The story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction.
This powerful first novel...tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love. Both transform the life of Amir, Khaled Hosseini's privileged young narrator, who comes of age during the last peaceful days of the monarchy, just before his country's revolution and its invasion by Russian forces … Hosseini's depiction of pre-revolutionary Afghanistan is rich in warmth and humor but also tense with the friction between the nation's different ethnic groups … Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence -- forces that continue to threaten them even today.
… [a] powerful book, perhaps because it contains no frills, no nonsense, just hard, spare prose … Hosseini extrudes it into an intimate account of family and friendship, betrayal and salvation that requires no atlas or translation to engage and enlighten us … Parts of The Kite Runner are raw and excruciating to read, yet the book in its entirety is lovingly written. Characters are physically deformed but endearingly noble. Homosexual rape is rampant, but its purpose is to expose hypocrisy and the abuse of power. Hosseini clearly loves his country as much as he hates what has become of it … This is not densely textured sociology but a tale told in simple brush strokes.
The Kite Runner, Hosseini's first novel, is more than just good writing. It is also a wonderfully conjured story that offers a glimpse into an Afghanistan most Americans have never seen and depicts a side of humanity rarely revealed … Through Amir and Hassan, we learn about the legacy of transgressions and the selfish actions that can destroy relationships. But what saves Hosseini's novel from becoming a mere tale of right and wrong is Amir, a man whose emotional journey inspires the plot … The games of childhood shift dramatically for Amir, along with the volatile political climate of Afghanistan. Hosseini deftly weaves historical elements into the story, describing the cultural death of Kabul through the eyes of Amir … The ride is exhilarating.