The Kite Runner: A Review

I had heard a lot of hype over this book and since the movie was coming out, predictably I made a huge effort to get this book read. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was not what I expected. For some reason I was expecting a more politically minded, look-at-how-the-Taliban-has-changed-people type of book, but in fact, all of the main characters who stay in Afghanistan stay remarkably the same (except they get older and a little ragged around the edges). The Kite Runner is a well written book with a nice story behind it. It enlightens you on life in Afghanistan before and after the Russian occupation (and then the Taliban liberation... and then the Taliban occupation). It is a sad story about the fall of a friendship and the fall of Afghanistan.

Truth be told, I really didn't know much about the history of Afghanistan, and I sure did learn a lot from this book. That might be my favorite thing about the book. There are many nice things about this book. It has some really beautiful moments and scenes in the book. The description of the kite running was, of course, the most beautiful and interesting. The story of the friendship between the boys was interesting, but got a little old after a while. Overall, I felt like all of the relationships in the book end up coming off dry in the end due to being beaten into the ground. Okay okay, I get it, the father was distant from the son! How many more little examples do we need? I guess this is the product of a story being told in flashback, if it's taking place in the present then you don't feel like the character's just continually rehashing the same point over and over again.

The "Big Scene" that took place early in the book that haunts our narrator was disturbing and sad, and there were other scenes that definitely got to you and disturbed you. While I was interested enough to keep reading and find out what happened, many of the plot twists seemed a bit too convenient to me and just cheapened the emotion of the story. I thought the ending was a little quaint and anti-climatic (following the over-dramatic near ending, if that makes sense). The mood of the book just didn't feel consistent to me.

The inelegant point I'm trying to make is that while the book had some powerfully written scenes scattered about here and there and while the story was interesting, it just didn't grab me and it didn't stick with me after I was finished reading it. I was just kind of like, alright, it's over. Next book. So I guess I was disappointed with all the raving and ranting people had been doing over the book because all in all it was just alright.


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