I meant to write about this book a few weeks back when I finished it, but life and opportunity beckoned and the Kite Runner was left on my shelf collecting dust while I refrained from blogging about it. But now, I got a little free time on my hands (ironically at work in Chester getting my Homer Simpson on).
The Kite Runner was an amazing book – one of the better reads I’ve had in a very long time. I think I might identify with this book a little more because I am brown and because I just went to India a few years back. The book takes place partly in Afghanistan and partly in San Francisco. Much of how he describes Afghanistan reminds me of India. Much of the Afghani culture is very similar to ours too, so I definitely could relate to the character and circumstances of the novel. Plus, there are a lot of references made to an annual kite festival they have in Afghanistan that is very reminiscent of the huge kite festival we have in Gujarat every year (called Uttarayan). That is one of my fondest memories from my most recent trip to India, so that festival holds a special place in my heart. That was another level on which I connected with the novel.
Anyways, the book basically revolves around a man in search of redemption. The main character is someone you feel pity for, even loathe at times in the beginning of the novel because of his misguided anger and resentment towards the people closest in his life. His self-pity and jealously causes him to irrevocably drive away a infallibly loyal lifelong friend. The main character is extremely reluctant to deal with the matters of his past, preferring to run from his mistakes and transgressions rather than facing them and dealing with them.
I know I am leaving out details, but the details matter and I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone. It is an emotionally gut-wrenching novel. Through the middle of the book, I felt as though my emotions were left tattered; I was emotionally numb. It is a gripping tale that keeps your interest piqued and your mind curious. This is one of those books you will be more than willing to lose sleep over just to finish.
Another thing I like about this novel is that the main character is not perfect; he is very fallible. At times, I even despised him and his cowardly actions. Then, I found myself rooting for him on his journey for redemption and salvation. Your heart strays from sadness to happiness to despair. The author does an amazing job of intertwining irony with the main character’s quest for redemption. Characters and storylines from the beginning of the novel are re-introduced later. Towards the end of the book, his haunting past resurfaces and he is afforded an opportunity to finally find peace.
I can go on and on about the story and the characters (as if I already haven’t), but I feel it would be a shame. I don’t want to ruin the story or give away any important details. It is best to read this novel uninitiated and with an open mind. This book is definitely a must read and will keep you interested and turning the page. I probably finished it in a week or so, but it is so good that I probably could’ve finished it in a day or two if given the time. Definitely worth a read…