The Kite Runner
by Khalid Hosseini
Although the principal setting may seem exotic to many American readers, the themes of betrayal and redemption are as old as the Mullah Nasrudin jokes the characters tell, and they may never have been as well-told as here.
This is a particularly difficult book to comment upon without spoiling the plot, although perhaps that would not be a bad thing.
In Afghanistan, the ending was all that mattered. When Hassan and I came home after watching a Hindi film at Cinema Zainab, what Ali, Rahim Khan, Baba, or the myriad of Baba's friends -- second and third cousins milling in and out of the house -- wanted to know was this: Did the Girl in the film find happiness? Did the bacheh film, the Guy in the film, become kamyab and fulfill his dreams, or was he nah-kam, doomed to wallow in failure?
Was there happiness at the end, they wanted to know.
I am in America, however, not Afghanistan, and so I will not reveal the end of this story here.
For its 370 pages this book is a remarkably quick read, and not overly demanding. Khalid Hosseini develops his story patiently, never rushing it but not letting it drag either.
Tags: book, review, fiction, Afghanistan