Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 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.

So many books, so little time. I'm still working on a couple of books, but I couldn't resist this one when I saw it at Best Eastern tonight. I was about to order it from Amazon. That was before I decided to buy the Much Ado DVD which cost a fortune. Anyway, I figured I'd save a few bucks and grab this book here. It turns out the paperback I bought cost $18.80. Now, I had it worked out that through Amazon I'd be getting it for $16.80. So much for saving money. Can somebody explain that to me? How can Amazon be cheaper even after you pay $8 for shipping and handling. Arrghh!
Everybody keeps talking about The Kite Runner. It seems like it is a very popular book even though the topic seems quite serious. I thought I'd give it a shot. I've been pretty lucky with the bestsellers I've bought the last few years so I hope this one pans out too. Once again, I'm reading a book that I wouldn't normally read. Let's see what happens.
BTW, has anybody read this book?
Stay tuned for the review...

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