Archive for April 2014


The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini was first published in 2003. It also featured as number 1 in NewYork bestseller’s list for two years in a row.


The story revolves around the lives of Amir, a well to do Pathan boy and Hassan, a Hazzara (low caste), the son of Amir’s father’s servant, Ali. The story is divided into 3 parts.

Part 1 takes us through young Amir and Hassan’s unusual friendship as children and Kabul in times of peace.      They spend their days kite fighting. Hassan is a successful kite runner for Amir. Amir’s father, whom they both address as Baba, loves both these boys. He however is critical of Amir, and considers him as someone who lacks courage. Amir longs for appreciation from his father and is often jealous of Hassan.

Their friendship is often mocked by a notorious bully called Assef. One day when Assef plans to brutally attack Amir, Hassan rescues him and threatens to shoot Assef with a slingshot. Assef retreats but plans revenge.

A few days later, Amir wins a local kite flying tournament and is delighted to get his father’s praise; Hassan, truly excited, runs for the last cut kite but fails to return soon .

It is this day that scars the lives of Hassan and Amir forever in different ways. Amir’s lack of courage to save Hassan haunts Amir for the rest of his life.

In an attempt to free himself from the guilt of his cowardliness, Amir plots to get rid of Hassan and succeeds.

The only person Amir confides him about the incident is Baba’s friend Rahim Khan who feels sorry for what happened.

Part 2 takes us five years ahead of this incident. Amir escapes to Pakistan from Kabul with Baba after the Soviet Union army intervenes in Afghanistan. They start life fresh, Amir falls in love with a fellow refugee, Soraya and they both get married and settle into a happy life. They however remain childless even after 15 years of their marriage.

Amir goes on to become a successful novelist. One day, he receives a call from his uncle Rahim Khan who asks Amir to come to Afghanistan and says that there is still a way to be good again. Amir leaves to meet him.

Part 3 takes us through Amir’s journey in a Taliban inflicted Afghanistan, where he learns from Rahim Khan that Hassan has been killed by Taliban in an attempt by them to confiscate Baba’s house in Kabul.

Hassan’s son is left at an orphanage where he is sexually abused and raped by Taliban men who confiscate children from the orphanage. What follows next is Amir’s attempts to rescue Sohrab.

Does Amir rescue Sohrab at all? Is he able to overcome his guilt and make amends?

The story shocks and thrills, it crushes your heart – a brilliant page turner indeed. Hosseini weaves magic and transports the readers seamlessly though the different time periods. A must read!!