I have been reading novels for decades, but in all those years of reading, THE KITE RUNNER is possibly the best story I have read that has a non-western setting. An Afghan friend recommended this book to me, and of course I was skeptical at first. I never expected it to be such a powerful, deep moving, well-written and touching story that happened to be set in Afghanistan.
Set in Afghanistan, in Kabul in the 1970's, the Kite Runner moves to the U.S.A and back. It includes fascinating characters like Amir who lived a privileged life as the son of an affluent man, and Hassan the son of a poor servant who perks for Amir's privileged life. The two become good friends, a friendship which is tested when Hassan is raped, a scene witnessed by Amir who made no effort to come to his friend's rescue. Yet Amir is haunted by that moment of cowardice even as he leaves for the USA.
Even though it is a fiction, this haunting story with spectacular, yet uncomfortable scenes creates in the reader a sense of reality that is difficult not to believe. I easily felt like I was reading the real life story of a young boy, who grows up still haunted by his past cowardice. The characters are real and alive, the setting in Afghanistan and America is superb, the plot is outstanding and the pace of the novel is fast and captivating.. All in all, this emotionally gripping story provides an insight and understanding of the human tragedy in Afghanistan. The author successfully touched on human emotions, stirring guilt, sadness, anger, and happiness throughout the book.Reminds me of DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, BOOKSELLER OF KABUL, UNION MOUJIK, CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY,THE USURPER AND OTHERS , which are all titles with unique settings and gripping stories and characters.