le 22 octobre 2005
A friend sent me this book - I'd never heard of it. However, as soon as I started reading, I realised this book was going to be incredible and that I would love it.
The first half is a presentation of all the characters - who become very "touchant" as soon as one starts reading, as well as realistic in its descriptions of the way of life in Afghanistan.
Set initially in the early 70's in Afghanistan, before the Russian invasion, the book describes an interesting country (knowing literally nothing about Afghanistan personally) with it's way of life, customs and it's "castes". Radical changes take place once the Russians come in and the characters we've grown attached to must come to terms with certain events and their consequences - which prove to be complicated.
The graphic descriptions of the Taliban regime and the total destruction of a country physically, morally and humanely are difficult at times, "insoutenable" at others. Nevertheless, the novel doesn't come off as pathetic nor as begging for your sympathy - it's just the truth: dosed with both the good and the bad.
At times one thinks one knows what will happen but, events seem to take a different turn.
The use of Afghan terms to describe the real emotion of family, of closeness, to bring forth an image of Afghanistan is used quite well without overtaking the book and keeps one in the proper state of mind.
Frankly, this is one of the finest novels (a first novel for the author) I've read, if not THE finest in a very long time.
Highly recommended reading for a novel that has grown through word of mouth - and very rightly so. Looking forward to the next work by this same author.
I was lucky enough to hear the author discuss the book on tv in the US. Most of what happens in the most is VERY close to being autobiographical and the author is as articulate in speaking as he is through the written word.
Truly an eye-opening experience and a must-read novel!!
If I could, I'd give it a higher rating than 5!
le 24 janvier 2005
Ce livre est bouleversant. Je l'ai dévoré en cinq jours. J'avais d'autres choses à faire mais ne pouvais m'arrêter. Ce livre peut avoir une multitude d'interprétations, il a également une multitude de mérites. C'est le premier livre d'un Afghan en anglais, le vocabulaire est particulièrement bien choisi et parvient avec pathos à nous faire revivre une période que le narrateur, si ce n'est l'auteur, considère comme idyllique. Donc chacun peut y voir ce qu'il peut, pour moi c'est surtout l'histoire d'un homme qui se cherche et s'en veut profondément pour une faute qu'il a commise pendant son adolescence. Le personnage ne doit pas autant expier qu'apprendre à s'assumer. Enfin, je ne peux pas trop vous raconter l'histoire pour tuer l'intérêt mais je le recommande vivement.
le 11 mars 2005
I have been reading novels for decades, but in all those years of reading, this is possibly the best story I have read that has a non-western setting. An Afghan friend recommended this book to me, and of course I was skeptical at first. I never expected it to be such a powerful, deep moving, well-written and touching story that happened to be set in Afghanistan.
Set in Afghanistan, in Kabul in the 1970's, the Kite Runner moves to the U.S.A and back. It includes fascinating characters like Amir who lived a privileged life as the son of an affluent man, and Hassan the son of a poor servant who perks for Amir's privileged life. The two become good friends, a friendship which is tested when Hassan is raped, a scene witnessed by Amir who made no effort to come to his friend's rescue. Yet Amir is haunted by that moment of cowardice even as he leaves for the USA.
Even though it is a fiction, this haunting story with spectacular, yet uncomfortable scenes creates in the reader a sense of reality that is difficult not to believe. I easily felt like I was reading the real life story of a young boy, who grows up still haunted by his past cowardice. The characters are real and alive, the setting in Afghanistan and America is superb, the plot is outstanding and the pace of the novel is fast and captivating.. All in all, this emotionally gripping story provides an insight and understanding of the human tragedy in Afghanistan. The author successfully touched on human emotions, stirring guilt, sadness, anger, and happiness throughout the book.
Also recommended: DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY
le 31 août 2005
Ce livre a fait l'objet d'une lecture collective au sein d'un groupe dont je fais partie. A l'unanimité, tous ont profondément aimé "The Kite Runner" pour son ouverture sur un monde finalement assez peu connu en Occident, un monde de tous les excès, de toutes les beautés, un monde où le cerf-volant, encore aujourd'hui, sert de fil conducteur. Par ailleurs "The Kite Runner" est aussi l'histoire du remords, de la faiblesse humaine, du repenti, de la soumission - bref, tous les ingrédients d'une oeuvre en tous points magistrale. Une lecture à ne manquer sous aucun prétexte.
le 7 décembre 2013
I'm currently reading "Kite Runner" in English, and I must say that this book is absolutely delicious, crystal-clear, both tender and cruel; should be read aloud in front of an audience.
Obviously, this author is a story-teller, enjoys writing fiction probably inspired by real facts from his childhood in Kabul, a city he knows like the back of his hand.
This guy Khaled Hosseini loves the people who read him because we understand he wants to "fly" us like kites or take us away very high in the sky.
Un beau voyage. Merci, monsieur Khaled Hosseini. :-)
le 23 septembre 2014
This book is as powerful as A Thousand Splendid Suns, and deeply left its mark on me. This is also about life in Afghanistan from the 1970s to the Taliban's invasion but this time from men's points of view. A world of men where women are absent. Where it is about secrets to preserve the honour that is essential for Afghan people, at the risk of struggling its emotions in order to be a man, a real one. The story is hard and deals with regrets and mistakes; you can't lie to yourself by forgetting the past.
Amir and Hassan are two children fed from the same breast in the same propriety and two inseparable friends. But they come from two different worlds : Pashtun's and Hazara's, the second ones being despised by the others. They don't have the same fate as well : Amir and his dad could have escaped the war and go to the USA whereas their servants had no choice but remaining in Afghanistan. This war had let a lot of orphans, people dehumanized, completely non-sense violence and no respect at all. His entire life, Amir feels bad about something that happened with Hassan and for which he did nothing by cowardice; that's why all the bad things that happen to Amir, he thinks he deserves them. Years later, Rahim Khan calls him to tell him there is a way to be good again. Amir really wants to make up for it but going back to the past plus in Afghanistan among Taliban is risky and painful. Through this beautiful and bitter story where a feeling of unease is coming, we discover the quirks of a country that had struggled against violence for a while and is still continuing today.
le 16 août 2011
Gold Star Award Winner!
THE KITE RUNNER is a beautiful story written by Khaled Hosseini (not to mention the first Afghan book to be written in English). The novel follows Amir , a boy living in Afghanistan with his father, Baba. The two have been living by themselves since Amir's mother died during childbirth. Well, not really alone. The servant, Ali, and his son, Hassan, live in a hut in the backyard. While they may be servants, Baba looks to them as family. Hassan and Amir grow up together and became friends.
As a child, Amir was always troubled. He felt that he didn't have his father's love, so he was constantly trying to win that love. Amir easily got jealous of Hassan, because Amir felt his father loved Hassan more, since Hassan was such a great athlete and such an honest person. But one day Amir witnesses an injustice done to Hassan, and although Amir could've stopped it from happening, he didn't.
Shortly afterwards Ali and Hassan leave, even though Baba pleads for them to stay. Amir watches as Hassan and Ali climb into their Mercedes and drive off, never to be seen by them again. Soon after that, Amir and Baba escape to the United States to get away from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
There, Amir graduated high school and went to junior college to become a writer. Amir ended up marrying a nice, pretty woman named Soraya. Shortly after the wedding, Baba dies of cancer. Amir is even more depressed when Soraya and he find out that they can't conceive a child.
Amir and Soraya keep on living life and the years passed. They led normal lives; he as a writer she as a teacher. They lived in a comfortable house with a dog. But one day, Amir's past caught up to him. He received a phone call from an old family friend, Rahim Khan, asking Amir to come to Pakistan.
Amir arrives in Pakistan to see his old friend close to death. But that's not why Khan asked Amir to come. The fact is that Hassan was killed by the Taliban a few months ago, along with his wife. The two left behind their son, Sohrab, who is living in an Afghan orphanage. Khan asks Amir to go find the boy and bring him back to Pakistan so he can live with a nice couple and get away from all of the death and destruction the Taliban has created in Afghanistan.
Amir decides he will go find the son of his late best friend. Only after saving this boy from all the evil in Afghanistan will Amir be saved from the sin he committed so long ago as a child.
This riveting and emotional story catches the readers from page one until the ending. The readers learn about the important history of Afghanistan and the impact of those events on its people. Hosseini wrote a true masterpiece in this novel. It is sure to please all who read it.
Reviewed by: Steph
le 14 janvier 2010
Un roman complet dans le style de John Irving, mais version afghane.
Le narrateur raconte son enfance dorée à Kaboul pendant les années 60. Lors du grand concours annuel des cerf-volants, il va se passer quelque chose qui le poursuivra toute sa vie : pendant sa fuite vers le Pakistan lors de l'invasion russe et lors de son adolescence et sa vie d'adulte aux Etats-Unis. Jusqu'au jour où il reçoit un appel de Rahim Khan, le grand ami de son père lui demandant de venir le voir au Pakistan.
Ce voyage va lui permettre de découvrir des choses qu'il ne savait pas sur son père et de faire amende honorable en apprenant que le passé est le passé, que nous avons tous un squelette dans le placard et que si l'on ne peut pas revenir en arrière, il est important d'aller de l'avant et d'apprendre à vivre avec ses erreurs.
Tout au long du roman, le narrateur va rencontrer des personnages qui traînent leur bagage de façon plus ou moins réussie, y compris les êtres qui lui sont le plus proche et qui lui montreront au bout du compte que l'important c'est d'avancer.
Ce n'est pas un livre sur l'Afghanistan, mais l'histoire d'un long voyage initiatique avec pour toile de fond le peuple afghan avec ses traits, son histoire et ses traditions.
Sans être un pilier de la littérature contemporaine, ce livre se lit tout seul et permet de passer un moment agréable avec des personnages, qui finalement, ne sont qu'humains.
le 22 décembre 2007
Hassan is Amir's dearest friend and is the son of Amir's father's servant who belongs the minority Hazara community in Afganistan. Amir and Hassan's close friendship is put under strain by an unthinkable event which happens on the day of the annual kite flying tornament. Amir's and Hassan's childhood friendship is destroyed as a result of fear and jealousy.
The story is of Amir, a novelist who lives in California whos life story is narratied by himself where he talks of his loss, redemption and guilt filled relationship with his country of birth. Amir returns to war torn Afganistan to rescue Hassan's orphaned son but is met with personal and political obstacles which leaves the reader in suspences and wanting more.
This novel is a tear jerking, heart warming insite into the relationship between freinds, family, country and culture. Hosseini really knows how to keep the reader guessing and wanting more, as a first novel it is dripping in emotion and bitter sweet memories of the character alongside giving cultural insite into the lifestyle of Afganistan. I would also recommend, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it. With fascinating and brilliantly created characters in `The Fates' coupled with two intertwining plots makes for a completely enjoyable and page-turning read.
le 14 mars 2011
This book was the object of a collective reading within a group of which I am a member, "English Training". Unanimously, all profoundly loved "The Kite Runner" for its opening on a world finally enough little known in West, a world of all the excesses, all the beauties, a world where the kite, even today, serves as vital lead. Besides "The Kite Runner" is also the story of the remorse, the human weakness, the penitent, the submission - in brief, all the ingredients of an in all respects masterful work. A reading to be missed on no account. This book is very, very, very deeply moving and the vocabulary is particularly well chosen.
Thus each can see what there what he can, for me it is especially the story of the man who looks for himself and wants profoundly for a fault which he committed during his childhood. The character does not as much have to pay as learn to assume. Finally, I cannot too much tell you the story to kill the interest but I deeply recommend it.