R&R 007 | The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Book bought in: O’Hare airport, Chicago
By taking this book with me on my travels to New York, I forced myself to read it, thinking: “I will be on a plane. There will be nothing to do there except read this book. Now I will have to read it.”
The Kite Runner was, out of all the unread books still in my bookcase, the only one I feared opening, thinking it would be too difficult, too hard to get through.
This is a novel describing the coming of age of privileged Amir, who grows up with Hassan – son of the family’s servant – in Afghanistan’s Kabul, with its history of discrimination, division, and soon to be invasion, for there would be a war coming to rip Afghanistan and its people to shreds. A story of redemption, as a young naive boy tries to grow up in an irrational (and infuriating) world.
As I was reading, I found I had been right from the start: this book was difficult, and hard to get through. But not in the literal sense. I finished it in two days, and not because I was on a plane – I had started reading it while in the city.
A conflict arised; the book is masterfully written in understandable, comprehensible prose, fully engaging and unputdownable. But I have put it down so often, nonetheless. Close that book and take a moment to realize what I had been reading but seconds earlier. Yes, this book was difficult and hard. The relentless cruelty described, the harsh images that were conjured up in my head, both situations made it so this was not a book I could ‘enjoy’.
This is not recommended if you prefer books that leave you with a good feeling, a warmed heart, faith in mankind. You can forget all about that. This book will most likely move you, but not in a comforting way.
Sure, while I must admit that the story took a turn for the implausible and even started to seem more like The Bourne Whatevericy, I have to give this a high rating nonetheless. Despite the flaws I do feel it possesses, The Kite Runner opened my eyes a little more, and made me want to strive to be a better, more aware person. So there.
February 5th 2008.
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