The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini,

Book cover of The Kite Runner

Book description

Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Kite Runner as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I could relate to the character who witnessed something wrong and did nothing about it. Most of us encounter that kind of situation and we fail to act for a variety of reasons. Usually we find justifications for our failure to act, which are really excuses. The underlying reason for our failure is usually fear, which is hard for us to acknowledge. So we find ways of deflecting our guilt or covering it up, usually with lies that sooner or later will come back to haunt us. When we seek redemption, it’s always a challenge.

From Tom's list on redemption and forgiveness.

It has been a long time since I first read this book, but at its core this story is about friendship between a wealthy Pashtun boy and a poor Hazara boy, Hassan. Love, betrayal, hate, and a whole spectrum of emotions play out under the cruel regime of the Taliban. Like the kites the two friends fly so cleverly, your heart will leap with hope and break with its descent. The inferior way the Hazara clan is treated by Afghan society is forever tattooed in my mind, but the book is filled with history and deep insight into its culture.…

From Shugri's list on bringing other cultures to life.

This was a major tearjerker for me. The relationship between the young protagonist and his friend was one-sided and subtly abusive because they came from different social classes. 

This emotive story reminded me that as human beings we can be cruel if there are no perceived consequences and if we don’t keep our conscience in check. Although the protagonist somewhat redeems himself as an adult later in the story, I was tearful for days after reading this book.

From Ellen's list on about childhood that make you cry.

Yes, it’s a novel, but it is a novel steeped in local lore, history, and the reality of life under the kite-banning Taliban. No book evokes daily life in the land of the Taliban better than The Kite Runner. Thank you, Khaled Hosseini!

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