21 January 2011

A Story Like its Protagonist: Lost in a World Beyond its Control

The Kite RunnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fair warning about this novel: it is hard to put down; be sure you have a free schedule. The story is captivating and thought provoking. The insights into the struggle of honesty and dignity are vibrant. Unfortunately the writing style does not measure up. The valuable parts of this book could be told with as much emphasis in roughly 100 fewer pages. Hosseini is a bit too fond of exposition and internal monologue. His tendency towards these detracts from the overall sincerity and importance of his story. Additionally, the plot twists are past the point of cunning and more in the realm of "whip-lash." It is really just too improbable of a journey in many places. This book's redemption is the portrait it gives of Afghanistan and her people. An important portrait as it is one that is misunderstood by many and poorly understood by the rest. The book weaves through a wilderness of desolation, betrayal, heartbreak and a host of other ills and ends on just the faintest glimpse of a smile. More than a book about the growth and change of a family, this is a microcosm for the entire country of Afghanistan; moreover, an aspiration and a prayer for all those affected by war. Though a bit tangled in what was most likely an editor's or publishers amendments, this story is at the very least worth one read.

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