Monday, April 4, 2011

the kite runner

Our library is great. It is only a few blocks away, two over from our favorite tree-lined street (and next to a barbecue restaurant, so it always smells delicious outside). But it is small, which means that there is always a wait for new, popular books, even if they are just popular with tweens. Like the Hunger Games trilogy (and gosh, I want to talk about it ALL THE TIME because I think about it ALL THE TIME). So, to pass the time, I borrowed the Kite Runner, partly because I've been wanting to read it for a while (even my mom has read it!) but mostly because it was there.
It's written autobiography style from grown-up Amir's point of view about his life as a motherless boy in Afghanistan. The book follows his relationships with his father and his friend, Hassan, who is the son of his father's servant, and then later his relationship with Hassan's son. Life in Kabul is not easy in the 1970-80s, what with the fall of the monarchy, Soviet invasion and then crazy Taliban rule, but there are even more terrifying things - like that sociopath Assef who terrorizes the neighborhood kids. I hated Amir for being a cowardly jerk that ends up living a cushy life in America with his pretty wife and job as a writer while everyone else suffers, but he is also so guilt-ridden by his past that it is also hard not to sympathize with him.

There are scenes in the book that put recent news into perspective...the war in Afghanistan, bombings in Libya... there are Amirs and Hassans down there too, kids who just want to fly kites. The book humanizes Afghanistan's recent history and tells a great story.

And gosh, yes, I sobbed in this one too. Do I have to go back to Anne of Green Gables to find a book that is not depressing? Wait, I wept when Matthew died too. Dang it.

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© timheartjane 2011 Photos taken by me, unless otherwise stated.