The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2003
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page: 352 pages
Cost: Rs. 178.60 (Kindle edition)
Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
The primary subject matter of this book is that of: Redemption. Amir strives to redeem himself in Baba’s eyes, primarily because his mother died giving birth to him, and he feels responsible. To redeem himself to Baba, Amir thinks he must win the kite-tournament and bring Baba the losing kite, both of which are pivotal incidents that set the tone for the novel.
A major part of the plot involves the political unrest in the state and the unfortunate events that unfolded because of that. It shows Kabul during the monarchy, the founding of the republic, and then moving forward as the Soviet invasion and infighting between rival Afghan groups ruin the country.
Every character is haunted by their past in this book but Amir and Sohrab in particularly. Sohrab’s past has been so traumatizing that it affects all his behaviour. The prolonged physical and sexual abuse he endured makes him flinch anytime Amir touches him. He also fears the abandonment he experienced when his parents died.
Another very important concept of the book is Amir and Hassan’s wonderful friendship. Amir’s superior social status causes a difference between them, which is later complicated when Amir learns that Hassan is actually his half-brother. Rahim Khan is a very important character for understanding friendship in the novel. He is a friend to both Baba and Amir.
The story is very fast paced and literally never dull and it evokes every emotions any human can ever feel making it a wholesome book to read.
- Four years after its publication, The Kite Runner was adapted as motion picture starring Khalid Abdalla as Amir, Homayoun Ershadi as Baba, and Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada as Hassan. It was initially scheduled to premiere in November 2007, but the release date was pushed back six weeks to evacuate the Afghan child stars from the country after they received death threats.
About the Author:
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul. In 1976, the Foreign Ministry relocated the Hosseini family to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet Army.
Hosseini graduated from high school in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988. The following year he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned a medical degree in 1993.
In March 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, which was published by Riverhead Books in 2003. That debut went on to launch one of the biggest literary careers of our time. Today, Khaled Hosseini is one of the most recognized and bestselling authors in the world. His books, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, have been published in over seventy countries and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.