For many of us, when we think of Afghanistan we think of Osama Bin Laden. This current view is unfortunate in that we forget that Afghanistan is a country of immense history. Kite Runner shows us some of that history from the final days of the monarchy to the present day by telling the story of two boys growing up in Kabul. Amir and Hassan were raised in the same household but in different worlds. Amir is the son of a wealthy man, Hassan the son of the father’s servant and also a Hazara. Hazaras are members of a shunned ethnic minority. . Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them.
A slow pace allows the culture of Afghanistan and the characters to become painfully clear-so much you can smell the market and sob with grief. Told in first person, you quickly get to know Amir and all of his faults. He is a very real character. Other characters are well drawn and developed. The frame of Afghanistan before and after the Taliban is essential to the understanding of the story, the culture, and the relationships. A very emotional read that focuses on very serious topics and how decisions you make as a child can affect the rest of your life. 2003, 324 pages.