The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is truly a stupendous and moving novel that follows the maturation of Amir, who is also the narrator of the story. Set in modern-day Afghanistan, Amir begins as a child who actively seeks the praise of his hard to please father. However, because of Amir’s blind desire to please his father, Amir’s close friend and servant, Hassan, becomes a person Amir desperately tries to avoid. Years later, Amir is finally given a chance to atone for his sins as a child. He takes a journey back to his hometown to meet save his nephew. Along the way, Amir faces unexpected challenges and learns the true value of family and love.
One thing I found interesting about The Kite Runner was how Hosseini creatively used narration to convey different periods of time. In the beginning, the reader is in the present, but next chapter the reader is suddenly sent back on a trip to memory lane when Amir delves into his childhood. Once the reader is left at a suspenseful moment, the narration is continued in a time closer to the present, until finally, the reader is led to the present. Despite these seemingly rough time changes, I found it to have a smooth transition between two time eras; it added rather than detracted from the story. Hosseini also does a fantastic job of painting Afghanistan as it really is. He incorporates and spends a fair amount of time on the culture and the historical events that occurred, which allowed me to explore Afghanistan alongside Amir’s narration. Lastly, Hosseini masterfully adds a twist to the story when you least expect it, adding another layer of suspense and tragedy.
The Kite Runner is a book that I would recommend to any high school student, especially the students in Honors English. Hosseini’s novel is definitely a tragic page-turner that can teach a lesson or two to anyone who reads it. It doesn’t take too long to get into the action, and the continuous suspense will keep you interested up to the last word of the novel. Because Amir’s life accentuates the themes of maturation, friendship, and guilt along with hints of selfishness and forgiveness, it is certainly a universally relatable story.