This novel has been on my ‘To read’ list for a long time, and the only reason that I have only just read it is that eternal problem of ‘too many books, too little time’. I am sure that fellow voracious readers will fully understand that problem!
Unlike some modern classics, The Kite Runner not only lived up to its reputation – for me it completely smashed it, and quite simply is one of the very best books I have ever read.
For those of you who don’t know the story, or who haven’t cheated by watching the film first (shame on you ;-)), The Kite Runner is set in Afghanistan and the USA and tells the story of 2 young boys growing up in Kabul in the 1970s/80s during a time of great conflict, both externally with the Russian invasion, and internally with having to cope with class and ethnic divide. Mention the word Afghanistan in the modern world, and most people will probably immediately think of war. Although there is war in the book, from the Russian invasion and the emergence of the Taliban in the 1990s, there is also great description of the lives and traditions of ordinary Afghan people, which makes it all the more heartbreaking to think of the pain that has been inflicted on them over many years, from many different forces.
I really felt transported to the streets of Kabul, fully immersed in the sights, sounds and tastes of the boys’ childhood. The story itself was so powerful and intoxicating to me that every so often I had to physically put the book down and remind myself to breathe. This book is just so staggeringly beautiful, and destined to become a classic novel of our times. I simply cannot wait to read Hosseini’s subsequent novels, and have already places and order at the library for A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The Literary Owl rating: 10/10 (if there was a higher score than that, I would give it!)
Read with: Lots and lots of high-quality tea.