Let the morning sun forget to rise in the East,Go slowly, lovely moon, go slowly Men are easy, a man s plumbing is like his mind simple, very few surprises You ladies, on the other hand well, God put a lot of thought into making you All my life, I d been around men That night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman And I could almost feel the emptiness in her womb, like it was a living, breathing thing It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I d feel it rising from her and settling between us Sleeping between us Like a newborn child America was a river, roaring along unmindful of the past I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins If for nothing else, for that I embraced America and every day I thank God that I am alive, not because I fear death, but because my wife has a husband and my son is not an orphan lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty sometimes the dead are luckier He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints He moved as if not to stir the air around him and when she locked her arms around my neck, when I smelled apples in her hair, I realized how much I had missed her You re still the morning sun to me I whispered there is a God, there always has been I see him here, in the eys of the people in this hospital corridor of desperation This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.
Finished this book about a month ago but it s taken me this long to write a review about it because I have such mixed feelings about it It was a deeply affecting novel, but mostly not in a good way I really wanted to like it, but the I think about what I didn t like about the book, the it bothers me I even downgraded this review from two stars to one from the time I started writing it to the time I finished.
Let s start off with the good, shall we The writing itself was pretty good when it comes to description, in that I really felt the author s descriptions of scenes, and in terms of moving the story forward That said, it s not particularly challenging writing to read.
The very best part of the novel is its warm depiction of the mixed culture of Afghanistan, and how it conveys the picture of a real Afghanistan as a living place, before the coup, the Soviet invasion, and above all, the Taliban and the aftermath of September 11th created a fossilized image in the US of a failed state, petrified in backwardness and locked in the role of a villain from central casting Now for the not so good Spoiler Alert because I don t think I m going to be able to complain about what I didn t like about the book without revealing major plot points Not to mention, some of what follows will only make sense to someone who has read the book So if you don t want to spoil it for yourself, read no further, here be spoilers My overwhelming emotion throughout the book is feeling entirely manipulated Of course, one major reason for this is that the author s attempts at metaphor, allegory, and forshadowing are utterly ham fisted When he wants to make a point, he hits you over the head with it, hard Amir s split lip Hassan s cleft palate comes immediately, resoundingly to mind.
But I feel manipulated beyond that The members of the servant class in this story suffer tragic, unspeakable calamities, sometimes at the hands of our fine hero, and yet the novel seems to expect the reader to reserve her sympathies for the wronged privileged child, beating his breast over the emotional pain of living with the wounds he has selfishly inflicted upon others How, why, am I supposed to feel worse for him as he feels bad about what he has done to others Rather than feeling most sympathy and kinship for those who, through absolutely no fault of their own, must suffer, not just once or twice, but again and again Of course this elevation of identification with the wounded flawed hero goes hand in hand with an absolutely detestable portrayal of the members of the servant class as being at their utmost happiest when they are being their most servile and utterly subjugating their own needs, wants, desires, pleasures their own selves, in fact to the needs of their masters Even when they are protecting their masters from their own arrogance, heartlessness, or downright stupidity I don t see how the main character, Amir, could possibly be likeable Amir s battle with Assef, momentous as it is, is not so much him taking a stand because he feels driven to do so or feels that he must Rather, he acts with very little self agency at all he is or less merely carried forward into events And, over, in the end it is Sohrab Hassan again who saves him I finished the novel resenting Amir, and even intensely resenting the author for trying to make the reader think she s supposed to care about Amir, than about anyone else in the story.
A couple other points I m wondering if one theme of the novel is that there are no definitive happy endings, no single immutable moments of epiphany or redemption Because Amir s moral triumph , such as it is, over Assef, is so short lived He manages to crash horrifically only a week or two later, when he goes back on his word to Sohrab about his promise not to send him to an orphanage.
And lastly, I don t understand why Baba s hypocrisy is not of a theme He makes such a point of drilling into his son s head that a lie is a theft of one s right to the truth His own hipocrisy there is a profound thing, and it s a shame the author doesn t do with it Nevertheless, after all the bad things I had to say about it, I do have a couple quotes worth keeping Every woman needed a husband Even if he did silence the song in her p.
178 That s the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib That s the Afghanistan I know You You ve always been a tourist here, you just didn t know it p 232 UPDATE I originally posted my review The Kite Runnerin February 2008 Since then, my review has generated a very robust response from other Goodreads members I have responded a couple of times in the comments section, but I realize that by now, the comments section has gotten long enough that some folks may not realize that I have added some clarifications to my review So, although the extended reply that I posted in the comments section in October 2008 is still available in the comments section, I am re posting it here, so people don t miss it.
I also want to offer my continued thanks to those who have read, liked, and or comment on my review of The Kite RunnerThis kind of back and forth conversation on books is exactly why I signed on to Goodreads I appreciate the feedback, and look forward to engaging in such discussion Finally, one quick reply One recent commenter asked how I could have given this book only a 1 star rating, if I was so affected by it As I replied in the comments, the short answer is that I am guided by Goodread s prompts when I rate a book Two stars is It was OK 1 star is I didn t like it While I have praised a few things about the book, the bottom line is, overall, I didn t like it Linda, 22 July 2011 Posted 24 October 2008 There have been many comments to my review since I first wrote it, and I thought it might be about time for me to weigh in for a moment.
Before I get into my response, I must start off with a great thank you for all those who have felt sufficiently moved positively or negatively by my review to comment and respond I appreciate all the comments, whether I agree with them or not.
First of all, I d like to address the question of whether we re supposed to like Amir or not Yes, I do realize that sometimes writers create and or focus on a character that the reader is not meant to like Here, though, the story is clearly meant to be about some kind of redemption but I found Amir so distasteful, that I simply wasn t interested in his redemption The focus of the story was entirely on how Amir s life had been corrupted by the despicable things he d done when the things he d done were entirely part and parcel of the position of power and privilege he occupied over Hassan.
Which brings me to my second point, the insufferable current of paternalism that runs throughout the story The members of the servant and poorer classes are consistently portrayed as saintly, absurdly self sacrificing, one dimensional characters Regardless of what terrible things befall them, they are shown to have nothing but their masters interests at heart Granted, it may be unlikely that the powerless would be overtly talking back and setting their masters straight however, the novel gives no indication that they even have any private wishes of recrimination, or much of a private life, for that matter Given this portrayal, it is even difficult for me to muster any interest in Amir s suffering But to suggest that perhaps we re misinterpreting the servants subservient attitudes because we approach the story from a different time, place, or culture, is simply to engage in a cultural relativism borne out of and perpetuating the very same paternalism.
To clarify my point, let s look at some comparable examples from US culture Consider any one of a huge number of films such as Driving Miss Daisy, Clara s Heart, Bagger Vance, or Ghost all simply continuing a tradition that reaches back to Shirley Temple s days in which noble servants or similar helpers have absolutely no concern in their lives other than making sure the wealthy people they are serving have happy, fulfilled lives while they themselves never seem to have any of their own personal hopes, desires, triumphs, tragedies, or even any hint of a home, family, personal, or romantic life at all Their total happiness is bound up entirely with serving the lives of their rich counterparts It is this quality, present throughout Hosseini s book, that bothers me most.
In the end, however, a beautifully written story could have overcome these criticisms or at the very least, I would have been able to temper or counter my points above with lavish praise for the writing However, here, again, the novel falls flat It is not particularly well written As some other commenters have also pointed out, the storytelling is quite heavy handed, and the narrative suffers from implausible plot twists and uncanny coincidences, and a writing style that relies far too heavily on cliches and obvious literary devices.
I wish that I could say I liked the book To answer another commenter s question, I haven t read A Thousand Splendid Suns I m afraid I wasn t particularly motivated to do so after my reaction to this one However, I do believe, as that commenter also suggests, that there is something to be gained from the debate and discussion that the book has inspired.
Due to the large number of negative comments I ve received, including death wishes, I ve added the following request Please do not take this review or yourself too seriously when reading it.
I became what I am today at the age of twenty nine, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 2008 What I am about to tell you about what I became is going to be very shocking It is going to manipulate your emotions It may include some random words in my native language for no reason whatsoever It will teach you unnecessary things about my culture It will not be smarter than a fifth grader And it will include as many cliches and as much foreshadowing as is humanly possible You are going to be shocked I, for one, never saw it coming So I doubt you will Get ready Aren t you so ready to be shocked You re never going to see this coming.
What comes next is the big revelation, so get ready Wait, I need to ask you something first Did you know that the Irish like potatoes Yeah, we really enjoy them And alcohol too It s pretty great Erin Go BraghThis means Ireland Forever Unfortunately, you will be very sad to know that my father just died due to an Irish car bomb Well, about 15 of them to be exact All on an empty stomach It makes me sad and you should feel sad too, kind reader.
Ok, on to the big reveal Here it is On that frigid overcast day, which happened to be the day that I decided to quit reading The Kite Runner, I became a book snob Because The Kite Runner is adored by most people who read it, I am forced to conclude that most people need to read A whole lot You should be embarrassed if you like this book Seriously The moment I became a book snob shortly after The Scene , I became so embarrassed to be seen reading it that I accused the guy sitting next to me on the subway of putting the book on my lap while I wasn t paying attention How dare you, sir Have you no decency I exclaimed excitedly in my native language Then I noticed a monkey on the platform waiting to board a train I quickly hopped off my train, ran to him, handed him the book, and said Top O the Mornin to yaEnjoy Later that day, I saw that monkey flying a kite in front of the Washington Monument I noticed that the glass string wasn t making his hands bloody Do you know why He was wearing gloves Please note that I have absolutely no appreciation for life and reality Bart Bondeson, who claims to be a better person for having read this book, suggested that I make this clarification to my review Thanks for the suggestion, Bart Hopefully that clears things up for those who were wondering.
This is the sort of book White America reads to feel worldly Just like the spate of Native American pop fiction in the late eighties, this is overwhelmingly colonized literature, in that it pretends to reveal some aspect of the other culture, but on closer inspection aside from the occasional tidbit it is a thoroughly western story, firmly ensconced in the western tradition Even those tidbits Hosseini gives are of such a vague degree that to be impressed by them, one would have to have almost no knowledge of the history of Afghanistan, nor the cultural conflicts raging there between the Shia and Sunni Muslims, or how it formed a surrogate battleground for Russia and the United States in the Cold War, or for Colonial conflicts in the centuries before Sadly, for all the daily news reports about Afghanistan, most people know very little of its history.
Hosseini s story is thickly foreshadowed and wraps up so neatly in the end that the reader will never have to worry about being surprised Every convenient coincidence that could happen, does happen He does attempt to bring some excitement to the story with dramatized violence, but that s hardly a replacement for a well constructed plot He is also fond of forcing tension by creating a small conflict between two characters and then having them agonize over it for years, despite the fact that it would be easy to fix and the characters have no reason to maintain the conflict And since the conflict does not grow or change over time, everything is quickly reduced to petty and repetitive reactions.
He even creates a cliched white devil character, a literal sociopath and pedophile as the symbol for the evils of the Taliban This creates an odd conflict in the narrative, since one of the main themes is that simple inequalities and pointless conflicts stem from Afghan tradition, itself His indelicate inclusion of wealthy, beautiful, white power as the source of religious turmoil in the mid east negates his assertion that the conflicts are caused by small mindedness The fact that this character seems to have the depth of motivation of a Disney villain also means that he does not work as a representation of the fundamental causes of colonial inequality, which tend to be economic, not personal The various mixed messages about the contributors to the ongoing Afghan conflict suggest that Hosseini does not have anything insightful to say about it.
Perhaps the worst part about this book is how much it caters to the ignorance of White America It will allow naive readers to feel better about themselves for feeling sympathy with the larger mid east conflict, but is also lets them retain a sense of superiority over the Muslims for their backwards, classicist, warlike ways In short, it supports the condescending, parental view that many Americans already have about the rest of the world And it does all this without revealing any understanding of the vast and vital economic concerns which make the greater mid east so vitally important to the future of the world.
It is unfortunate that nowhere amongst this book s artfully dramatized violence and alternative praising and demonizing of the West is there the underlying sense of why this conflict is happening, of what put it all into place, and of why it will continue to drag us all down The point where it could turn sympathy into indignation or realization is simply absent.
There is a bad joke on the internet showing a map of the world with the mid east replaced by a sea filled crater with the comment problem solved What this map fails to represent is that there is a reason the West keeps meddling in the affairs of the mid east, and that every time we do, it creates another conflict because almost every group who we decry as terrorists now were originally trained and armed by the US and Western powers to serve our economic interests.
As long as we see extremists as faceless sociopaths, we can do nothing against them We must recognize that normal people fall down these paths, and that everyone sees himself as being in the right Who is right the Westerner whose careless bomb kills a child, or the Muslim s that does The point shouldn t be to separate the good Muslims from the bad Muslims , because people aren t fundamentally good or bad They are fundamentally people Almost without exception, they are looking out for their future, their children, and their communities Calling someone evil merely means you have ceased to try understanding their point of view, and decided instead to merely hate because it s easier to remain ignorant than to try to understand.
This book isn t particularly insightful or well written, but that is in no way unusual in bestsellers The problem is that Americans are going to use this book to justify their ignorance about the problems in the east This book will make people feel better about themselves, instead of helping them to think better about the world.
For an actually insightful, touching view of the Afghan conflict, I would suggest avoiding this bit of naive melodrama and looking up Emmanuel Guibert s The Photographer.
The kite runner, 2003, Khaled HosseiniThe Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan American author Khaled Hosseini Published in 2003 by Riverhead books, it tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime 2005 1383 422 9645881927 21 1384 456 1385 383 9789643284953 1386 368 9644482972 1387 393 9789646939694 1388 331 9789642569410 1389 508 9786005541557 1389 376 9786001710421 1392 338 9786007076026 1393 368 9786007364055 It May Be Unfair, But What Happens In A Few Days, Sometimes Even A Single Day, Can Change The Course Of A Whole Lifetime Amir Is The Son Of A Wealthy Kabul Merchant, A Member Of The Ruling Caste Of Pashtuns Hassan, His Servant And Constant Companion, Is A Hazara, A Despised And Impoverished Caste Their Uncommon Bond Is Torn By Amir S Choice To Abandon His Friend Amidst The Increasing Ethnic, Religious, And Political Tensions Of The Dying Years Of The Afghan Monarchy, Wrenching Them Far Apart But So Strong Is The Bond Between The Two Boys That Amir Journeys Back To A Distant World, To Try To Right Past Wrongs Against The Only True Friend He Ever HadThe Unforgettable, Heartbreaking Story Of The Unlikely Friendship Between A Wealthy Boy And The Son Of His Father S Servant, The Kite Runner Is A Beautifully Crafted Novel Set In A Country That Is In The Process Of Being Destroyed It Is About The Power Of Reading, The Price Of Betrayal, And The Possibility Of Redemption And An Exploration Of The Power Of Fathers Over Sons Their Love, Their Sacrifices, Their LiesA Sweeping Story Of Family, Love, And Friendship Told Against The Devastating Backdrop Of The History Of Afghanistan Over The Last Thirty Years, The Kite Runner Is An Unusual And Powerful Novel That Has Become A Beloved, One Of A Kind Classic 4.
5 stars Oh, my heart This was heartbreaking and beautifully written When you kill a man, you steal a life You steal his wife s right to a husband, rob his children of a father When you tell a lie, you steal someone s right to the truth When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness There is no act wretched than stealing I m going to be honest with you To read this book was a constant struggle, not because I didn t like the writing style, not because it was bad and not because it was boring No, if anything The Kite Runner was so hard to read because it was so exceptionally painful This book made me so sad I felt helpless and angry and there were times I actually was than just tempted to stop reading Some of the chapters were just too hard to bear and the book touched me in a way I can t even describe It did something with me and I m still not sure whether this was good or bad.
All I know is that the injustice in this book made me furious and that I just have to think about it and already feel sick to my stomach again There were so many serious topics in this book but I think what really got to me was the central theme of violence, injustice and abuse To read The Kite Runner was so devastating and nerve racking I actually couldn t read than two chapters a day It was so upsetting that I found it difficult to motivate myself to read it and even though this was such a painful read, I still wanted to know what would happen next.
Amir s and Hassan s story was so horrible, appalling, powerful and beautiful at the same time It left me completely broken and raw and I think my emotions are still all over the place So if my review sounds a little incoherent and illogical you can blame it on the book hangover I m currently suffering from XDBut we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either.
The plot Amir and Hassan are best friends who grew up together and live in Kabul They do almost everything together and one of their favourite hobbies is kite running One day there is a local kite fighting tournament Amir is determined to win and with the help of Hassan he is even able to achieve his goal The victory of the tournament comes with a high price though and in the end their moment of happiness isn t only short lived but also comes to an abrupt end What happens after the competition destroys their lifelong friendship and shakes the foundations of their trust, the course of their lives changing as they try to deal with the repercussions of a single dayIt may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime, Amir, he said.
The characters Beware there are plenty of spoilers lying ahead of you AmirI pretended I was reading from the book, flipping pages regularly, but I had abandoned the text altogether, taken over the story, and made up my own Hassan, of course, was oblivious to this To him, the words on the page were a scramble of codes, indecipherable, mysterious Words were secret doorways and I held all the keys Puh, what to say about him I think I never disliked a protagonist as much as I disliked the narrator of this story I just couldn t stand his younger self and I thought he wasn t just egoistic but also spoiled and than just unethical The way Amir treated Hassan made me sick and his betrayal towards his best friend hurt so much I mean how could he let this happen How could he stand aside without intervening How could he even think that Hassan is just a Hazara I don t understand it and if I m entirely honest I really think that it was good he felt bad throughout the entire book His past haunted him and in the end it actually made him a better person A person that stood up to bad people and a person I was finally able to forgive It was a long journey for Amir but he eventually did the right thing and when I read the finial sentences of this book I was even proud of him XDIt s all right I turned to the general You see, General Sahib, my father slept with his servant s wife She bore him a son named Hassan Hassan is dead now That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan s son He s my nephew That s what you tell people when they ask They were all staring at me And one thing, General Sahib, I said You will never again refer to him as a Hazara boy in my presence He has a name and it s Sohrab I waited 331 pages for that to happen XDHassanThen Hassan did pick up a pomegranate He walked toward me He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead There, he croaked, red dipping down his face like blood Are you satisfied Do you feel better He turned around and started down the hill God bless his kind and innocent soul This boy was an angel and I don t even know how he was able to forgive Amir As it seems he managed to do it though and my deep respect and love for his character will never cease I loved Hassan with all my heart and I think his only flaw was that he was just too good to live in this sick and violent world He would have deserved so much than life gave him and when I found out about Sohrab s ordeal I was than just heartbroken I was devastated I know Hassan must have turned over in his grave and I felt so, so, so damn sorry for what happened to both of them BabaThe problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white You can t love a person who lives that way without fearing him too Maybe even hating him a little.
Baba definitely was a very flawed character but I still couldn t help but had to love him for it There was so much good in him, yet he also had his bad sides For a person that was described as seeing the world in black and white he actually was all different kinds of grey and in some way that made him extremely likeable and disagreeable at the same time lol I think he was a very contradictory person and after finding out about his secret I was finally able to understand why Still, I loved that despite everything he tried to be a righteous man and when it comes down to it he certainly had his heart in the right placeAsk him where his shame is They spoke He says this is war There is no shame in war Tell him he s wrong War doesn t negate decency It demands it, even than in times of peace And now, fifteen years after I d buried him, I was learning that Baba had been a thief And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he d stolen had been sacred from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor His nang His namoos Sohrab This boy B.
E my heart and I don t even know how I m supposed to pick up the pieces He was just ten Damn it I don t understand how people can hurt children and I can t even argharghsdfjklmno I hate what Assef did to him and I m so glad Sohrab got away from his clutches Chapter 22 was so horrible to read It made me sick to my stomach and I swear I was tempted to throw the book against a wall Urgh just to think about his hands on Sohrab My heart aches so much for that little boy He deserved a better childhood than that Damn no He actually deserved a childhood to begin withI miss Father, and Mother too, he croaked And I miss Sasa and Rahim Khan sahib But sometimes I m glad they re not they re not here any Why I touched his arm He drew back Because he said, gasping and hitching between sobs, because I don t want them to see me I m so dirty He sucked in his breath and let it out in a long, wheezy cry I m so dirty and full of sin And OMG that beautiful ending That hopeful, amazing and beautiful ending It killed me, it was the death of me, it was the final nail in my coffin That sweet and gentle and shy boy XD I already get emotional just thinking about it blinking away tears The bottom line I hated the book I loved the book I hated the injustice, the pain Ali, Hassan and Sohrab had to go through, I hated the way the Taliban treated everyone they considered to be wrong and different, I hated to read about the destruction of Amir s hometown, I hated the violence, I hated the war, I hated to read about the many orphans, the hungry children on the street I hated the way Amir acted when he was youngerShe had a large purple bruise on her leg for days but what could I do except stand and watch my wife get beaten If I fought, that dog would have surely put a bullet in me, and gladly Then what would have happened to my Sohrab But I loved the details about Afghan culture, I admired the bravery of Hassan and Baba, my heart sang whenever they tried to be righteous and good In a world that had gone to hell they still tried to be decent, they still tried everything possible to stand up for their people, to do the right thing They still had values and they didn t just believe in them, they also acted according to them So yes, for me The Kite Runner was a very powerful book It pushed my boundaries and forced me to fight through it It made me think about unpleasant things, it forced me to see the bad and ugly things our world is made of, but it also showed me the good in people and their kindness If you can live with a broken heart and are able to deal with the pain, this book his highly recommended If you re one of the faint hearted you better give it a wide berth As for me, I definitely will never re read this book ever again I m kind of proud that I accomplished to read it though XDFor you, a thousand times over Check out of my reviews at www.
com The Kite Runner had been sitting on my TBR list for years I kept putting it off because while I was sure that it would be a fantastic book, it isn t the type of smutty romance that I usually read I knew that I d have to be in the right kind of mood to read it Finally, I found myself wanting to read something a little different to break me out of a reading rut and I downloaded the Audible version of The Kite Runner and started listening.
As expected, this book was nothing like my usual love stories This book is the type of book that makes you think about your life and reevaluate your values and what you think you know It is the type of book that makes you question what you d do in a given situation if the tables were turned If you re like me, and have always been blessed to live in a country where you ve never experienced the brutality and terror of warfare firsthand, this book serves as a reminder of how lucky you truly are As a woman, and a mother of two daughters, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that I was born in a country where women are treated as equals Sure, there are still some inequalities However, when I think of how women are treated in many other regions of the world, I am incredibly thankful to have the freedoms that I do I won t rehash this story, because it s been done a million times already and I don t think there s anything I could say that hasn t been said already However, I will say that this was a wonderful book It was grim, brutal and depressing, but also beautiful at times It was emotional and infuriating, but you can t say that you didn t feel while reading this one I experienced a full range of emotions In the end, it grounded me and put all of my petty gripes into perspective We all need to be reminded of how blessed we are at times I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for an emotional and enlightening story.