة . " لأجلك ألف مرة ومرة " إحساس غريب ينتابنى عند قراءة هذه الجملة، حاله من الفرح، ورغبة فى البكاء .. الحقيقة لا أعرف ما هو شعورى حينها الجزء الاول فيها فوق الممتاز .. أما الجزء الثانى فلم يكن على نفس القدر ؛ لكنه رائع أيضاً . رواية تقترب من الحقيقة كثيراً .. الحقيقة التى ندركها لكن لا نعِ بتفاصيلها . رواية ذات قيمة أدبية عالية . رواية سيخلدها التاريخ . رواية تظل عالقة فى الاذهان .. فإنها كتبت لتبقى .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rola

    عانيت كثيرا من ضيق فى التنفس أثناء قراءتى لهذه الرواية , و خصوصا الجزء الأول, الأمر الذى كان له أثر على معدل قراءتى لها حتى اكتشفت أن ما اعترانى لم تكن حالة مرضية و إنما من فرط حبس أنفاسي خلال القراءة لهفة و شوقا إلى متابعة الأحداث * *حدث بالفعل ملاحظاتى العامة عن الرواية كانت فى تفوق جزئها الأول كثيرا عن أجزاء خروج البطل من دياره , و التى تحولت الأحداث فيها أحيانا إلى أحداثا عادية مكملة فقط للحكاية , و أحداثا أخرى توقعتها و أشعرتنى كأننى أشاهد "فيلما هنديا" مبالغا بعض الشئ. :) هى رواية عن الوعود و عانيت كثيرا من ضيق فى التنفس أثناء قراءتى لهذه الرواية , و خصوصا الجزء الأول, الأمر الذى كان له أثر على معدل قراءتى لها حتى اكتشفت أن ما اعترانى لم تكن حالة مرضية و إنما من فرط حبس أنفاسي خلال القراءة لهفة و شوقا إلى متابعة الأحداث * *حدث بالفعل ملاحظاتى العامة عن الرواية كانت فى تفوق جزئها الأول كثيرا عن أجزاء خروج البطل من دياره , و التى تحولت الأحداث فيها أحيانا إلى أحداثا عادية مكملة فقط للحكاية , و أحداثا أخرى توقعتها و أشعرتنى كأننى أشاهد "فيلما هنديا" مبالغا بعض الشئ. :) هى رواية عن الوعود و التى يجب أن تعنيها حين إطلاقها , عن التمايز العرقى و الطبقى و حتى التمايز الأخلاقى. أكدت لى الرواية أمرا لطالما به اقتنعت ; يختصره التعبير الانجليزى القائل "Never take anybody for granted" بمعنى أنه عندما يتعلق الأمر بالبشر , فلا مسلمات , فأصحاب الأنساب و الأصول العريقة ليسوا بالضرورة شرفاء , و المنتمون إلى أعراق أقل تاريخا ليسوا بالضرورة خائنين أو محل احتقار , فكل منا هو فعله و عمله وكلمته التى تحرره أو تبقيه سجين الحنث بالوعد. بحديثه عن الأوطان و البلاد التى لا تهم سيرتها أحد , وضع خالد حسينى أفغانستان على الخريطة.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time. Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez So I started Kite Runner two nights ago after finishing Blink. It took me a week or so with Blink since I wasn’t very enthralled, making it easier to put it down at night when it was my bed time. Kite Runner, I started over a long weekend and could not for the life of me put it down. I was so hooked I even found myself reading Bing’s copy when I was over at Deesh and Bing’s this weekend playing an invigorating (and might I add victorious) game of girls vs. boys Cranium and then Cheez Geek (Cheez Geek one of the 3 new things this week). The Kite Runner. Must be the most disturbing, haunting book I’ve yet to read. The close seconds would be A Child Called It and Night. They both broke my heart but not in the way Kite Runner did. I was in tears maybe four separate times during the past two days it took me to finish the novel. A coming of age story with pre–war Afganhistan and the post-Taliban arrival as the backdrop of the story. I tend to take note of books I know my dad will enjoy and as I read them I jot down notes on post its for my dad and flag the relevant pages. I flagged the story about Amir and Hassen tying bumble bees with string and letting them fly a bit before yanking them back. My dad used to do exactly the same thing to dragonflies when he was younger growing up in Vietnam. Then as I got deeper and deeper into the book and found myself tearing up, I started to doubt whether my dad, a vet would enjoy going down memory lane. I took breaks and called Mary Ellen to relay the story and basically to pull me out a little. Relief. The refugee stories seem to make vivid my parents’ stories post Vietnam. I kept imagining I was reading about my dad. Funny how war is pretty much the same no matter where it is. I usually don’t read war books so this is somewhat new to me. Before Kite Runner, the only books I’ve read with war in the background were Anne Frank’s diary, The Hiding Place, and Night. All heart breaking in their own respect but I never felt so invested in events unfolding with each turn of the page as I did with Kite Runner. So aside from making me cry so easily, Hosseini also managed to make me laugh several times out loud. One scene when Amir, in such a detached manner, thinks to himself as someone is experiencing an eye injury, “Oh that’s vitreous fluid.. I read about that, that’s vitreous fluid.” I used to work for an ophthalmologist. So here are a few quotes I jotted down into my reading journal… “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft..” “If there’s a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking Scotch or eating pork.” “Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.” “We plucked the stinger off a bee and tied a string around the poor thing and yanked it back every time it took flight.” “John Wayne didn’t really speak Farsi and he wasn’t Iranian.” “And the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced, some no older than five or six. They sat in the laps of their burque-clad mothers alongside gutters at busy street corners… Hardly any of them sat with an adult male- the war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan.” “Returning to Kabul was like running into an old, forgotten friend, and seeing that life hadn’t been good to him, that he’d become homeless and destitute.” ‘I’m so afraid…. Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening. They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.” I wrote the last one down because that’s how I feel when I feel very happy. I get extra wary of freak accidents. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in t

  24. 4 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    This is one strain of the virus we call Middlebrow Literature. Issuetastic fiction that turns up-to-date, politically loaded topical material into powerful works of stating the obvious whose aim is to educate the Uninformed or Casually Interested Westerner in the ways of another culture at a time when that culture or nation is under scrutiny, or has the western gaze upon it and needs to answer for itself in an accessible and heart-tugging manner. Now and then we will accept literature from far-o This is one strain of the virus we call Middlebrow Literature. Issuetastic fiction that turns up-to-date, politically loaded topical material into powerful works of stating the obvious whose aim is to educate the Uninformed or Casually Interested Westerner in the ways of another culture at a time when that culture or nation is under scrutiny, or has the western gaze upon it and needs to answer for itself in an accessible and heart-tugging manner. Now and then we will accept literature from far-off nations if said books reduce complex issues to the level of sentimental manipulation and utilise a stripped-down prose style dripping with enough faux-literariness so that it reads like actual “well-crafted and deeply felt” literature, as opposed to zeitgeist-catching aleatory drivel destined to fester in second hand shops and the shelves of bedtime readers the world over, as though suggesting its owner possesses a well-deep knowledge of the human heart over the unfeeling prick with his comic books and his Vonneguts who could never possibly understand the suffering of another if he doesn’t weep copious buckets at this morally juvenile, cheesy TV-movie atrocity posing as a work of literary art.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Praveen

    I read this novel five years ago and I confess, at that time, It was my best read for some time. I enjoyed this book....Amir the narrator of novel has narrated it beautifully. The sense of insecurity in the father-son relation has been woven nicely and the sense of redemption and guilt is main theme in the psyche of narrator. I found entire story heart wrenching and the scenes and plot around the friendship of two boys from two different and opposite strata of the society were perfectly written and I read this novel five years ago and I confess, at that time, It was my best read for some time. I enjoyed this book....Amir the narrator of novel has narrated it beautifully. The sense of insecurity in the father-son relation has been woven nicely and the sense of redemption and guilt is main theme in the psyche of narrator. I found entire story heart wrenching and the scenes and plot around the friendship of two boys from two different and opposite strata of the society were perfectly written and composed by Khaled. Novel's depiction is full of warmth and humor. Being a first work of Khaled, I admire his way of writing and the way he advances his story. Don't be surprised, If you find your eyes wet sometimes while turning some of the pages of the kite runner... !! “There is only one sin. and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth.” and then... “There is a way to be good again...” Though at times,somewhere in between,I found it lacking in pace still the entire plot was engaging. The most interesting part of the story for me, was the friendship portrayal of Aamir and Hassan. It was written with all tenderness and innocence of childhood. "Though they both climbed the poplar trees together... ... On the south end of the garden, in the shadows of a loquat tree, Hassan lived alone without him in the servant quarters."

  26. 5 out of 5

    F

    Loved this. Film was terrible.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Gill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I must admit that although I had heard plenty of people mention The Kite Runner, I hadn’t actually paid much attention to what was said about it other than, “It was wonderful!” So, a few days ago and several years after the book came out, I heard a couple of people discussing the “wonderful” book I decided to read it. The first day, I read about a third of the novel (Hassan is raped, Amir feels bad, well sort of, he feels bad that Hassan is raped yes, but even worse because Hassan’s rape makes hi I must admit that although I had heard plenty of people mention The Kite Runner, I hadn’t actually paid much attention to what was said about it other than, “It was wonderful!” So, a few days ago and several years after the book came out, I heard a couple of people discussing the “wonderful” book I decided to read it. The first day, I read about a third of the novel (Hassan is raped, Amir feels bad, well sort of, he feels bad that Hassan is raped yes, but even worse because Hassan’s rape makes him feel bad and, of course, this means he needs to act badly and do bad things, and make more bad stuff happen to Hassan who is not bad at all.) And, I will admit that this portion of the book had me reading as quickly as I could. I flipped from one page to the next, skimmed over the plethora of annoyances, oops, I mean I skimmed over the Farsi vocab sprinkled evenly throughout to, of course, add authenticity and give it that multicultural feel that is sure to make every publisher drool over a manuscript, and I was even forgiving of the somewhat poor writing. Yes, on day one, I liked The Kite Runner. I was into The Kite Runner. And when I decided to continue my read the next day – I had high hopes! The second day, I read to the point where Amir gets a phone call from a man he has not seen in years, abandons his “perfect life” in America (well, almost perfect, there is the infertility and the gap that his wife’s uterus is forming between them, but their sex life is still good – sometimes… WHAT!? Never mind…) so, anyway, Amir hops on a plane to Afghanistan which is being ruled by the Taliban, yet he enters without issue, and follows the yellow brick road and lands at OZ where it turns out that the man behind the glasses is not John Lennon at all – he is Assef – his childhood nemesis, pedophile, and just plain evil guy (and you know he is evil cause he likes Hitler – although he has never heard of ethic cleansing). So, Amir walks right into the Taliban compound and asks to see the wizard, I mean their leader, and is allowed to do so (actually it was more difficult for Dorothy to get in to see the wizard, she should have taken Amir with her) and when he gets in, we find out that Hassan’s son is made to dress like a monkey - GET IT A MONKEY – ya know like the monkey that Amir and Hassan would go see (too bad it wasn’t a flying monkey) – and provide entertainment for the Taliban, and provide sexual services for Assef – the same guy that had sex with Hassan and, now the obviously simple minded reader that Hosseini wrote for, says, “that is so weird the way that all happened, wow, I cant believe the way this is all coming together, this is sooooooo fascinating!” Oh, and for the thinking reader with any literary competence who MAY think that this is too much of a coincidence, don’t be so critical; this issue was already addressed when Amir ran into a beggar that happened to have taught with (and remembered doing so) Amir’s mother. We, the readers, are clearly TOLD that coincidence is VERY common in Afghanistan. Therefore, if the rest of the story seems too contrived, don’t worry, it is realistic for Afghanistan. So, don’t question it, cause he is the expert on Afghanistan and you (the reader) are not, therefore, just accept that this completely ridiculous, unrealistic, obviously contrived series of events, are very realistic in Afghanistan! My third day of reading, I completed the book and instead of placing my hand over my heart, smiling, and thinking about how wonderful the book was, how beautiful the story was, and how it all came so nicely together in the end (apparently the reaction of the masses), I was mad. I was mad because there are so many people out there who think a book this ridiculous and obvious is brilliant. I was mad because this is precisely what is wrong with some multicultural literature and what gives multicultural literature a bad name. There are many pieces out there which are actually beautifully written, provide valuable insight into other cultures, and entertain the reader (i.e. Reading Lolita in Tehran), however, it does nothing for multicultural literature to publish pieces that are poorly written and filled with cliché. I can forgive (to a certain extent) poorer writing when the story is written as a true account and when the purpose of the novel to re-tell actual events. However, when an author decides he is going to write a piece of fiction, his style, diction, and storyline come into question. The final portion of the novel continues throwing out one cliché after another, and throws out one ridiculous coincidence after another. Just the fact that a good portion of the middle of the book was dedicated to pounding it into the readers head that Amir and Soraya could not have children and did not want to adopt, well, that is unless the bloodline is known, is enough to clue the reader in that they will adopt Sohrab waaaay before Amir even knows that he will adopt Sohrab. What a coincidence that Hassan just happened to be his half brother, happened to have a son, and the son happened to have been taken by Assef. And it was even more convenient that even from the grave, once again, Hassan could save Amir. He could provide him with a son and the opportunity to finally fight the big bully who STILL carried his brass knuckles. And more convenient yet, the fact that Sohrab always carried that slingshot (And in case we forgot that he always carried it, Amir remembered for us, as if Hosseini wants to say: see readers how clever I am, I set it up that Sohrab always had the slingshot, and now later in the story, it comes back out. See how clever I am readers, everything in my story has a purpose and is connected). However, what Hosseini needed to do is explain how a kid who has been taken from an orphanage, made to dress and entertain like a monkey, lives with the Taliban, and is a sex slave for the Big Bad Assef, still managed to keep his slingshot – the very weapon used against Assef in the past, and the very weapon that Assef has an issue with! Just how dumb must a reader be to believe that the freakin Taliban NEVER NOTICED!? So, okay, Sohrab saves Amir, they escape and the Taliban does nothing, and then another freaking coincidence – Amir will end up with a scar. And in case the reader does not deduce that Amir will have a scar from his busted lip, the doctor points it out and confirms it. Yes, reader, a scar like Hassan’s – get it? It’s connected – get it? Truth be told, there are so many unbelievable incidents and ridiculous coincidences presented to us in this book that it would take pages to go through them all because they were present from beginning to end: The young Russian soldier who doesn’t shoot Baba and the older Russian soldier who apologizes for him and talks about the young soldiers – YEAH RIGHT! The fact that Amir is an author who is published right away and cranks out novel after novel with great success – YEAH RIGHT! Baba dies of lung cancer and then Rahim Khan seems to have to same issue – does Hosseini think all people who die of natural causes die of lung issues? Raymond Andrews who has a bad attitude because his kid committed suicide, and then the receptionist actually tells Amir that this happened – the way this came out seemed completely fake and contrived because – IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN! Then, of course, Sohrab tries to kill himself, so now we know why Andrews kid had to commit suicide – we needed one more obvious instance of foreshadowing. It is also a little odd how often Amir throws out how he knows about medicine because he is a writer – WHAT? I didn’t know I needed to seek out an author when I was sick. And so on and so on… But one final point that I would like to make is that as soon as Amir picked up a kite it seemed that, much like Jesus, his hands began to bleed; therefore, I am left to wonder: why didn’t Amir know about the invent of gloves? Perhaps that is the biggest tragedy of it all. By the way, I am still giving the novel two stars because there is an interesting story in there, and the glimpse into Afghanistan is valuable. It is just that the author did such a poor job of presenting the story that it actually detracts from the positive aspects of the book and makes the validity of his glimpse into Afghanistan quite questionable. Therefore, my two stars are for the possibilities that could have been if it had been written by a talented author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.” I’ve read books before with an unreliable narrator and also read accounts of cowardice and shame. Amir, the first-person protagonist and narrator from Hosseini’s 2003 novel, filled me with such disgust and loathing that I almost put the book down at 25%. My doctor would say that Amir suffered from AWDD – Ass whooping deficiency disorder and I would enthusiastically second that diagnosis. That said, I invite everyone to read the boo “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.” I’ve read books before with an unreliable narrator and also read accounts of cowardice and shame. Amir, the first-person protagonist and narrator from Hosseini’s 2003 novel, filled me with such disgust and loathing that I almost put the book down at 25%. My doctor would say that Amir suffered from AWDD – Ass whooping deficiency disorder and I would enthusiastically second that diagnosis. That said, I invite everyone to read the book and see how it all plays out. “There is a way to be good again...” The poet Galway Kinnell once wrote that there are some regrets we can never be rid of. He was right in so many ways. An inability to forgive ourselves for past moments of cowardice, shame and inaction are the most troubling and relentless sorrows we can face as humans wandering around on this poor earth. We can forgive others, even those who have harmed us greatly, but looking ourselves in the eye and offering absolution can be an act beyond so many of us. I took my time getting to this book for a great many reasons and now that I have finally read it, I am so glad. This book moved me. Hosseini was able to pluck heart strings of emotion that I had thought silent and stolid. The themes of loyalty, friendship, devotion countered with betrayal, animosity and selfishness were plaintive notes played out in a literary orchestra of human sentiment. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” We follow a distorted tale of mistakes and timidity towards an ultimate chance at redemption. Amir’s is an understood but still contemptuous plight of lost opportunity. Shielded by cultural, social and religious privilege, his regrettable acts of pusillanimity are displayed against the heroic and admirable examples of his steadfast friend Hassan and his intrepid father. Hosseini paints us a picture of an evolving and destabilizing Afghanistan, tortured for years with Soviet occupation and then granted only the briefest of reprieves before falling to the theocratic and brutal rule of the Taliban. Amir’s journey is one of deliverance and redemption. Hosseini’s skill and adept description of a modern day caste system where an invisible division existed between the favored Pashtun and the disadvantaged Hazara may be a tale of Afghanistan, but this abstract and superficial distinction can also be a universal cautionary story about racism, intolerance and bigotry. Beautifully written and told with compassion, empathy and with a skilled writer’s eye for detail and expression, this can also be a painful book to read. Not for everyone, but for those who can endure what is at times heartbreaking the reward is as magnificent as is this work. “For you, a thousand times over” 

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jo (That book-hoarding geek)

    "For you, a thousand times over." Every now and again, a book comes along, and leaves my heart physically aching afterwards. This is certainly one of those books. "The Kite Runner" A fairly simple title, for an absolutely amazing book. I was swept away on a journey and on this journey I experienced a whole concoction of emotions; Shock Pain Disbelief Devastation Inspiration Compassion Sorrow... The style in which this author writes is nothing less than amazing. This is the second book I've read from "For you, a thousand times over." Every now and again, a book comes along, and leaves my heart physically aching afterwards. This is certainly one of those books. "The Kite Runner" A fairly simple title, for an absolutely amazing book. I was swept away on a journey and on this journey I experienced a whole concoction of emotions; Shock Pain Disbelief Devastation Inspiration Compassion Sorrow... The style in which this author writes is nothing less than amazing. This is the second book I've read from him, and he certainly hasn't disappointed. The story is powerful and harrowing, but it is handled with sheer poignancy, which makes it such a wonderful read. This book at times is definitely not easy to digest or even stomach. It literally made my heart beat a little faster, making me anxious to discover what happens next. My Mother has read this, but she struggled with the exceptionally painful story, which I can understand, as, at times, I had to shut the book, and take a few deep breaths before venturing to continue. What inspired me the most in this book, was the amazing friendship that existed between Hassan and Amir. Despite a certain race being totally persecuted, their friendship stands tall and true. It doesn't come across as a fake friendship either. You can almost feel the love that the two boys have for one another. I have seen the film of "The Kite Runner" and it just doesn't measure up to how incredible the book is. I love, love, LOVE this book. I'm just trying to figure out just how I'm going to sleep tonight.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I AM SO EMOTIONAL DON'T TOUCH ME. This story was beautiful and I learned so much from it and man. Just so good. I also read this for #diversathon (even though I'm finishing it about a week later) and I really feel like I learned so much about a culture that I really knew nothing about. It was eye opening and interesting and so educational. The characters were beautifully written and Amir was fantastically developed. Overall the plot was engaging though the pacing lacked at times. The message was b I AM SO EMOTIONAL DON'T TOUCH ME. This story was beautiful and I learned so much from it and man. Just so good. I also read this for #diversathon (even though I'm finishing it about a week later) and I really feel like I learned so much about a culture that I really knew nothing about. It was eye opening and interesting and so educational. The characters were beautifully written and Amir was fantastically developed. Overall the plot was engaging though the pacing lacked at times. The message was beautiful and the ending made me cry. Read this book IT IS GREAT.

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