|ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Author: Khaled Hosseini
The unforgettable, heartbreaking
story of the unlikely friendship
between a wealthy boy and the son
of his father's servant, The
Kite Runner is a beautifully
crafted novel set in a country that
is in the process of being destroyed.
It is about the power of reading,
the price of betrayal, and the possibility
of redemption, and it is also about
the power of fathers over sons-their
love, their sacrifices, their lies.
The first Afghan novel to be written
in English, this is a sweeping story
of family, love, and friendship set
against a backdrop of history that
has not been told in fiction before,
bringing to mind the large canvases
of the Russian writers of the nineteenth
century. But just as it is old-fashioned
in its narration, it is contemporary
in its subject-the devastating history
of Afghanistan over the last thirty
years. As emotionally gripping as
it is tender, this is an unusual
and powerful debut.
|From Publishers Weekly
Hosseini's stunning debut novel starts as an eloquent Afghan version of
the American immigrant experience in the late 20th century, but betrayal
and redemption come to the forefront when the narrator, a writer, returns
to his ravaged homeland to rescue the son of his childhood friend after
the boy's parents are shot during the Taliban takeover in the mid '90s.
Amir, the son of a well-to-do Kabul merchant, is the first-person narrator,
who marries, moves to California and becomes a successful novelist. But
he remains haunted by a childhood incident in which he betrayed the trust
of his best friend, a Hazara boy named Hassan, who receives a brutal beating
from some local bullies. After establishing himself in America, Amir learns
that the Taliban have murdered Hassan and his wife, raising questions
about the fate of his son, Sohrab. Spurred on by childhood guilt, Amir
makes the difficult journey to Kabul, only to learn the boy has been enslaved
by a former childhood bully who has become a prominent Taliban official.
The price Amir must pay to recover the boy is just one of several brilliant,
startling plot twists that make this book memorable both as a political
chronicle and a deeply personal tale about how childhood choices affect
our adult lives. The character studies alone would make this a noteworthy
debut, from the portrait of the sensitive, insecure Amir to the multilayered
development of his father, Baba, whose sacrifices and scandalous behavior
are fully revealed only when Amir returns to Afghanistan and learns the
true nature of his relationship to Hassan. Add an incisive, perceptive
examination of recent Afghan history and its ramifications in both America
and the Middle East, and the result is a complete work of literature that
succeeds in exploring the culture of a previously obscure nation that
has become a pivot point in the global politics of the new millennium.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.