This is a wonderful, beautiful epic of a novel. Set in Afghanistan and the United States between the 1970s to the present day, it is a heartbreaking tale of a young boy, Amir, and his best friend who are torn apart. This is a classic word-of-mouth novel and is sure to become as universally loved as The God of Small Things and The Glass Palace.
Twelve year old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father Baba, one of the richest and most respected merchants in Kabul. He has failed to do so through academia or brawn, but the one area where they connect is the annual kite fighting tournament. Amir is determined not just to win the competition but to run the last kite and bring it home triumphantly, to prove to his father that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan is the best kite runner that Amir has ever seen, and he promises to help him - for Hassan always helps Amir out of trouble. But Hassan is a Shi'a Muslim and this is 1970s Afghanistan. Hassan is taunted and jeered at by Amir's school friends; he is merely a servant living in a shack at the back of Amir's house. So why does Amir feel such envy towards his friend? Then, what happens to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament is to shatter all their lives, and define their futures.
The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini's deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir's closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with "a face like a Chinese doll" was the son of Amir's father's servant and a member of Afghanistan's despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul's annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.
Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics. Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story of modern Afghanistan and of Amir's equally guilt-ridden relationship with the war-torn city of his birth. The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner begins in the final days of King Zahir Shah's 40-year reign and traces the country's fall from a secluded oasis to a tank-strewn battlefield controlled by the Russians and then the trigger-happy Taliban. When Amir returns to Kabul to rescue Hassan's orphaned child, the personal and the political get tangled together in a plot that is as suspenseful as it is taut with feeling.
The son of an Afghan diplomat whose family received political asylum in the United States in 1980, Hosseini combines the unflinching realism of a war correspondent with the satisfying emotional pull of master storytellers such as Rohinton Mistry. Like the kite that is its central image, the story line of this mesmerizing first novel occasionally dips and seems almost to dive to the ground. But Hosseini ultimately keeps everything airborne until his heartrending conclusion in an American picnic park.
--Lisa Alward, Amazon.ca
For You, a Thousand Times over
I am convinced that few books are as good as this one. To be honest, I hadn’t maintained that this book would appeal me before I read it. However, I was absorbed in the book from the first chapter to the last one. Why this book has appealed to me that much? I asked myself. This book is not my type of reading for only romantic books could draw my attention successfully. Then I came into a conclusion that it is the friendship and familyship fascinated me.
To the world you are one person, but to the person who loves you, you are the world. Amir was Hassan’s world. Amir’s name had been the first word Hassan spoke. Hassan threatened brutal Assef for the sake of Amir. Hassan never failed to run the kite to please Amir. Hassan sacrificed himself for Amir’s house. These are more than a friend would do. Only those who loves you so much could challenge himself to do what Hassan did to Amir.To Hassan, Amir was not only a mere friend but a brother. He loved Amir more than anything else. Even after Amir betrayed him, he still told his son proudly"Agan Amir is my best friend".Maybe for Hassan "for you, a thousand times over" has another meaning, which is not just kite running for Amir but he will do anything for Amir.
If Hassan could be described as an angel, then Amir was just a person. I did hate Amir for he watched Hassan be raped and did nothing, for he made Hassan leave his born-place, for he aimed Hassan with fruit（even though he actually tried to make himself get punished）。 Amir didn’t deserve what Hassan did to him. I thought his meanness caused Hassan’s tragedy. But after I finished the book, I realized it is not Hassan’s tragedy, it is Amir’s. For what he had done to Hassan, he had led a live with regret and suffered endless sleepless nights. His going back to Afghanistan is not only a journey physically but a journey to atonement. Hassan’s son, his nephew saved, Amir’s sin was finally washed. Like the life of circle, Amir ran kite for his miserable nephew.As Hassan did to him, he said "for you , a thousand times over" to Sohrab.Though the book doesn’t give us an accurate ending whether Sohrab came into life again. I am sure love can cure everything. Only when Sohrab lives a happy life as Hassan hoped can Amir’s sin washed up.
The friendship between Hassan and Amir moved me. I believe All the people who read it is going to be touched just as I am. This book does make me think the good and the bad ,what’s wrong and what’s right, the cruelty of war . Few books can exert an influence on people nowadays, this book sure does.
I hate wars which make the world bloody ,cold and cruel, so I do not want to talk about the war. But it is miraculous to see a kite is cut off by another one. And the kite which is cut off flies away like a free bird.
Hassan said to Amir that for you, one thousand times over. At first, I tought the friendship between Hassan and Amir was so deep. But then I found that Hassan was a servant in Amir’s home and began to realize it is some kind of loyalty. Though Hassan always said that Amir treated him as a friend, deep in his mind, he did not put them on the same line. In his eyes, Amir is the person he should look up to and protect, even do whatever he can do to help.
Amir was affluence in material, but he did not have friends because of his race. I dislike him because he always ran away when Hassan was hurted by the others in order to protect him. In my opinion, if he stand up for Hassan, things would have been different. I could not understand why Amir cheated to make Hassan leave at first, though their "friendship" is complicated. Now I come to know that Amir may try to push Hassan out of the position as a servant. And he wished that they stand in the same line and Hassan can chase for the things wanted by himself.
Though Amir’s father said that a boy who won’t stand up for himself, becomes a man who won’t stand for anything, Amir finally turned into a brave man who standed up for Sohrab, the son of Hassan.
The kite tied Hassan and Amir tighter tighly. When I saw Hassan running after the kite, I realized that he was chasing for freedom as well. However when I saw Hassan running after the kite, I thought he was learning to protect things he cherished. There are many kites we are willing to have, but do you have the courage to chase for them?