Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The Kite Runner ~ by Khaled Hosseini

the-kite-runnerI read The Kite Runner this past weekend – in one sitting! This is a brilliant book & I really don’t know which I prefer – this or A Thousand Splendid Suns. The Kite Runner is about 2 young motherless boys (Amir & Hassan) growing up in 1970’s Afghanistan. Amir is the child of a wealthy well respected businessman & Hassan the son of his Amir’s father’s life-long servant, & their servant by default. Amir is growing up in the lap of luxury & Hassan lives in a mud hut in their back yard & is the person who prepares Amir’s breakfast & irons his clothes. So, one would think that Amir leads a charmed life, but for some unknown reason Amir’s father seems to prefer Hassan & to hate Amir (or so Amir thinks). The 2 boys spend their days (when Amir is not in school) together & on the surface they are the best of friends. Deep down though, Amir resents Hassan for the way that Amir’s father treats Hassan & as a result has a bit of a nasty streak where Hassan is concerned.

When the boys are 12 Amir witnesses an event which he could have prevented, but chose not to & this ends up destroying his & Hassan’s friendship. Hassan & his father leave the employ of Amir’s father & the 2 boys never see each other again. Fast forward to present day & Amir is a somewhat successful married author, living in the USA – but while he seems to have it all, the things he can’t have ( like the child he & his wife gave up trying for) he firmly believes are a result of his inaction in helping to save Hassan. When Amir receives a phone call from an old family friend, he knows that he must return to Afghanistan to seek the redemption he so desperately needs.

For some reason I am sure that I have read this book before. I haven’t, I know that, but so much of it seems familiar. I am pretty sure that I haven’t seen the movie either………….strange! Anyway……..a brilliant book that kept me gripped until the very end. I seriously could not put it down – had to keep reading until the very end! I would definately rank this book up there on my list of “one of the ones to read before you die” – if I had one, that is!

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Global Reading Challenge ~ Country #1) Afghanistan

a-thousand-splendid-sunsFinding a book written by an Afghani (is that the correct spelling?) author was surprisingly (at least to me, anyway) easy. I’d seen A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini in Waterstones quite a few times & had even previously picked it up with the intention of buying it,  but never did. Seeing that the Author was from Afghanistan made me decide that this would be my first book in my global reading challenge. A few strokes of the keyboard later it was purchased from Amazon & winging it’s way to my flat.

From Amazon: “Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.”

Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns was a pleasure. I sailed through it in no time at all & loved it. Miriam is one of those characters in a book that you just know exists all too frequently in real life. What chance did she stand, coming from the parentage she did, in the Afghanistan of her childhood? Not much of a chance, really. The writing in the book is surpurb & while the ending is somewhat “Americanised”, it didn’t ruin the book. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone & look forward to reading the Kite Runner (by the same author), which is sitting in my desk at work!

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Filed under Global reading challenge