Buddy Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

10:24 Cilla P 0 Comments

Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Penerbit Qanita (Indonesian translation)
Source: Bought
Synopsis: 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 had.

The 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 lies.

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“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime." 

I was excited to do my first ever buddy read with Alyssa, and it was fun being able to discuss the book with her as we went. Don't forget to check out her page for her thoughts and the other half of the discussion!


What were your expectations going into the book?
Allysa: I expected it to a really great book but I also expected it to make me uncomfortable at times.

Cilla: The Kite Runner is one of those books that comes highly recommended from my mother. When I finally asked her if I could borrow her copy, she gave it to me with a warning: "You won't be able to put it down." So I had huge expectations going in! I think I was ignorant of the more brutal side of the plot, otherwise I would have had more trepidation.

Amir believes his betrayal of Hasan shaped the person he's become. Do you think he's right?
Allysa: Yes
Cilla: It definitely haunts him, and I think the events he goes through as an adult shows that he tries to learn from that experience. It's actually hard to discuss this without a spoiler. xD


Set against an Afghanistan that is being torn apart by political, religious, and ethnic battles, The Kite Runner is about horrific people doing horrific things, flawed people making terrible choices, good people struggling in the face of deep poverty and war. It's the kind of things I catch a glimpse of on the news and stare in horror and helplessness. Horror was one of my main reactions to the events unfolding in this book; it felt like one tragedy after another. At one stage, I had to stop reading for a few days because I knew something bad was going to happen, and I wasn't emotionally ready for that.

And yet, I kept reading.

The main character, Amir, is the kind of person that would give me pause - the way his friendship with Hasan is still coloured with power imbalance and racism was difficult to swallow - but I could see where his attitudes as a boy came from. The bad guys are terrifying but not caricature-ish; I was always fully aware that these kinds of people are real (which made them even more terrifying).

I can't find another way to put it except that there's something very human about this story. It kept breaking my heart, but I'm going to take after my mother and recommend this book to everyone. Be aware that it might be emotionally draining, but you need to read this.

Let's talk!

Have you read The Kite Runner? What did you think? 
If you haven't, would you like to read it? Have you read other work of fictions about Afghanistan?

Reading this book contributes to the following challenges:

  • Goodreads Challenge
  • Around the World 2016
  • #DiverseReads2016 Challenge
  • The Backlist Books Reading Challenge
  • #RockMyTBR Challenge


Thanks for reading! It makes my day to hear your thoughts and I will respond asap. :)