Author: Khaled Hosseni
This is a very highly acclaimed book. And I can see why. It’s also the third Khaled Hosseini book I’ve read – and as far as I know, he only has 3, so clap for me. Now that I’ve read all, I think it’s safe to say my favourite is And The Mountains Echoed, even though The Kite Runner appears to be his most famous.
Hosseini has interesting, and perhaps very unique storytelling skills. I love the way he tells his stories, and that placates me when his characters are annoying me to death. I like that the main character of the story (Amir) was not the title character (Hassan, also known as The Kite Runner), and so it’s difficult to tell if the story was about Amir, Hassan, or both.
I also like how Amir, the person through whom the story was told, was not flat. We got to see his growth in character as he grew in age and how he reacted to a lot of things unravelling. (You might not understand, but the word “unravelling” here is a triple entendre I am proud of.) Hassan was very flat. It was an act of wisdom not to tell the story through him.
This book took me a relatively short time to go through. It was engaging and the language, though not entirely simple, was easy for me to breeze through. I think Hosseini just writes exactly in the way I find it comfortable to read – but the book felt very long. Why? Because of secrets and lies and plot twists abounding! Just when you’ve accepted what has happened and you think you understand how the story is going to go from then on, you realize suddenly that someone (sometimes you) has been duped.
When I finished this book, I said I was emotionally tired, and I meant it. While I read, I wailed nearly incessantly to my mother about all the twists, whenever she was within earshot.
I have something (not really a spoiler) to say about the end: it was not a conclusion. It was more like a roller coaster evening out into an ordinary road.
Somewhere in my heart, I know that this book was heavy. It’s just that…after reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, I know what heavy really is, and so I can’t complain about this.
But yes, it’s a great book, and a fantastic debut novel – so I’d recommend it.
My favourite quote:
“With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can’t love a person who lives like that without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.”