The Kite Runner.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I started this very popular historical fiction at the beginning of the summer. Instantly enthralled, I was forced to put the book aside in order to read other books for various book clubs, but I was thrilled and excited when I finally got to pick it back up a week ago.

Told from the narrative voice of an insecure Afghan boy Amir, The Kite Runner is a story of grief, guilt, fear, and ultimately vindication, salvation, and redemption. It surprised nobody that I appreciated the former themes and first half of the book a lot more than the latter. I have an affinity for sorrowful stories. It is the drama queen in me.

One of the themes of the story that I really enjoyed was the relationship between Amir and his father Baba. While having to fight for love and affection from a parent is definitely not something I related to, I do understand the somewhat irrational impulse to try to make a parent proud.

“I loved wintertime in Kabul. I loved it for the soft pattering of snow against my window at night, for the way fresh snow crunched under my black rubber boots, for the warmth of the cast-iron stove as the wind screeched through the yards, the streets. But mostly because, as the trees froze and ice sheathed the roads, the chill between Baba and me thawed a little.”

Here are a few other passages that I enjoyed more because of writing style than content:

“It wasn’t meant to be, Khala Jamila had said. Or, maybe, it was meant not to be.”

“A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: ‘Avoid them like the plague.’ Then he’d laugh at his own joke. The class laughed along with him, but I always thought clichés got a bum rap. Because, often, they’re dead-on. But the aptness of the clichéd saying is overshadowed by the nature of the saying as a cliché. For example, the “elephant in the room” saying. Nothing could more correctly describe the initiation moments of my reunion with Rahim Khan.”

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

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