I re-read Khaled Hosseini’s book “The Kite runner” last to last week. The first time I read it I fell in love with his style of wrting and the story touched a deep chord. Then I read “A Thousand splendid suns” and couldn’t get over it for days. That a neighbouring nation and one with whom we have deep and long ties should be suffering and we are unable to do much was just too sad.
The Kite Runner is a great book, it lets you peer into everyday life in Afghanistan, the different customs and cultural elements. It also beautifully brings out the fact that someone who is cruel just continues to be that way and when conditions favor – then the cruelty just gets worse. The same boy Assef who raped Hassan tries to violate Hassan’s son Sohrab, as a grownup man… and Sohrab manages to do what Hassan said he would, make Assef, one-eyed !!
The way Hosseini characterized “Baba”, is also close to reality. Great men usually have some skeleton in the closet – Hassan was Baba’s skeleton, but it doesn’t take anything away from his greatness. Similarly, Hassan’s mother coming back and being an awesome grandmother to her grandson, Sohrab is a nice touch. People change, all the time. No one can be painted all black all the time and no one is great all the time. The main protagonist Amir is a coward, but deeply sensitive and pays a big price for not standing up for his friend.
While re-reading I cried at the same places where I cried when I read it for the first time. Am sure the author cried as he wrote those sentences because just words beautifully strung together cannot bring tears to the reader’s eyes.
I would recommend all of Khaled Hosseini’s books – The Kite Runner, 1000 splendid suns, And the mountains echoed. All the books also bring home the dangers of Talibanization. But well, who is listening ?