THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini

August 26, 2008 at 8:00 pm 2 comments

I just finished reading Kite Runner, and OMG. I mean, I’d watched the movie, but even knowing what was going to happen (pretty much) didn’t stop me from getting totally hooked by the book. I finished it in about 6 hours total, which also speaks to the readability of the prose. Some people mentioned to me that they found the writing too pedestrian, but I found it appropriate to the voice and a way of easily understanding and connecting with people and places that I might not have otherwise.

Things I really enjoyed:

– The completeness of the theme. It absolutely permeates the story, and every scene, every page contributes towards its full exploration, development, and ultimately resolution.

– The richness of the descriptions. Somehow Hosseini paints a very vivid picture (for me perhaps assisted by the scenes in the movie) that beautifully describe a country I knew so little about, and thought had always been desert-like wasteland.

– Characterization. I think this is Hosseini’s greatest feat, his ability to describe people not by how they look or what they wear, but with actions and metaphors that give an immediate and clear picture of WHO they really are.

– The fast-paced prose that keeps the reader (and the story) moving across the vast landscape and many settings. I wouldn’t have expected to finished a 370-page book in one sitting, but this is one of those (pardon the cliche) “couldn’t put it down”s.

As for movie vs. book… well, I did like that the movie left out the last incident with Sohrab and the bathtub, because I didn’t find it necessary to the overall theme of the book, but in all I thought they were both quite good and faithful to each other in spirit.

I also found the successes of the story — its excitement, its themes, its emotion — very inspirational to me as a writer. Naturally I’d be very happy if I wrote something as good as The Kite Runner, and as successful, haha.

Fave lines/excerpts:

There is a way to be good again. (p 2)

With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can’t love a person who lives like that without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little. (p 15)

“A boy who won’t stand up for himself becomes a man who can’t stand up to anything.” (p 22)

“But better to get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” (p 58)

Every woman needed a husband. Even if he did silence the song in her. (p 178)

(Okay, that last one made me put a frowny face in the margin, but I thought it was really telling.)

As an Afghan, I knew it was better to be miserable than rude. (p 229)

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. (p 359)


Entry filed under: books, excerpts. Tags: , , .

THE POTOMAC REVIEW, Issue 42 The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pages and pages -  |  August 27, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    […] after finishing the Potomac, I gobbled up THE KITE RUNNER (my thoughts on its AMAZING-NESS here) and now I’m onto The Cincinnati Review 4.1. It feels good to be reading this much, so […]

  • 2. diane  |  August 27, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    okay, you’ve convinced me to watch the movie, and then i’ll get back to you. :)


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