Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner is Khaled Hosseini's first book, and became very popular. Now it has even been made into a motion picture. After reading A Thousand Splendid Suns I was a bit disappointed by this book. The book tells the story of Amir and Hassan, growing up in Kabul in the 70s. Amir is the son of a rich merchant, while Hassan is the son of a servant. They grow up together and become friends even though their are seperated by their class differences. Their friendship changes one winter when Amir fails to help Hassan when he most needs it. Amir and his father than moves to the US, struggling to live in a completely new culture. After Amir's father's death, Amir returns to Afghanistan, where he gets a change to redeem himself from his past sins.

The book starts as sort of a childhood memoir, then, in the US, it's more of a drama, bordering on soap opera somewhat. But then, all of a sudden, Amir returns to Afghanistan, turning the book into more of an action book. The first part was good, sometimes, and the second part also had its moments, but the ending felt rushed and forced. The ending wasn't satisfying to me, somehow it felt like the book had been sold, and the author rushed to finish it by the dead line. The characters changed quickly, some turn of events felt strange, others showed up for a short time only to mysteriously disappear again. It just didn't feel right, and upon finishing the book I was left feeling unsatisfied, wondering about a lot of the characters.

Still, the book brings a good look into afghan culture, which probably a lot of westerners don't know a whole lot about. It is an interesting look into a different culture existing in the world today.

I have now started reading The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears. The novel tells the story of three men living in different times. Manlius, the Gallic aristocrat living at the end of roman civilization, Olivier, the poet living at the time of the Black Death, and Julien, the scholar living in the first half of the 20th century. All three men shares a love for a woman, and the love of wisdom, philosophy and literature. Olivier builds upon Manlius' writings, and Julien builds upon both Manlis' and Olivier's writings. The cool thing abot the book is the fact that it tells their stories simultaneoulsy, therefore not chronologically. It jumps back and forth in time to show the similarities between the protagonists. Haven't gotten that far into the book yet, so will write more when I get further into the book, or when it's finished.

Until next time


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