Kite Runner

I am not a big reader of fiction. I can certainly count on my fingers the number of fiction that I have finished start to finish in one shot – within a 24 hour period. Kite Runner, a New York Times Bestseller by Khaled Hosseini is one such novel.

I am not good at writing reviews and this is certainly not an attempt at doing that. I am hoping that the few sentences I have written here will motivate someone to pick up this wonderful novel and have it tug at your emotions like it did for me.

The story is told by Amir and traces his life starting from his childhood memories and incidents with his friend Hasan in Kabul, who also happens to be his servant’s son, his interactions with his benevolent father who is tough with him and his father’s best friend Rahim Khan, him migrating to America, marrying his love and eventually visiting Kabul in what can be termed as an act of redemption and then coming back to America with perhaps his peace of mind.

There are a few unexpected twists in the story within which the author has managed to weave a thread of friendship, loyalty, paternal affection, love, revenge and redemption all in one story. The story is wonderfully interwoven with the modern history of Afghanistan, starting just before the end of Zahir Shah’s era to the time when America declared its war on terrorism. The author uses a lot of Afghan words that adds to the earthiness of the story.

There are points in the story that made me almost cry and others that made me smile a bit. There are a few mullah Naseerudin jokes too!! I just finished reading the book 30 minutes back and still have the glorious after taste of having read a great novel. Hard to believe this is Khaled Hosseini’s first novel.


  1. Quote

    What a coincidence. I read this book last weekend. It was so beautiful. The after taste that you mention is still there. It’s a long time since I read such a sensitively written story. I was planning to do a review this weekend. You beat me to it.

  2. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said December 5, 2007, 8:14 am:

    I have heard so much about this book. I wonder why you think you are not good at reviews. This is an excellent review which has enhanced my resolve to read this book. I typically avoid fiction.

  3. Quote


    The first book I read after coming to US was The Kite Runner. It touched me so deeply almost for a week I was in the “homesickness” + “the kite runner” mood. It’s really a wonderfully written book. Even I loved the Afghan words he uses.

    Around two weeks back, I read Khaled Hosseini’s second book “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. It was as beautiful and touching as the first book. I really have become a huge fan of the author.

  4. Quote
    priyaraju said December 5, 2007, 10:23 pm:

    Ganesh – Thanks for the review. I’ve been planning to read this book, but due to sheer inertia I haven’t done so. I’ll now shed it & get this book.

  5. Quote

    Great review Ganesh. I have been meaning to read the Kite Runner for a long time. Your post definitely has nudged me to pick up this novel.


  6. Quote

    Was talking with few colleagues about books/blogs etc and one of them mentioned KiteRunner, and co-incidently your post showed up. Thanks to your review, have to read it now!


  7. Quote

    Hi Ganesh,

    It really is a splendid book. Read it yesterday and was very impressed by the author’s style of writing. The way the traits and nuances of each character slowly grows on you is endearing. The comparison of yesteryear and today’s Kabul wakes you up to harsh reality. And quite a befitting ending.

    Definitely, a good read.

  8. Quote

    A movie based on this book is being released this week. Check it out at

  9. Quote

    Yes. Cannot wait to see the movie. Am anxious to see how the words in the book are transformed into celluloid. Based on my favorite movie critic – Roger Ebert, looks like the movie has turned out very well. Here is his review.


  10. Quote
    Annapoorani said May 4, 2009, 9:42 pm:

    Ganesh,nice review…I read this book quite a few months ago….Indeed a very nice book…
    The message redemption is carried through out the book…
    \\that made me almost cry and others that made me smile a bit\\\i totally agree with this liner of yours…
    on the whole a very nice book,still havent seen the movie,have to watch it….

  11. Quote
    Ganesh said May 5, 2009, 6:41 am:


    Thanks for the visit. I did watch the movie last week, and to my surprise the essence of the book has been captured to some extent. The little boy Hassan was extremely natural and Amir’s father brought out the dignity associated with that character. The ambiance of pre and post-war Afghanistan was very well captured. A movie certainly worth watching.

  12. Quote

    Yes Annapoorani and Ganesh. We recently watched this movie. Not having read the book, i found the movie extremely good. Aside from Hassan as a boy and Amir’s father, Amir has also done a good job. Great casting.

  13. Quote
    Annapoorani said May 7, 2009, 6:17 pm:

    \\The ambiance of pre and post-war Afghanistan was very well captured. A movie certainly worth watching.\\\i dont want to miss this movie….Will definitely watch it….Thanks Ganesh and Sukumar for the review…

  14. Quote

    I have read the book and found it very effective.i have heard about the movie but i do still feel it is necessary to read the book
    I think this book was very captivating and heart wrenching.My opinion about the book is that the focus is more on the characters than anything else, and like all people there are good and bad characters, both religious and otherwise. it portrays the reality of the world in regards to religion, and shows you cannot base a persons character on a religious title they give themselves.
    and I don’t think their intention was to shed light on Islam, but on the characters of different types of people. Of course religion will be a part of the book though, as Islam is a part of the characters lives.
    I did however feel certain aspects did not potray Islam in a very good way. I think that Hassan and his father, Ali, are also close, but are portrayed as more religious than Amir and his father. In both families, the absence of their mothers only shows the strong father figure that is not only in this book, but also in Islam, where the males take on leadership roles and family responsibilities.Also we can see how moving to another country can affect one.They begin to lose morality.also in the kite runner the Taliban pelt women for commiting adultery this is wrong, Stoning the adulterer does portray Islam in a very bad way ––and it makes people question, ‘If Allah is All-forgiving and All-merciful, why then is this inhumane and terrible punishment necessary?’ In The Kite Runner, Amir points out to his father that drinking alcohol is a sin, as taught by the mullahs, Islamic religious teachers. His father replies that the only sin is theft but drinking alcohol is completely forbidden in islam !!!!!! 🙂

Leave a Comment



Formatting Your Comment

The following XHTML tags are available for use:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

URLs are automatically converted to hyperlinks.