Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Kite Runner

Book group tonight sees me back in the pub and hopeful that the intention to discuss The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini will keep the conversation away from “how far does ‘early in the week’ extend in terms of a social week rather than a business week?”.

I enjoyed The Kite Runner, although the last part lets it down terribly. It may be a debut novel, but an author with sufficient skill as to present the first two-thirds in pleasant enough form and style, should have the ability and wherewithal to avoid clich├ęs and excessive coincidences. Not to mention that it’s not a twist, if you signpost it’s imminent arrival with the sort of subtlety that means all but the stupidest of readers will surely have seen it coming a mile off.

That said, it’s a good read and I loved some of the early parts. If you enjoy books that immerse you in another culture and lead you through different worlds than your own, then I’d highly recommend it.

Seeing the recent history of Afghanistan through the eyes of someone who grew up there, escaped to the US when the Russians invaded and then returns many years later when the Taliban are in full force, is effective and deeply saddening.

Not the best book ever written for sure and no doubt current world events aided is publication and subsequent popularity, but I enjoyed it and let’s be clear, for all the limitations of it’s ending it wasn’t anywhere near as the crime against plotlines that was My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult!


Nicola H said...

ohh - kinda wish I'd not read your blog - am 1/3 the way into the Kite Runner and enjoying it!

1 i z said...

It's still worth finishing.

But try Ali and Nino by Kurban Said for a similar style, but much older novel about where East meets West. Far superior...and cunningly our next book at Book Group.

I've read it twice before and have nearly finished it for a third time. A sumptuous read!

darren said...

slowly coming back to life, darren remarks...

i loved the kite runner but with as much baggage about my dad as i have it's hardly surprising.

i went to bed to read a few pages before turning off the light and ended up finishing it at 3:30 the following morning because i just could not stop reading it. i wept and wept and wept.

the final image (no spoilers here) is a bit of a cliche but it is nevertheless an image that will remain with me for a long long time.

Free Element said...

I did the same thing. When I was a 100 pages through, I told my wife that she must read this one. I think a good book is one that make you want to share the space that it creates with someone else.