Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Originally uploaded by i-Topographies
Before I start, Becky, you did a great review on this book a while ago which is why I picked it up in the first place. Comparisons to Running With Scissors notwithstanding (graphic violence, child abuse, taking me out of my element,) this book was worth the emotionally grueling journey. I was stunned that about every 3 pages something heartwrenching happened - not for effect, but because it was what had to happen. This is how people lived and still live in so many parts of the world.
I think the unrelenting brutality and perpetual suffering, both emotionally and physically, was the most difficult part of this book for me. Things seemed to stay bad for so long. Is that an analogy for Afghanistan itself, and perhaps the Middle East as a region? I remember on page 272 I said, "Finally, something hopeful has happened." I was elated. And I think that's how many Afghanis must feel about their situation. But every time they cling to that little bit of hope, somehow it's dashed away.
One of the best things about this book, other than the superb, spare writing, was the way I really began to understand someone else's suffering. As frustrated as I occasionally was with the narrator, I had to ask myself if I would have acted any differently if I was in his shoes? Who would I be if I'd grown up in his world? I have a deeper understanding and a much broader perspective on Afghanis lives. When will things get better, when will they change? I don't know.
This was one of those wonderful fiction books that brought you closer to truth than any biography ever could. Highly recommended!


Becky said...

I'm so glad you liked it! I knew you would, and I think mom and dad really would, too. Everything you said in your review was spot on and I felt the same way. The author has a new book called "A Thousand Splendid Suns" about Afghani women. I'm going to pick it up and will let you know how it is...

Dave said...

OK, I finished it. Hated him almost throughout the book until he got back to Afganistan, which made it difficult to love the book. Glad he finally showed some moral courage in the end.