The Kite Runner is an easy read. The narration is straight forward and the story wavers between interesting and predictable.
The novel is about a boy who has to come to terms with his conscience. A mistake which he made in his childhood continues to haunt him well into his adulthood. At a later stage of his life, he is at the same crossroads again. He has to make a choice to either clear his conscience or probably save his own life.
There were no glitches while reading, as in, I didn’t find any reason to put down the novel. But, now that I have finished reading it, I don’t feel good about it. There are many problems with the novel; the story has many plot holes, the characters are unbelievable, the language is bland. The author wastes no ink in description. The narration is to the point – the story moves with every word of the novel.
Khaled Hosseini creates characters which lack depth and which come across as totally unrealistic. The protagonist, Aamir, has a servant named Hasan. The servant is shown as extremely obedient, to such an extent that it made me wonder, can anyone be so obedient? Obedience comes with age. If you are old enough to realize the difference between a master and a servant, then obedience makes sense. A two year old kid who is learning to speak will not take his master’s name out of obedience, will he? I find such obedience from a ten year old unrealistic, forget a two year old.
Hosseini has tried to evoke sympathy for his characters, but he fails at this. None of the characters have my sympathy. I hate Aamir for being such a weakling (the author expects readers to hate him) and Hasan for extreme obedience which is hard to digest. The relationship between Aamir and his father is questionable. They didn’t have a healthy relationship initially and all of a sudden they are on good terms. This didn’t go down my throat easily.
The narration is in first person, in Aamir’s point of view. The narration changes its style as the narrator grows older. Be it the choice of words, or the thoughts of the narrator, there is a visible change in the narration. This, I feel, is hard to achieve and the author manages to do it with ease.
There are parts which touched me. The childhood part is engaging. I was reminded of my own childhood days. The part where Aamir witnesses the incident and his immediate reaction, his mental tussle, his trauma are well described. This was the most gripping part of the novel.
With all its plus and minus points, in the end, this novel is a let down. With such importance given to the incident and its after-effects and the severance of ties between Aamir and Hasan, the reader expects to have confrontation of Aamir with Hasan. This does not happen. This was a let down for me. The author builds up enough tension for this confrontation and suddenly decides not to have one. Sigh, wish he hadn’t.
Pick it up if you have a few days to spare. You might relate to few incidents better than I did. Though I do not recommend this book highly, neither would I stop someone from reading it.