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Certain sins once committed haunts lifelong, unless one gets a chance to redeem the sins. Same was the fate with Amir- the prime character of Khaled Hosseini's first novel 'The Kite Runner'.

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

Amir's guilt at the age of twelve, of committing the crime of not standing to the rescue of Hassan his childhood friend, when he was being physically abused and raped by Asif, the perverted neighborhood boy, haunted Amir through out his life. Hassan was the son of Amir's wealthy father's Hazara servant Ali and his only acquaintance since his childhood. Moreover, later with the hope to get rid of his guilt and also Hassan, whose presence in his house made him more guilty, Amir accuses him with false charges of stealth.

But, when Hassan and Ali left the house without even trying to prove their innocence, Amir was heaped with more guilt. It tormented him for twenty-six long years, even after moving to California along with his father at the age of eighteen, when the Russia invaded Afganisthan and there was violence everywhere.

Amir's quest for redemption gets a ray of hope when he gets a call to visits his father's business partner Rahim Khan and after visiting discovers that his Hazara friend Hassan is actually his half brother, which makes him furious with the thought of the truth not being reveled to him and also Hassan, which they deserved to know.

Rahim Khan's plea to Amir to rescue Hassan's son Sorab- who was by than an orphan, from the clutches of the Afghans, led him to visit Afghanistan after twenty-six years. He rescues Sorab and adopts him and takes him to the States and did every possible thing to make him happy because Amir thought that his freedom from his sins laid in Sorab's happiness.

While reading the novel one finds that it is a story about friendship, loyalty, betrayal, survival, guilt and redemption and every aspects being portrayed flawlessly by the writer. The characters are so real that a reader is bound to laugh, cheer, shed tear, get annoyed and at the same time sympathize with them.

Here, Hosseini evokes a picture of the history and culture of the than and the present day Afghanistan and he succeeds in his efforts to portray the picture of a prosperous land pre-Talibani regime to the world audience and also the sufferings of his kinsmen post-Talibani regime where he delineates the image of a young boy forced into prostitution, an adulterous couple being stoned to death, a man desperate to cell his artificial leg to feed his children, numerous orphans loitering in the streets for food etc.

In my opinion The Kite Runner is one of the best books I have read, as it has made me to finish the book at one go and once complete, I sat to myself, alone for quite sometime and sobbed inconsolably for the reason not known to me. I would recommend my friends and family to read The Kite Runner as, if, not read they would be depriving themselves of something exotic.


  1. I didn't know Afghans can think more so if they can write, philosophize and even suffer guilty pangs. If the book comes along, I will indeed make an effort to overcome prejudice and stereotype and might give it a glance. If nothing else I can always use it as paper weight or as a handy tool to kill dammed flies.

  2. thanks ranita
    i read ur review and bought the book and found it really enticing and one go affair.

    do carry some more reviews so that i go and buy the book.

    somewhere it is helping me to read and read and read and hence increasing my reading habit.



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