Thoughts on the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Tonight, I’m in my lodging in Lafayette. In an earlier post, I had made mention to Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. As good as that read was, I enjoyed the Kite Runner far more. I finished it tonight. As Isabel Allende said of Kite Runner, this is “one of those unforgettable stories that stays with you for years.” The novel will teach you the beauty and uniqueness of the Afghan culture. The novel’s themes that relate to guilt, friendship, betrayal, the ghosts and power of memory, family, and history will stir, perhaps even break your heart. If you’ve ever lived with a secret sin, with a tortured conscience, you will weep. If you’ve ever wondered how bad life is under the Taliban and how right we in the West are to resist them, this novel will answer those asked and unasked questions in a bone and soul-jarring manner.

Here are some lines that stood out to me:

“[I]t’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out” (1).

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, some even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime . . .” (142).

“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” (359).

The narrator says that Sohrab’s silence was “the silence of one who has taken cover in a dark place . . . He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints. He moved as if not to stir the air around him” (361).

The novel Kite Runner is a New York Times Bestseller and my edition (Riverhead Books) comes with study questions. I’d have to say this is one of the better reads of my life.