Monday, February 25, 2008

The Kite Runner

I listened to a tiny bit of a clip of Dion's opinion on the extension of our stay in Afghanistan and it reminded me of The Kite Runner, which I finished last week.

I couldn't put the book down soon after starting it, which was wonderful relief from The Secret River. It left me with vivid images of beautiful Iran and Afghanistan, of deep family love, of hardships and challenges overcome. It's not a poetic novel, but the writing flows between colourful scenes and one gets to love the characters. As an added bonus, one gets a brief overview of modern Afghani history. It is told in a tone that I would call "typically arabic" because all elders and family are deeply retvered. Few words judge or condemn them. Instead, the author seeks to understand the wisdom of his father. Initially, rit is palatable because it is after all being narrated from the eyes of a young boy. As the novel progresses, the narrator shows how he doubts his father at times, feels pressured by him and so on, but in the end "Father knows best" or at least most of the time. But this tone is just in the background. The boy grows up and faces his demons. Of course, the novel hints at a happy ending. It is a bit too Walt Disney, but I do recommend it. The best parts that remain with me now are : the escape from Afghanistan, the flea market, the general, the secret he bears, the kite races, Sohrab and especially the way he describes hearing about the war in the news. It could be inspiring enough to make it to Oprah's book club.

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