Catching up on my reading, I finally got a copy of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I consider myself remiss if a movie comes out before I’ve read the book! Which is what happened with this one. Here’s a cliched platitude to bring about closure – umm, “Better late than never” do ya? – and let’s get on with the review.
For a first novel, it’s extraordinarily well-written and the pacing is fine. I couldn’t put it down – always the mark of a good read for me. Set in 1970s Afghanistan, before that country’s revolution and its occupation by Russian forces, the narrative revolves around Amir, the privileged young protagonist, and his responses to the events that shape his life.
Enchanting descriptions of traditional activities like kite-flying, woven in with bits of history, opened their world to me in a way that a non-fiction work wouldn’t have been able to do.
From the communication perspective, there are interesting insights on inter- and intra-cultural communication, as well as interpersonal communication – between family members, friends – illustrating Afghan communicative behavior.
I don’t put spoilers in my reviews of fiction, and I won’t do it here. I’ll just tell you that this work tackles the universal themes of love, friendship, and loyalty, bound up with cowardice and self-preservation, until sacrifice brings redemption in the end.