Tag Archives: The Kite Runner

A Year of READING Dangerously: #50 The Kite Runner

Reading Dangerously Logo 2Dear next book I read,

 

I’m sorry. You poor thing, there is no way you are going to be as good as The Kite Runner. It isn’t your fault that I’ve picked you randomly from my pile after reading this amazing piece of fiction. I know I shouldn’t pre-judge, and I wish you good luck, but Honey, you just don’t stand a chance.

 

First paperback edition book cover

First paperback edition book cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Kite Runner, Kaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel about Afghanistan, sits smack dab in the middle of our Banned Book List. It is the story of Amir, the privileged Aghani who acts as first person narrator. But it is also the story of Afghanistan and the country is certainly a major character in the novel.

 

The Kite Runner, which derives its name from the Afghan custom of kite fighting, focuses on the relationship between two boys of different social classes and religious backgrounds and the lasting effect that one boy’s moment of cowardice has on their lives. [120 Banned Books, pg 506]

 

The book is roughly in three parts:

 

  • Amir’s childhood in the idyllic streets of Kabul. It is here that he struggles to define his relationship with his closest companion, his friend / servant, Hussan.
  • his life as an adult — living as an expat in California. In America Amir comes to terms with is sometimes distant and demanding, but ultimately loving father, Baba.
  • and lastly his time back in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Amir returns to his homeland to aid Hassan’s son and to try to redeem himself.

 

The book was critically lauded:

 

  • Book Sense Bestseller List Sensation
  • Boeke Prize
  • Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
  • ALA Notable Book
  • Alex Award
  • Borders Original Voices Award, 2003
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, 2003
  • Literature to Life Award
  • Paperback – on the bestseller list for over 240 weeks (#1 for 4 of those weeks) [Book Facts, Kaledhosseini.com/media-pages]

The censors largely ignored the novel until it was turned into a major motion picture in 2007.  In 2008 the book was challenged by several school districts in North Carolina and Florida.

This beautifully written book is not an easy book to read as it does contain difficult material, (including the rape scene of Hassan, a stoning scene at a football, and the horrors of life under the Taliban.) On our matrix of banned books The Kite Runner includes: Offensive Language, Smoking, Sexually Explicit material, and a lot of Violence. That said I can not recommend this book enough, and I can’t wait to read Kaled Hosseini’s other novels, A Thousand Splendid Suns and  And The Mountains Echoed.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

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