Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is the best book I have read in a long time. Amir, the first-person narrator of The Kite Runner tells of his life, first as a boy in Afghanistan then later as an adult émigré in California. At times I felt frustrated with the characters in the book and wished they would behave differently. I experienced frustration not because the book was badly written, but just the opposite. I found the book so well written I felt fully engaged with the characters and suffered with them just as I would with my own friends and family members.

In Afghanistan Amir lived with his father Baba, and their two servants Ali and Hassan. Baba and Ali had been raised together and continued as master and servant throughout most of their adult lives. Similarly Amir and Hassan were of similar age and Hassan devoted himself to serving his young master.

The Kite Runner if refreshing in that Amir is not the all-good main character that so often appear in first novels. Amir has character flaws and suffers because of them. Hosseini builds a world where the reader can identify with the flawed Amir and feel both encouraged and strengthened when Amir tries to overcome his weaknesses.

The Kite Runner provides a poignant fictional account of a life in a part of the world that has become a part of our daily life in recent years. When Amir returns to Afghanistan as an adult and revisits people and places he knew as a child his reaction to the changes resulting from the long Afghani-Soviet war and the later rule of the Taliban is particularly affecting.

I am pleased to give The Kite Runner an A or 98% and strongly encourage all of you to read it. I can't wait to read his newest book A Thousand Splendid Suns.


"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
- Helen Keller