The core story of The Kite Runner is very strong. Amir, the main protagonist is a motherless child of a very popular but distant Baba. He has grown up with Hassan, a member of the abused Hazara community. Hassan is both Amir’s best friend and servant. However, in a moment of timidity and fear, Amir betrays Hassan, refusing to help him in his darkest hour. This changes the nature of their relationship and creates a rift between Hassan and Amir. In the end, Hassan and his father finally move out of their house.
Amir’s journey from guilt to redemption is perfectly captured by Hosseini’s strong portrayal of characters and emotions. The dreadful guilt that childhood mistakes can cause and the fear that one must always pay for one’s actions. These and many more emotions are captured majestically by the author. In fact, despite the fact that Amir and his father were forced to migrate to California after the Soviet invasion, there is no escape for Amir. Even after he finds success as a writer, there is little that can save him from the guilt. In his search for atonement, he returns to Kabul. There he embarks on a remarkable journey to find redemption by rescuing Hassan’s orphaned son. From here, the story takes exciting turns and twists, as Amir finds out that the process of redemption and forgiveness requires patience, love and time.
The Bigger Picture
Drawn from the author’s own personal experience of Afghanistan, the book truly depicts life in the country both after and before the rise of the Taliban. Every aspect of the life and culture of the city is powerfully felt and evoked. With this book, the author has successfully managed to humanize a region that still remains hidden and unknown. Also, the author has created strong characters which have played a pivotal role in adding immense value to the story. So whether it is Amir, a person for whom you feel little or no sympathy to Hassan who bears the brunt of Amir’s decision to Baba, Rahim Khan, Sohrab or Soraya, each character is strongly etched out throughout the novel.
So, despite the fact that war and political conflict has rendered Afghanistan as a war-torn area, human drama and emotions play a very important in this saga. The author’s simple and effortless writing is effective as it helps the readers to identify with the emotions and dynamics of the characters which could exist in any country and culture. A vivid and unforgettable book, The Kite Runner makes other similar books pale in comparison.
In conclusion, Amir might be cowardly and timid, but this novel is full of courage, hope, love and above all redemption and atonement.
Highly recommended. A book unlike any other, it offers a glimpse into the life and culture of Afghanistan. Add to that the characters and scenes seem very authentic and detailed, giving the book a very realistic feel. The book is a tale full of courage and hope, even though the main character Amir, might lack them.