Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

‘The Kite Runner’ is a fabulous book and also a wonderful movie.
I read the book about 3 years back. I was member of this library from where you could borrow a couple of books, read and then return for some other books. When I read the back cover, I found it intriguing. So, I just picked it up.

It was a ‘difficult’ book to read – not in language or expression but in content, in the emotions that it evoked. It left me with a heavy heart. It was like Shashi Deshpande’s books. When you are done, you would feel as if you have lived the book. Just like in Deshpande’s books, the feelings are described so clearly that you end up living those yourself; and eventually you end up ‘living’ the book. So, when the book gets over, you feel empty for sometime.

The basic plot is that of two friends - Amir and Hassan but beyond the surface, this book addresses a lot of political, sociological and emotional issues. Amir’s dad is a rich guy and Hassan’s father works at Amir’s home. But there is deep friendship between the two. Hassan – from supposedly a low caste - is so devoted to Amir that he would do anything for his sake. The book is about how he puts himself at stake and faces deep humiliation, for Amir. 

Amir is not so brave. He carries the guilt of knowing what Hassan goes through and not doing anything about it. 

Both get separated due to political turmoil and family situations, but eventually Amir risks his life to save Hassan’s son and pays the dues of friendship, at the end.
Don’t want to be a spoiler, so no matter how much I want to write the story here, I would control myself.

The movie was beautiful. There is an effortless translation of book into the movie. I could not stop myself from crying for Hassan and feeling deep sense of injustice in knowing that he only did the right thing, yet he lost his life. 

The movie also reminded how an Afghan used to be reminiscent of “Kabulliwalah” – the big-hearted pathan; unlike today, where people look at an Afghan with suspicion. It is also sad to look at the deteriorated condition of life there, abject injustice in the name of religion. When the world is progressing toward growth and development, Talibans support regressive culture and clearly favour stone age! It is even difficult to imagine life for them. 

Watch the movie (and read the book) for its sensitivity and beautiful portrayal of human emotions and friendship. It is every bit worth it.


  1. i felt it was a slow starter but then later it was unputdownable.

    Veyr filmy at places but a racy & wonderful read it was. Am yet to see the movie though :(

  2. Mmmmm...actually, you are right. I did struggle in first few pages but then it was really unputdownable. And yeah, it is filmy, especially when Amir is able to take Hassan's kid right from under the nose of Talibanis. But I would not have liked it any other way.
    We surely are sucker for happy endings or let's say justice...inner peace!

  3. The film made on the book of Khalid is quite comprehending depicting Taliban and their sexual frustration.

  4. A minor nitpick - the author's name is Khaled Hosseini, not Khaled Hossieni. I loved both, the book and the movie, BTW.

  5. @ lawyerjourno: You are absolutely correct, and I'm so intrigued by the kind of life they have that I am looking out for some more books from the place to read.

  6. @ Sayontan: Thanks for correcting me. I was actually confused about the spelling but did not search on net to correct myself (lazy me!). I agree, both are fantastic.